May 20, 2013; Flushing, NY,USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Shaun Marcum (38) pitches during the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

5/20 Game Recap: Mets Drop Squeaker to Reds 4-3

After a seven game road trip, the Mets returned home tonight to open a three game series with the Reds.  Shaun Marcum got the start for New York, and had a rocky first inning.  After walking Shin-Soo Choo to start the game, Marcum gave up a single off the first base bag to Joey Votto (who was awarded second base after Ike Davis impeded his path).  Brandon Phillips followed by dunking a two RBI single to shallow right to make it 2-0 Cincinnati.  Jay Bruce delivered an RBI double right after Phillips’ hit to stretch the Reds’ lead to 3-0.

The Mets were held scoreless by Johnny Cueto until the third.  It was then that Cueto, who was making his first start after being activated from the disabled list, gave up a three run homer to Marlon Byrd that tied the game.

Shaun Marcum settled in nicely after his rough first inning, avoiding trouble until the fifth.  After the first two runners reached base, he was able to work out of the jam.  In the sixth, though, Jay Bruce lined Marcum’s first pitch of the inning into the right field seats to give Cincinnati a 4-3 lead.

The Mets had a runner at second with one out in the seventh, but were unable to capitalize when Daniel Murphy struck out (assist to home plate umpire Tom Hallion) and Rick Ankiel grounded out sharply to second base.  That was the last legitimate threat the Mets had, as they fell to the Reds 4-3.

Highlights:

  • Shaun Marcum got the start for the Mets and settled in after giving up 3 runs in the 1st.  He tossed 6 innings, allowing 4 runs on 6 hits.  He walked 1 and struck out 7.
  • Marlon Byrd lined a 3 run homer to left field in the 3rd inning.
  • Ike Davis went 0 for 3 with 2 strikeouts.  He’s 1 for his last 33 and his average is now .152.  Davis was double switched out of the game in the top of the 7th.
  • Greg Burke, who has been solid since being recalled from AAA, tossed a scoreless frame in the ninth.
  • After Marlon Byrd‘s game tying homer in the 3rd inning, the Mets had just 2 base runners for the rest of the game.

Thoughts:

It was nice to see Marcum turn in a second consecutive solid start.  After a very wobbly first where he allowed three runs, the only damage inflicted upon Marcum the rest of the way was Jay Bruce‘s leadoff homer in the sixth.  It’s looking more and more like it was rust, not an injury or permanently diminished stuff, that did Marcum in during his first three starts with the Mets.

It’s time for Ike Davis to go to Las Vegas.  He’s 1 for his last 33, and has seen his average drop to .152.  He’s an automatic out at the moment, and has also started to have mental lapses in the field.  Davis is clearly frustrated, as are the fans and management.  It would be great if Ike could work things out at the big league level, but it doesn’t seem like he’s even close to snapping out of this almost unthinkable slump.

Home plate umpire Tom Hallion gave Major League Baseball another black eye with his antics in the top of the seventh.  With two on, two out, and Brandon Phillips in a two strike hole, Phillips fouled LaTroy Hawkins‘ offering off the knob of his bat.  It was clear as day.  Phillips, though, pretended that the ball hit his hand, and was awarded first base by Hallion.  Terry Collins trotted out of the dugout to ask Hallion, who clearly missed the call, to seek help from the other umpires.  Hallion refused.   After Hawkins struck out Jay Bruce to leave the bases loaded, he barked at Hallion and was ejected.  Terry Collins then came out to defend Hawkins and was run by Hallion as well.  For good measure, Hallion decided to call a strike on Daniel Murphy in the bottom of the seventh on a pitch Murphy didn’t offer at.  Murphy asked Hallion to check with the third base umpire, and Hallion refused.  There are a handful of umpires in baseball who don’t deserve to have jobs, and Hallion is one of them.   It’s time for Bud Selig to fire them.

Next Up:

The Mets and Reds play the second game of their three game set tomorrow night at 7:10 PM.  Jonathon Niese gets the start for New York.  He’ll be opposed by Mike Leake.

 

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