The Royals defeated the Mets at Citi Field today by the score of 6-2, taking two of three from the Mets over the weekend. This game came down to the tale of one dreadful inning for the Mets, the top of the fifth. The Royals had taken a 1-0 lead off of losing pitcher Zack Wheeler in the top of the fourth on a Mike Moustakas home run. Then came the top of the fifth, which rivaled the top of the fifth against the Cubs on Fathers’ Day for the worst inning the Mets have played all year. David Lough opened the inning by lofting a fly ball to right that Marlon Byrd lost in the sun. After a sacrifice and a walk, Alex Gordon hit a fly ball to the warning track in right, that once again, Marlon Byrd lost in the sun. The ball dropped, and two runs scored. Later in the inning, Wheeler uncorked two wild pitches (one of which allowed a run to score), and John Buck was charged with a passed ball. But there was even a little more to the inning. After the Mets scored on a hit by Eric Young Junior, Byrd came up with the bases loaded and a shot at redemption. He struck out.
Wheeler (5 IP, 3ER, 5K, 5BB) began the game looking very strong, striking out two in the first inning. Daniel Murphy lost a pop in the sun to open the top of the second, but Wheeler stiffened, and did not allow the run to score. It was noted during the broadcast that Wheeler lost significant velocity on his fastball as the game went along, dropping from 95 mph to 91 mph in the fifth inning. Wheeler threw 101 pitches on the day, which is not excessive, so whether or not the velocity is cause for concern remains to be seen. Gonzalez Germen relieved Wheeler to begin the sixth, and allowed two earned runs. On offense, the Mets scored on the earlier-mentioned Young single, and a bloop single in the eighth by John Buck.
This game was ugly. While players do lose balls in the sun, which was very bright at Citi, the Mets lost 3 in such fashion today. Combine that with the wild pitches and the passed ball, and you have a sloppy defensive game by the Mets. Then there’s the offense, which has seemingly fallen into a slumber in the last week. This is not helped by the absence of David Wright, who will likely be out for a few weeks. The Mets are talking about options to infuse some offense into the lineup. One such option is re-installing Lucas Duda in left field, and moving Eric Young Junior to second base, with Murphy moving the third. This seems like a lot of people moving around, but something has to be done before things get out of hand offensively.
- Eric Young Junior hit the ball well all day, recording two hits, an RBI, and a stolen base.
- Scott Rice, Carlos Torres, and LaTroy Hawkins help the Royals scoreless over 3 innings pitched in relief.
- The defense was bad today, and when the team is struggling on offense, that’s not a formula for success.
The Mets are off Monday, and begin a 3-game series with the Rockies at Citi Field on Tuesday night with Jenrry Mejia on the mound.