Game Recap: Young Can’t Help Mets Avoid Sweep in 3-1 Loss

By Matt Musico

Terry Collins ran Chris Young out to the mound for his first start at Citi Field this year, and it was an important one. Even though Dillon Gee and Jonathon Niese didn’t pitch terrible in this series, the Mets found themselves trying to avoid getting swept at home for the first time in 2012. With the Orioles and Yankees coming into town this week, the schedule isn’t getting any easier and New York could’ve have really used a win. However, that wasn’t in the cards Sunday afternoon in Flushing.

Mets Offensive Highlights:

After scoring 29 in three wins against the Rays, New York only managed to score five runs in their three losses to Cincinnati. The top of the order collected most of their seven hits registered Sunday afternoon, with Josh Thole being the lone player to have a multi-hit day. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Lucas Duda, David Wright, Ike Davis, and Daniel Murphy all got themselves into the hit column in the finale, but it was Chris Young who drove in the lone run of the game for the Amazins, as Johnny Cuetostruggled through the second inning and walked his opposing number with the bases loaded, forcing in a run. Unlike their time in Tampa, the Mets couldn’t get the big hit with two outs, dooming them to a sweep despite a solid pitching performance. What was surprising is that even though

Dusty Baker brought in Sean Marshall to face Ike Davis in the bottom of the eighth, Terry Collins didn’t feel comfortable leaving the hot bat of Davis in with the chance to put some runs on the board. I guess Ike isn’t all the way back yet.

Reds Offensive Highlights:

Cincinnati put together a 10-hit attack in their sixth straight win, as the offense was led by Joey Votto and Zack Cozart, both collecting three hits. They were only able to score on Chris Young in the fifth inning, with all the runs coming with two outs. After the first two men were retired, Cozart doubled and was driven in by a Wilson Valdez single to center. Votto was intentionally walked, then Brandon Phillips poked a single into right field; not only did two runs score, but Phillips advanced to third on a throwing error by Duda. Outside of that, there was no more substantial offense, but that’s all that was needed to secure the sweep.

Pitching Highlights:

Once again, the Mets got a great effort from their starting staff, but the offense couldn’t come through when it mattered most. Young went 7 innings and gave up 9 hits, 2 walks, 3 runs (2 earned), and struck out 2 en route to his first loss of the season. Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco both worked scoreless innings behind Young.

On the other hand, Johnny Cueto was fantastic. He followed up the complete game, six-hitter in his last start with 7 innings, 6 hits, 1 walk, 1 earned run to go along with 8 strikeouts for his eighth win of the season. Sean Marshall came in and got the four-out save to shut the door and secure the sweep on getaway day for the Reds, his ninth save on the year.

Worth Noting:

With his single this afternoon, Ike Davis now has an eight-game hitting streak. Young’s loss today was his first since he was with the Padres in 2009. He did spent most of the time since his last loss injured, but that’s still impressive. After taking three of four from the Cardinals in the first weekend of June, the Mets have been swept the last two weekends.

The Mets fall back to 35-32 on the season, but once again, the Braves and Nationals both lost today (along with the rest of the division), so New York stays 4.5 games out of first place.

Probable Pitchers Monday:

New York turns to one of their co-aces, R.A. Dickey (10-1, 2.20 ERA) to stop the bleeding. In his last five starts, he’s registered 50 strikeouts and only three walks. The Orioles will be coming to town, putting Jake Arrieta (3-8, 5.89 ERA) on the hill. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10pm.