The Diamondbacks lost their 5th straight game, falling to the Mets 4-2. Their record drops to 15-18 on the year. It was also their 9th straight loss at Citi Field dating back to May, 2018.
Mets manager Luis Rojas decided to go with right handed Tommy Hunter as an opener for this game, to be followed by lefty Joey Lucchesi, thus confounding Torey Lovullo and his coach’s efforts to create an effective lineup. Lucchesi was originally slotted to start the game. There was perhaps some gamesmanship going on as the change was announced very late.
It worked like a charm for Rojas. Hunter delivered two scoreless efficient innings, the only baserunner being Josh Rojas who reached on a catcher’s interference by James McCann in the first inning. Lucchesi came on and pitch three more scoreless, hitless innings through the 5th. He did issues a two out walk to Carson Kelly in the 3rd. That was amazingly followed by Rojas reaching for the second time on another catcher’s interference. McCann protested that Rojas swung late to no avail. But Christian Walker was left muttering to himself after getting rung up on an inside fastball to end the inning.
Tim Locastro reached base in the 4th inning, on a Hit By Pitch of course, his 4th of the year. But there were no hits forthcoming to bring him around.
Merrill Kelly meanwhile started off ok himself. He worked through two scoreless innings, both times issuing two out walks. He was able to get the next batter both times to avoid any damage.
However in the 3rd Kelly frustratingly walked the pitcher Lucchesi, he of the 0.59 batting average. Jeff McNeil immediately made Kelly pay, depositing a center cut fastball over the wall in right center giving the Mets a 2-0 lead. Kelly then walked Francisco Lindor and was clearly rattled. He settled down after a mound visit from Matt Herges however, getting Michael Conforto to fly out to center and Pete Alonso looking at strike three. Then with Dom Smith batting Lindor stole second. A wild throw from Carson Kelly skipped off Lindor’s foot into shallow left field. Lindor got up and kept running all the way home before David Peralta could even get to the ball for the 3rd Mets run of the inning.
Kelly stranded a double in each of the 4th and 5th, but no runs scored.
In the top half of the 6th Josh Rojas broke the seal with a line drive up the middle for the D-backs first base hit of the game. He moved up to 2nd when Alonso whiffed on a pickoff attempt. He then advanced to 3rd on a soft liner by Walker just past the glove of Lindor into left. Rojas had to hold up to make sure the ball wasn’t caught. David Peralta tapped out to 3rd but it was enough to get Rojas home. No crooked numbers were to be had though. Jeurys Familia relieved Lucchesi and struck out Asdrubal Cabrera and Eduardo Escobar to end the inning with the Mets ahead 3-1.
Kelly came back out for the 6th, and got two quick outs, but issued his 3rd two out walk of the game . That ended his night as Torey Lovullo came out with the hook, bringing in Kevin Ginkel. Ginkel induced a fly out to end the inning.
Kelly’s final line was 5 2/3 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 6 K’s and 1 HR.
The D-backs loaded the bases in the 7th with two outs on singles by Pavin Smith, Carson Kelly and Rojas. Christian came up and got ahead in the at bat by laying off a couple of tough sliders. But when he got pitches to hit he fouled them off and eventually grounded out to Lindor to leave em loaded.
Chris Devenski pitched the 7th and gave up a run on a walk, a stolen base by McNeil and an RBI hit by Lindor. The D-backs got that run back in the top half of the 8th. Asdrubal Cabrera singled and Nick Ahmed walked . Stephen Vogt pinch hit with two outs and drove in Cabrera with a base hit into right center , bringing the score to 4-2 Mets
Alex Young pitched a scoreless 8th for the D-backs . With Trevor May on to close it out for the Mets Carson Kelly singled to left to lead off . But Rojas, Walker, and Peralta all flew out to end the game.
The D-backs did manage three hits with a runner in scoring position tonight, but two of them failed to score a run. All 8 hits were singles. The pitching wasn’t bad, but with such anemic offense the team could not overcome the one poor inning from Kelly.
It won’t get any easier tomorrow as they’ll face Jacob deGrom for the series finale on Mothers day, at 1:10 EDT, 10:10 Arizona time.
WPA: Josh Rojas. +.100 and Carson Kelly +.069 lead the way on offense with two hits a piece plus a walk from Kelly atop the order.
But Christian Walker, -151 on 1 for 5 batting and David Peralta -.128 with an 0-5, failed to deliver the needed big blows.
The only thing quieter than the Diamondbacks offense was this game thread, although I can’t blame anyone for not showing up for this one. Just 13 commenters and 160 comments
No Sedona Red comments, but using editorial privilege, we’ll give this one to Mikey for his “Ball on Tee” meme in response to Kelly’s meatball to McNeil