In classic close-scoring Rays action (at least for the first half), this game kept us on our toes until the very end, never entirely sure which way it would go. While the Rays ultimately lost, there were several points where a turnaround seems possible right up until the last couple of innings.
Off the hop it was pretty clear that the starting pitchers were evenly matched right out of the gate. The Rays might have been able to best Mets ace Jacob deGrom in Monday’s (equally close scoring) outing, but Seth Lugo is no slouch, and Blake Snell is finding his rhythm again, giving us a nice low-scoring outing for the first six innings.
Snell and Lugo both had clean, efficient first innings, but in the second they were both equally knocked off balance a little by their opposition. In the top of the inning, a Willy Adames solo home run put the Rays on the board, but the bottom of the inning saw the Mets get even. Just as BA and DeWayne chatted about Robinson Cano being the only Mets player with much exposure to Snell, Cano went ahead and hit a solo home run to tie things up. Snell added two walks and a single to the inning but a stellar Kiermaier throw home shut the Mets down before they could do any additional damage.
Things moved cleanly for both pitchers until the bottom of the fourth, when Snell, who seemed to have found his groove gave up a solo home run to Pete Alonso. Again, things were relatively efficient until the bottom of the sixth (what is with these even numbered innings?) when Snell gave up a double to Dominic Smith who was then advanced to third on a Cano groundout. That marked the end of the game for Snell, who was replaced by John Curtiss.
Against Curtiss, Alonso singled to score Smith, putting the Mets up 3-1. With the last run tacked onto Snell’s numbers his final line for the game was 5.2 IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 9K, 2HR on a season high 108 pitches. With the exception of the walks and some command issues, Snell still looked pretty solid overall.
The top of the seventh spelled the end of the game for Lugo after a Wendle single and then Adames reaching first on what would have been a fielder’s choice but got overturned and classified as an infielder error.
The final line of the night for Lugo was 6.1 IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 1BB, 7K, 1HR on what was ALSO a season high pitch count for him at 95. Fairly even nights for the two with the exception of the run totals and Snell’s elevated walk numbers.
A double steal from Wendle and Adames moved the pair into scoring position, but Wendle got tagged out at home on a groundout from Kiermaier. Then a wild pitch from reliever Justin Wilson allowed Adames to score, bringing the score back within one run.
Unfortunately the bottom of the seventh saw Curtiss giving up a home run to former Ray Guillermo Heredia.
Things didn’t get any better by the bottom of the eighth when Curtiss started off the inning with a hit-by-pitch to Smith (who pretty remarkably caught the ball on the bounce-back off his own foot). Todd Frazier singled, then Cano singled to load the bases with no outs. Pete Alonso struck again with a single, scoring Smith. Guess this Alonso guy is pretty good. A 6-4-3 double play ended the inning but the Mets were ahead 5-2.
In spite of a wild throw at first base that allowed Joey Wendle (it was ruled a single, as he very likely would have made it anyway in spite of the throw) to get on base safely, the Rays were unable to take the win, meaning it’ll be at least one more day before they clinch the AL East.
Rays lose 5-2.