The Astros made Chris Flexen look exactly like he is at the moment: a Double-A pitcher throwing to MLB hitters. He struggled to the tune of allowing seven runs on nine hits to go along with two walks. He also only was able to strike out one batter in his four innings of work.
The Mets actually got out of the gates hot and scored two runs in the first inning. However, Flexen gave one of those right back in the bottom of the inning on a Josh Reddick RBI single.
The Mets came back to give him extra cushion as they added another two runs to the scoreboard to extend the lead to 4-1.
That proved to not be enough to stop Flexen from collapsing in the third inning. Carlos Correa and Reddick both drove in runs on RBI singles to let the lead slim to only 4-3. However, Cameron Maybin hit the blast that destroyed Flexen’s chances – a three-run shot to give the Astros a 6-4 lead.
George Springer added insult to injury and hit a solo-shot in the fourth that proved to be a difference maker after the Mets eventually lost 8-6.
“That’s a really good lineup,” Flexen said after the game. “Obviously, they have good hitters one through nine. They’re a good, winning team. It was pretty difficult. I thought I made a few good pitches, and tried to pitch to contact today, and got burnt.”
This outing, and many others so far in his career, just go to show that Flexen isn’t ready to pitch in the Majors. He currently has a 7.85 ERA, which as bad as the Mets pitching staff has been, actually ranks as the worst in the current rotation alignment with Tommy Milone being sent to the bullpen.
He also has a 2.07 WHIP and .333 AVG against him. Both those numbers are symptoms of a pitcher who lacks control and is struggling with location, which is mostly developed in the minor leagues. He was rushed to the Major Leagues from Double-A, but the best thing for him is probably to spend some time in Triple-A to further refine his command.