On his return to Citi Field, Jose Reyes tipped his helmet to a standing ovation and then silenced the crowd with his 0-4 appearances at the plate.
“They showed me a lot of love and I respect,” he said. “I didn’t know what to expect when I came here today and to see the crowd reaction like that, that was good.”
“I felt like it was my first career game in the big leagues. I’m disappointed I didn’t get any hits, either, but it is what it is. … Today was a little bit different because it was my first game back. I was a little bit extra pumped. Tomorrow, I think I’m going to be more settled down.”
Unfortunately, Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton stole his thunder, putting an end to the Mets’ five game winning streak parade with a pair of homers giving the Marlins a much-needed 5-2 win.
With the help of hitting coach Barry Bonds, the very well paid right fielder launched a 2 run shot off of Steven Matz to take the lead, then for good measure, belted a 3 run bomb off of Erik Goeddel in the 8th.
“I’m coming back,” said a smiling Stanton, who had three hits to raise his batting average to .226. “It’s a long road from here. That’s why you don’t worry about where you’re at on the season stats. Just keep plugging away.”
Matz took a scoreless effort into the seventh inning as the Mets clung onto a one run lead courtesy of Yoenis Cespedes’ solo home run off of Wei-Yin Chen in the fourth. Matz (7-4) allowed two runs on six hits and one walk, while striking out six.
Winless in his last seven starts, a change up over the plate was the 2-1 pitch that put him on the losing side of an otherwise positive outing.
“My command was great tonight,” said Matz, who is pitching through a bone spur in his pitching elbow. “It’s a good sign I’m moving in the right direction. I’m just watching the volume in between starts, managing that.”
In the bottom of the seventh, trailing 2-1, the Mets had a chance to do some damage when Cespedes drew a walk and James Loney roped a single to center. But Juan Lagares lined one right into the glove of a sliding Stanton to end the inning.
Alejandro De Aza, who narrowly escaped the chopping block to make room for Reyes, delivered a pinch-hit homer against relief pitcher Fernando Rodney in the eighth. The overlooked outfielder, who can barely be called a platoon player, got a hero’s welcome as he entered the dugout, so here’s hoping this boosts his confidence in at-bats to come.
Jacob deGrom will take the mound on Wednesday against Justin Nicolino in the rubber match that could potentially move the Mets within three games of the Nationals if Milwaukee can muster a repeat performance of Tuesday night.