The New York Mets (59-59) fell to the Arizona Diamondbacks (49-69) by a score of 10-6 on Monday night in Phoenix. The loss drops the Mets to 3 games back of both the St Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins in the NL Wild Card Race (the Mets also trail the Pirates by 2.5 games).
Bartolo Colon struggled on the hill for the Mets, allowing 5 runs (2 earned) on 9 (hard) hits and 2 walks, striking out just 1 in 4 innings. Bart did draw his first career walk, stripping him of his MLB record for most career at-bats without a walk.
The Mets fell behind early and trailed the entire game, which has happened far too many times this season. Jose Reyes walked to lead off the game, but with Reyes on the move to second, Curtis Granderson‘s rocket down the line found the glove of Paul Goldschmidt for what became an easy double-play. In the bottom of the first, TJ Rivera made an error to start the frame and the Diamondbacks strung together 4 hits to plate 3 runs, giving them a lead they would never relinquish.
The Mets got a pair of singles to lead off the top of the second, but a double-play killed the rally before it got going, helping Robbie Ray through the inning. New York did get on the board in the top of the third when Travis d’Arnaud singled, Colon reached first when a sacrifice bunt turned into a throwing error, and Reyes singled TDA home, but the Mets could not capitalize further, with Colon being stuck on third on a fairly deep Jay Bruce fly ball that would have scored any other player in the MLB.
The Diamondbacks got the run right back in the bottom of the third to make it 4-2, and after Colon’s first-ever walk set up another RBI single from Reyes, Arizona again erased the Mets’ progress with a run in the bottom of the fourth. Erik Goeddel replaced Colon in the fifth and allowed a pair of RBI doubles that put the hosts up 7-1, and the Snakes later stretched that to 8-2 with a run against Seth Lugo.
The Mets got a little something going in the top of the 7th with singles from Granderson and Neil Walker and walks from Bruce and Wilmer Flores forced in a run and set up a bases-loaded situation with no outs and the Mets trailing 8-3, but RBI sacrifice flies from TJ Rivera and Ty Kelly were of little use this late in the game. Hansel Robles gave up a 2-run shot to Yasmany Tomas in the bottom of the 8th to make it 10-5, and Neil Walker’s solo blast leading off the top of the 9th was just a speed bump for Arizona as they closed out their 4th victory against the Mets in as many tries, 10-6.
Colon just didn’t have anything in this game, simple as that. The D-backs hit him, and they hit him hard. Arizona remains the only MLB team that Colon has never beaten.
The Mets hit some balls well against Robbie Ray, but had some rotten luck, with everything finding a glove or slicing just foul. As usual, the Mets also squandered a couple big chances with runners in scoring position, and while 6 runs on 12 hits will usually be enough with our pitching staff, it wasn’t on this day.
Wellington Castillo killed the Mets tonight with 4 hits, 2 runs scored and 2 RBI. This was his first game back from the paternity list, which means his newborn child appears to be a good luck charm and also means that I forgot to put him back in my fantasy baseball lineup. Rats. Paul Goldschmidt also killed us tonight with 3 well-struck hits (including a triple and a double), but he kills everybody.
Travis d’Arnaud had a terrific game for the Mets with 3 hits and is suddenly red-hot. Neil Walker continued to be red-hot with 3 hits of his own including the solo home run in the final inning.
It’s one thing to lose games, but it’s downright deflating to give up crooked numbers in the first inning and play a feeble game of catch-up the rest of the way. It’s hard to watch, and it’s happened twice in the last four games and several times this season. When the Mets are doing well, they’re usually the ones striking in the first inning or two. Right now, they’re letting other teams set the tone. That has to change.
The Mets are now 0-4 against the Diamondbacks. They’re 3 games out of the playoffs, so that’s the difference right there. You have to beat the bad teams. The Mets have gotten beat over and over against by this bad team, and that has to change starting Tuesday night.