Mets 7, Diamondbacks 6
PHOENIX, June 2 — If there were a song title to describe the play of the Arizona Diamondbacks in recent weeks — but especially Wednesday afternoon — it would be the 1999 hit “My Own Worst Enemy” by Lit. They fell behind, 4–0, in the top of the first. A five-run bottom of the first gave them the lead, but it also went to waste. A costly error and passed ball in the top of the ninth — coupled with 16 New York hits — handed the New York Mets a gift victory over the Diamondbacks, 7–6.
A Wild First Inning
Diamondbacks starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner struggled from the get-go. Jonathan Villar drove the third pitch of the game off the wall in left for a long single. Villar hit it so hard that it rebounded to Tim Locastro before he even reached first. After Francisco Lindor also singled, catcher James McCann jacked a three-run homer to left, making it 3–0 Mets with nobody out. The next three hitters also singled, loading the bases for Brandon Drury. He grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, giving the Mets their fourth run at the cost of two outs. That brought up second baseman Jose Peraza, who retired the side with a grounder to third.
The Diamondbacks responded to Bumgarner’s rough first inning by batting around. Carson Kelly started the onslaught against David Peterson with a walk and scored on a follow-up home run by Ketel Marte. After Eduardo Escobar popped to second, Christian Walker singled. Walks by Pavin Smith and Nick Ahmed loaded the bases for Ildemaro Vargas, whom the Diamondbacks reacquired earlier in the day in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates. A single drove in both Walker and Smith, tying the game.
Out came the hook from Mets manager Luis Rojas. In came Robert Gsellman to face Tim Locastro, who popped to first. Bumgarner, up next, gave himself a 5–4 lead with an RBI single to left. Kelly, batting for the second time in the inning, ended the inning by grounding into a 6–4 force play.
Mets and Diamondbacks Trade Runs, but Costly Mistakes Write the Ending
Villar led off the second with a double and later scored on a single by McCann. Bumgarner finished the inning without allowing any more runs, but his afternoon ended after that inning. Manager Torey Lovullo revealed after the game that Bumgarner had “discomfort” in his left shoulder, and that Bumgarner will have an MRI Thursday. There is some concern, despite Lovullo’s generally optimistic demeanor. “I want to believe everything’s going to be okay, but you never know until that MRI comes back,” he said.
The Mets regained the lead in the fifth on singles by Kevin Pillar, Dominic Smith, and Drury, with Drury’s driving in Pillar. In the bottom of the sixth, a leadoff double by Pavin Smith — which extended his hitting streak to 13 games — and single by Nick Ahmed, up next, put runners on first and second for Vargas. He surprised the Mets with a bunt between the mound and third base, reaching first without a throw for an RBI single. Tim Locastro followed with another bunt attempt. Seth Lugo came off the mound to make a sliding catch of the sinking liner and doubled Ahmed off of second. A swinging strikeout by Josh Reddick ended the inning with a whimper.
The teams traded zeroes until the top of the ninth, when miscues cost the home nine. Francisco Lindor rocketed a leadoff single to center off Joakim Soria and advanced to second on a fielding error by Ketel Marte. With one out, a passed ball advanced Lindor to third. He scored on a single by Pete Alonso, making the score 7–6 in favor of the Mets. Edwin Diaz pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for the Mets to cement the victory.
The error and passed ball in the ninth inning, along with a balk that ultimately didn’t cost the Diamondbacks, were “not the type of baseball we play here” and “not winning moments,” according to Lovullo. He was clearly not pleased as he continued, “There are 12 critical moments in a baseball game, on average. If you execute it the right way, you’re going to win those moments and come out on the positive side. We are not winning those inches, moments, and critical situations.”
Lovullo, one who typically has a calm, mild demeanor, grew sharper with his words and his tone of voice. “Those are little things that bug me. They bug the eff out of me. We have got to tighten that up. That is simple communication that we spend HOURS on in spring training. Then we continue to refine that and keep pressing forward through the course of the season.” He ended the press conference abruptly with, “We’ve got to do better.”
Mets reliever Miguel Castro (2–1) earned the win, while Diamondbacks reliever Joakim Soria (0–1) took a tough loss despite not allowing an earned run. Diaz notched his 10th save of the season with his scoreless ninth.
The Mets (27–21) head to San Diego for a four-gamer with the Padres (34–23) that runs from Thursday to Sunday. Mets righty Taijuan Walker (4–1, 1.84 ERA) will toe the rubber Thursday night, facing Yu Darvish (5–1, 2.16 ERA). The Diamondbacks open a four-gamer in Milwaukee on Thursday against the Brewers (29–26). Jon Duplantier (0–0, 7.71 ERA) will face Brewers lefty Brett Anderson (2–3, 4.18 ERA).
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Madison Bumgarner, Jonathan Villar, Tim Locastro, Francisco Lindor, James McCann, Brandon Drury, Jose Peraza, Carson Kelly, David Peterson, Ketel Marte, Eduardo Escobar, Christian Walker, Pavin Smith, Nick Ahmed, Ildemaro Vargas, Luis Rojas, Robert Gsellman, Torey Lovullo, Kevin Pillar, Dominic Smith, Seth Lugo, Josh Reddick, Joakim Soria, Pete Alonso, Edwin Diaz, Miguel Castro, Taijuan Walker, Yu Darvish, Jon Duplantier, Brett Anderson