The Mets continued their dreadful play with a 7-6 loss against the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night. The team got another short start from David Peterson. But batters came alive later in the game in attempt to spark a late rally.
To make matters worse, manager Buck Showalter got ejected from the game in the fifth inning with his team losing, 4-1, which served as a microcosm of frustration during the early struggles for his club this season.
Before the Reds extended the lead to 7-1, Showalter was tossed after arguing that Reds outfielder Will Myers interfered with a live ball in the infield. Reds shortstop Kevin Newman hit the ball up the middle near second base, as Myers slid with his right arm extended into the direction of Francisco Lindor. Myers’ arm obstructed the star shortstop from making a clean play, justifying Showalter’s frustration.
“It’s hard to imagine four guys not being able to see what happened,” the manager said postgame. “There’s about three ways you could get that play right. We had opportunities for it to not matter, we just didn’t pitch very well early on.”
Showalter voiced his displeasure with the umpires in an angry rant, leading to his first ejection as the Mets skipper. Myers’ obstruction took away a potential out for the Mets and led to three more runs scored.
A bright spot on another losing day for the Mets was their young catcher, Francisco Alvarez.
He got his team on the board in the third inning, while losing 3-0, with a solo home run to center field off Reds starter Luke Weaver. The catcher came into the game hitting .316 over his last eight appearances and brought that magic with him to Great American Ball Park.
The young slugger hit his second home run of the night when he took Weaver’s changeup to left center in the sixth, making the score 7-2.
“It’s what I say every day, you get a little bit better each and every day,” Alvarez said through a translator postgame about his approach at the plate. “Up until this point, I feel really good.”
The Mets had a chance to cut into the lead even more in the seventh. Pete Alonso hit his 12th homer of the season, tied for the most in the majors, to lead off the frame. With the score at 7-3, the club then loaded the bases after two walks and an infield single.
It was a perfect moment for the struggling Mark Canha, who entered the game hitting 4-for-21 with runners in scoring position, to shake the slump and spark a comeback.
Instead, the outfielder hit into a double play. Only one run scored and the frame ended after Alvarez grounded out.
Lindor’s two-run home run in the eighth was a no-doubter that brought life into the Mets dugout and shortened the deficit to two runs.
The bases were loaded again in the frame but Reds closer Alexis Diaz, Edwin Diaz’s brother, struck out Luis Guillorme to end the inning. Alexis Diaz went on to complete a four-out save.
Despite the team’s latest struggles, the Mets were in good shape to put runs on the board — and they did. Weaver came into the game with a 7.88 ERA in three starts. The Reds also entered Tuesday with a team ERA of 5.19, fourth worst in the MLB.
Weaver’s day ended after six innings, allowing four hits, four earned runs, a walk and three homers. He struck out two batters.
Peterson was put on the mound for the Mets after ace Max Scherzer was scratched hours before first pitch due to neck spasms.
Peterson struggled with command early on and was up to 63 pitches after the end of the second inning.
Reds designated hitter Tyler Stephenson got his team on the board first in the opening frame, getting an RBI single to center. In the second inning, 2021 NL Rookie of the Year Jonathan India got an RBI on a ground ball to third, extending Cincinnati’s lead to 2-0. Right after, third baseman Nick Senzel reached on an infield single that scored center fielder TJ Friedl.
Peterson saved the bullpen a bit with a 1-2-3 inning in the third. But his day ended after India made the score 4-1 after driving in another run with a double. Peterson allowed seven hits, four earned runs, two walks and struck out four in 3.1 innings of work. Nogosek came in with a runner on second and one out but got out of trouble in the fourth. Nogosek ended up giving up three earned runs in his outing.
Jeff Brigham, Adam Ottavino and Drew Smith pitched three shutout innings collectively on the night.