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Megill's strong return marred by fielding lapse and quiet Mets bats

Guardians 3 Mets 1 (Progressive Field, Cleveland, OH)

Mets record: 21-26

Mets streak: Lost 1

WP - Ben Lively (3-2)

LP - Tylor Megill (0-2)

SV - Emmanuel Clase (14)

Seat on the Korner: Ben Lively

We select the star of the game and virtually invite him to a Seat on the Korner, just as Ralph Kiner used to do for his studio postgame show on WOR-channel 9 broadcasts in the early decades of the Mets.

Cleveland starter Ben Lively was masterful in silencing the Met's bats, scattering six hits over five and two-thirds innings and striking out seven. The only blemish was a home run by, of all people, Tomas Nido. Lively was pulled after 88 pitches, seemingly still in control. Lively's strong performance in quieting a Mets lineup that had scored 16 runs in two previous games (admittedly against much weaker Marlins pitching) ensured that the game was essentially over after the bottom of the first.

Need to Know

  • J.D. Martinez, with a second-inning double, ran his hitting streak to five games. Over his career, Martinez has 23 home runs in 81 career games against the Cleveland squad, the second most among active players, and his .588 slugging percentage is the third highest.

  • Home plate umpire Manny Gonzalez, who had a somewhat questionable strike zone all game, ejected Starling Marte at the end of the fourth inning, ostensibly for arguing balls and strikes. The ejection seemed somewhat odd, as it came while Marte was heading out to his position in right field, although Marte did slam his bat down after leaving the plate.

  • Encouraging news about another Mets starter on the IL. No, not Kodai Senga, about whom there was less than encouraging news. David Peterson made a rehab start for Syracuse, his fifth. Over those five appearances, he is 2-0 with a 0.46 ERA and 29 strikeouts over 19.2 innings.

  • To make room for Tylor Megill on the roster, the Mets optioned Grant Hartwig to Syracuse.

  • In other roster moves, the Mets released Joey Wendle (winner of this year's Bill Pecota Award -- the player deescribed as the "final piece of the puzzle" for the 1992 Mets; we know how that turned out). They also traded recently DFA'd Yohan Ramirez to the Dodgers for cash.

  • Carlos Carrasco, who returned to Cleveland after three years with the Mets, faces his former teammates -- including trademate Francisco Lindor -- in Tuesday's contest. Scheduled to start for the Mets is Adrian Houser, about whom we will not say anything.

Turning Point

Tylor Megill appeared to be cruising in the first, quickly retiring the first two batters before giving up a single to Jose Ramirez that went between Pete Alonso, who broke for first instead of the ball, and JeffMcNeil, who couldn't reach it. Josh Naylor then singled to left. Brandon Nimmo misplayed the ball, letting it go under his glove, and Harrison Bader, backing up the play, threw the ball back aimlessly. When he play was over, Ramirez was on third, Naylor was on second, and both scored on a single by hot hitting David Fry (1.010 OPS). As Warner Wolf used to say, you could turn your set off there.


Three Keys

Megill's strong outing

After that rough first, which he might have escaped from were it not for the Nimmo and Bader misplays, Tylor Megill settled down and pitched a strong five innings. He threw 86 pitches, 53 for strikes, struck out seven and gave up four hits -- only one after the first. An encouraging return from the IL.

Nido and Nada

The Mets' only run came on a Tomas Nido homer in the third. But that display of power amid a sea of batting futility did not stop mamager Carlos Mendoza from playing the averages and sending D.J. Stewart to pinch hit for Nido in the seventh. Stewart popped out to third.

Effective Bullpen

Not to be overlooked are some strong performances by Josh Walker and Jose Lopez, who turned in three hitless, shutout innings in relief of Megill, With a good deal of the bullpen exhausted after the Marlins series (especially Reed Garret and Sean Reid-Foley) and Edwin Diaz assumedly still in a funk, Walker and Lopez' outings were much welcomed.

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