Updated: Sep 23
Reds 3 Mets 2 (Citi Field, Flushing, NY)
Mets record: 68-80
Mets streak: Lost 2
WP - Daniel Duarte (3-0)
LP - Tylor Megill (8-8)
SV - Derek Law (2)
Seat on the Korner:
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.
Christian Encarnacion-Strand went 2-for-3 with the two run HR that gave the Reds the lead for good in the 4th as the Reds won the game and the season series from the Mets for the first time since 2013.
Need to Know
The Reds bullpen did the heavy lifting tonight. After Andrew Abbott left after three and 2/3's, Dniel Duarte, Sam Moll and Fernando Cruz held the Mets hitless through four and a third innings.
Derek Law pitched the 9th, gave up a couple of hits, but held on for his first save since April 3rd with Alexis Diaz unavailable after his five out save last night.
Ronny Mauricio went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Tylor Megill took a step forward with 5 and 2/3's innings where he got out of a few jams and limited the damage. But he gave up nine hits and walked two in his outing.
With the Mets up 1-0 in the 2nd, Francisco Alvarez tried to pick off T.J. Friedl at third base as Christian Encarnacion-Strand was stealing second. With Ronny Mauricio at third base, this happened:
It's easy to blame Mauricio for covering late, but it seemed that Alvarez might have thrown that ball early, or at the very least understand that it's a throw that's tough to make if he's not working with a very experienced third baseman. In either event, it's a growing pain.
Tylor Megill has only lasted six innings once in eight starts since coming back from the minor leagues in August. Yes, the Mets have been extra careful with him. But his high pitch counts have been getting him in trouble.
102 in 4 nd 2/3
84 in 5 and 1/3
95 in 5
95 in 4 and 2/3
96 in 6
85 in 5 and 1/3
93 in 5
Then tonight, he almost got to six, but a single by Elly De La Cruz with two outs in the 6th knocked him out. In his 5 and 2/3's tonight, he threw 97 pitches. The weird part is that Megill didn't have his first strikeout tonight until he K'd Joey Votto to lead off the 6th, and finished with two. In 41 and 2/3's innings since coming back, Megill only has 34 strikeouts. That's a low number for someone who puts up high pitch counts.
All credit to Megill for getting out of most of the jams he put himself in, and to get his ERA under five. He has certainly made strides since the start of the season, and tonight was a step forward. But he has also shown that he still has a long way to go.
Despite what happened in the 2nd inning, Mauricio seems to be adapting well to third base, making this play in the 7th:
But the Reds trumped that play with two spectacular plays in the first two pitches of the bottom of the inning:
It's impossible to know just what would have happened if Spencer Steer and Jonathan India don't make those plays, but Francisco Lindor, Mauricio, and Jeff McNeil hitting with two runners on, it might have been a different story.
The final at-bat ...
Derek Law vs. Pete Alonso to end the game was high drama. Law, who gave up singles to Daniel Vogelbach and Francisco Alvarez, had gotten off to a quick 0-2 start on Alonso. When Alonso faced Hunter Greene on Friday, Greene gave him a 1-1 fastball down the middle that he crushed. It was terrible location, and it was imperitave that Law not repeat that mistake.
Third pitch was a fastball that tied up Alonso. He coudln't do anything with it. Fourth pitch was in the same spot and Alonso fouled it off. Fifth pitch was a waste pitch, and Alonso barely got wood on the cutter before he grounded out on pitch 7 which was definitely not middle middle. Were they the best pitches? Maybe not. But Law's location was key in getting Alonso to ground out to end the game as I think everyone was sure Alonso was ready to launch a mistake to the moon.