The Mets hit into five double plays as a team and a questionable pitching decision helped lead to 3-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night.
Here are some key takeaways ….
1. After taking important steps forward in his recent starts, Taijuan Walker got off to an outstanding start on Wednesday, needing just 28 pitches to get through three perfect innings.
After Javier Baez made an incredible sliding catch for the second out in the fourth, Kris Bryant broke up Walker’s hitless start by demolishing a solo home run off the facing of the upper deck in left, making it a 1-0 Giants’ lead.
Walker pitched into the seventh inning, and after allowing a runner to reach on an error and another on a bloop single, Luis Rojas made a curious decision to lift Walker from the game after just 74 pitches and two hits allowed. Walker was visibly unhappy as he made his way into the dugout and down the tunnel.
On Aaron Loup‘s first pitch, Brandon Crawford drilled a two-run double to right, scoring two runs and allowing the Giants to re-take the lead. Walker was charged with three runs (two earned) on two hits in 6.0-plus innings. He struck out three and walked only one.
2. The double play ball killed the Mets in the early innings. In the second, Jonathan Villar smoked a liner to center field, but it was tracked down by Mike Yastrzemski who doubled off Baez at second to kill the momentum of a two-on, no-out situation. After Pete Alonso (who earlier extended his hitting streak to a career-high 10 games) rolled into a double play to end the third, Baez lined out to Bryant at third, and Michael Conforto was doubled off of first base to end the fourth.
3. The Mets finally broke onto the scoreboard in the fifth. Walks from Villar and Brandon Nimmo sandwiched Walker’s second single of the game, loading the bases with two outs. Giants manager Gabe Kapler allowed Johnny Cueto to stay in the game to face Alonso with the bases loaded, and it looked like the decision paid off as Alonso rolled one right to Bryant at third. But Bryant gifted the Mets a run with a throw to first that was way off target, allowing Villar to score and tie the game.
The home team had a chance to do more damage with the bases still loaded, but Jeff McNeil popped up on the first pitch he saw from Jose Alvarez.
4. Dom Smith entered the game on an 0-for-17 cold streak, but his second hit of the game was a huge one, as he doubled into the right field corner off Tony Watson to score Conforto and give the Mets the 2-1 lead. Later in the inning, Patrick Mazeika hit into the Mets’ fourth double play of the night.
5. Francisco Lindor did not get the start after making his return from the IL on Tuesday, but he appeared as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the seventh, striking out on three pitches against Dominic Leone. Later in the inning, Alonso grounding into the Mets’ fifth double play of the game.
6. In what was a bizarre night overall, the bottom of the ninth was no exception. After a Villar single, pinch-hitter Brandon Drury hit an easy fly ball to left, but Austin Slater and Alex Dickerson‘s gloves collided and the ball dropped in to put the tying and go-ahead runs on base. It was ultimately for naught, as Lindor popped out to first, and after loading the bases, Alonso flared a pop-up to second.
The Mets and Giants wrap up their three-game series on Thursday night at 7:10 p.m. on SNY.
Carlos Carrasco will face lefty Alex Wood.