Mets drop rubber match to Astros 10-8, fall six games below .500

The Astros beat the Mets on Wednesday
Houston Astros’ Yainer Diaz (21) celebrates with Alex Bregman (2) after they both scored on Diaz’s home run against the New York Mets during the fourth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 21, 2023, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

The Astros beat the Mets 10-8 on Wednesday in the rubber match of their series, dropping New York to a disappointing 34-40 on the season. 

The game was a wild one from the start with the Mets loading the bases with one out in the first inning. Pete Alonso hit a chopper back to Astros’ starting pitcher Cristian Javier, who threw home to get the force out, but then catcher Martin Maldonado’s throw to first went into right field, allowing the Mets to score a run. 

Only, it didn’t because the home plate umpire controversially ruled that Alonso ran out of the basepath, ruling him out and the inning over with the Mets being kept off of the scoreboard. 

The sloppiness continued with the Astros scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning, aided by two wild pitches from starter Tylor Megill and a catcher’s interference on Mets’ catcher Omar Narvaez. 

Neither team was immune from the sloppy nature of the game. Nowhere was that better exemplified than in the poor performance from both starting pitchers, neither of whom was able to get more than seven total outs. 

Cristian Javier was pulled in the third inning after giving up an RBI double to Daniel Vogelbach. Javier allowed four earned runs on four hits with five walks and just one strikeout in 2.1 innings. 

Megill was just as bad, allowing four earned runs of his own on four hits and four walks with two strikeouts. He was pulled after giving up a game-tying two-run single to Corey Julks in the third inning.

Mets reliever Dominic Leon immediately gave up a two-run home run to Chas McCormick to give Houston a 6-4 lead. Leone would allow four runs on four hits in just 1.1 innings as Houston built a lead it would never relinquish. 

Tylor Megill Mets
New York Mets starting pitcher Tylor Megill throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Wednesday, June 21, 2023, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

The poor performance on the mound continued a month of struggles for the Mets’ pitching staff. 

Coming into the game, the Mets starters had combined for an ERA of 5.00 in the month of June, which was 20th in baseball. The bullpen was 16th with a 4.07 ERA in June and is 20th in baseball on the season with a 4.16 ERA.  

Meanwhile, the New York offense scored 21 runs in three games against Houston and came away with just one win. 

Vogelbach, who was used as a scapegoat early on when the Mets’ offense wasn’t hitting, led the team with three hits, going 3-for-5 on the day with three RBI. In his five games since returning from a week-long mental health break, he’s 7-for-16 with two home runs and seven RBI.

The Mets also got a home run from Pete Alonso, his NL-leading 23rd on the season. However, it was Alonso’s only hit on the evening as the first baseman went 1-for-5 with two strikeouts. His second strikeout came in the eighth inning with Francisco Lindor on second base, nobody out, and the Mets down 10-8. 

They would fail to knock Lindor in during that inning, which amounted to their last real threat against the Astros. Ryan Pressly struck out Brett Baty and then pinch-hitter Francisco Alvarez to end the game and secure his 14th save of the season for Houston, which is 41-34 and still five games back of Texas in the AL West. 

The Mets are off on Thursday before traveling to Philadelphia to begin a three-game series with the Phillies, who are now 4.5 games ahead of New York in the NL East standings. 

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Pete Alonso Mets
New York Mets’ Pete Alonso hits a two-run home run against the Houston Astros during the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 21, 2023, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)