Mets get swept out of Cleveland by Guardians – but beat up dugout items along the way

Mets pitcher Jose Quintana throwing
New York Mets starting pitcher Jose Quintana delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Guardians, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Dermer)

Coolers and electronics are apparently no match for the Mets bullpen — but the Cleveland Guardians were, as they swept the Amazin’s in the finale of a three-game set, 6-3, on Wednesday afternoon at Progressive Field.

After giving up back-to-back RBI doubles in the 8th inning to give the Guardians a three-run edge, Mets reliever Adam Ottavino took out his frustration on an iPad, slamming it down in the Mets dugout in disgust.

He became the second Mets reliever in as many days to go off on dugout items. Tuesday night, Jake Diekman went to town on a cooler after giving up a home run in his second-straight appearance.

Both tantrums seemed to personify the team’s deteriorating morale over their ongoing swoon — which can seemingly be traced back to April 21, when the club announced that slugging catcher Francisco Alvarez would miss six to eight weeks with a torn left thumb tendon.

At the time, the Mets were 12-8, and after a slow start in which they lost their first five games, were playing their best baseball of the season. But since Alvarez went down, the Mets have fallen apart — going 9-19 since April 21, and plummeting quickly out of the National League Eastern Division race. Following Wednesday’s loss, they’re now 7 games under .500, and 14 games behind the first-place Philadelphia Phillies.

Prior to the game, Mets manager Carlos Mendoza offered a glimmer of hope that Alvarez’s return might be near — as he was cleared to take batting practice at Citi Field this weekend. He’s now on track to return by mid- to late-June.

Mets Pete Alonso trots after home run
New York Mets’ Pete Alonso, right, runs the bases after hitting a solo home run off Cleveland Guardians starting pitcher Triston McKenzie during the first inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Dermer)

On the diamond Wednesday, the lone Mets bright spots, ironically, were found at the plate among three struggling hitters in Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil and Harrison Bader — each of whom hit solo shots in the first, second and fourth innings, respectively, off of Cleveland right-hander Triston McKenzie.

Left-handed starter Jose Quintana cruised along over the first five innings, but got in trouble in the sixth. After putting two Guardians on base, Andrés Giménez — traded by the Mets to the Guardians in the Francisco Lindor deal back in 2021 — launched three-run, game-tying homer in the sixth.

Quintana departed for normally reliable Mets reliever Reed Garrett, but he gave up the go-ahead run to rookie Guardian Johnathan Rodriguez to snap the tie and put the Guardians in the lead for good. 

The Mets will return home Friday night at Citi Field to begin a 10-game homestand, and a three-game set with the San Francisco Giants. Rookie starter Christian Scott is scheduled to get the start.