And yet, for a second night in a row, the game was here for the end of the innings and the Mets could not deliver. This time, they left the bases loaded in the eighth inning losing 4-2 to the Red Sox at Citi Field.
“The big hit wasn’t there, the execution,” said Michael Conforto.
After pushing reliever Matthew Barnes on his 37th pitch of the inning, Andres Gimenez hit a bouncer at first base for the final in eighth, spoiling the Mets’ chance for a comeback in a one-inning game. Yoenis Cespedes had stepped on the eighth pitch of his at-bat from Barnes to charge the goals in an inning. Pete Alonso was tackled and JD Davis made a single.
Conforto failed to deliver in a major spot for a second night in a row. Conforto pulled out against Barnes with two runners on goal after the right-hander fell 3-1 behind in the scoring. Conforto struck against Brandon Workman with the bases loaded in the ninth Wednesday, contributing to the Mets’ 6-5 loss.
“I’m definitely frustrated with these bats,” Conforto said. “It’s something that we kind of insisted on, the situation, the work done and two nights in a row, I couldn’t do it.
The Red Sox pitchers worked backwards against Conforto in both cases, falling behind in the scoring and then throwing shots out of speed.
“It’s just a little anxiety [by Conforto], expanding, trying to do too much, ”said director Luis Rojas. “And move away from that approach that led him to this count.
“He goes after a certain ground because he follows [pitch] sequences. He kind of had an idea of what they were doing with him, but he’s developing that land too.
With two strikeouts in the eighth, Rojas admitted he was considering using Dominic Smith to pinch Gimenez, but stayed with the rookie based on his two hits the night before.
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Adding only to Thursday’s misery, Edwin Diaz allowed a run in ninth on two steps, a single hitter and slap, starting with bases loaded and one out. It was the last flop for Diaz, who missed the stoppage in Saturday’s loss to the Braves by handing Marcell Ozuna a draw with two strikeouts in the ninth. Paul Sewald helped contain Thursday’s mess by coming in to secure the final two strikeouts without another starting point.
Veteran southpaw Martin Perez, who threw a 5.12 ERA last year and has had an equally lethargic start to this year, frustrated the Mets by limiting them to two points on two hits and four walks in 5. ² / ₃ sleeves. Jeff McNeil’s two singles (one of which didn’t leave the infield) were the Mets’ only hits against Perez.
The Mets (3-4) have lost their second in a row and will play six straight road games starting Friday in Atlanta. They split four games against the Red Sox, winning both played in Boston.
In a poor performance, Steven Matz lasted 5 ¹ / ₃ innings and allowed three earned runs on eight hits with two steps and three strikeouts, starting after 104 shots.
Matz went through his first four innings, throwing 80 shots, and fell into a 3-2 hole on Christian Vazquez’s second homer, a massive two-run left field shot that continued to carry Davis’ header. The blast was Vazquez’s third in two days – he went deep against Seth Lugo a night earlier to tie the game in the seventh inning.
McNeil’s two-run single in the third inning gave the Mets their score against Perez. In the round, Wilson Ramos and Alonso each walked and Brandon Nimmo was hit with a pitch. McNeil delivered with a simple opposite pitch to the left that gave the Mets a 2-1 lead.