After scoring 19 runs over the first two games of the series, the New York Mets offense was stifled by San Diego Padres starter, Eric Stults, on Thursday afternoon. Stultz and five Padre relievers limited the Mets to one run on five hits as NY failed to complete the three-game sweep of San Diego.
Dillon Gee made his first start in nine months since surgery on his right shoulder to replace a damaged artery on July 13, 2012 and continued New York’s stretch of strong pitching performances to start the season. The right-hander allowed just one run on three hits over 6 1/3 innings, but his efforts were rewarded with a loss.
Thus far, Mets starters have combined to post a 1.35 ERA (3 ER/20 IP) with 18 strikeouts in the club’s first three contests.
GEE-WHIZ: After a lead-off walk to open the game, Gee retired the next ten batters he faced before Mark Kotsay dropped a bloop single into shallow left field, just past the outstretched hand of Ruben Tejada. Kotsay would later score the games first run on an RBI double off the bat of Padres rookie, Jedd Gyorko (the first of his career). Gee managed to limit the Padres to only one run in the frame, retiring the next two batters he faced stranding two men on base. Following the game, Mets manager Terry Collins spoke to reporters about his starter:
“We were a little concerned about the release point and lack of command that he had early in camp, but his last two outings were good. Today, he pitched very well. He kept us in the ballgame. He gave us a chance. I hope he puts the health issues behind him, because we know his stuff is good enough. He showed today that when you make pitches you’re going to get easy outs.”
SWISS CHEESE: The Mets 3-4-5-6 hitters (David Wright, Ike Davis, Marlon Byrd, Lucas Duda) combined to go 0-for-12 with ten strike outs and a double play on Thursday afternoon. New York struck out 14 times during the series finale after striking out just 14 times in their first two contests.
MISSED OPPORTUNITY: After a Justin Turner double and a David Wright walk, Ike Davis grounded into an inning ending double play in the third. Then again in sixth, the New York offense failed to put a run on the board. With two on and one-out, Padres reliever Brad Bach struck out Marlon Byrd on three pitches and left-handed reliever Joe Thatcher caught Lucas Duda looking at a called strike three to end the New York threat.
The Mets were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position during Thursday’s matinee after going 10-for-19 (.526) in those situations during the series first two games. In addition, New York was 0-for-10 with runners on base during the lose.
REDTURN: Justin Turner, who started in place of Daniel Murphy, collected three hits — two singles and a double — in four at-bats. I like Turner as the clubs utility infielder; with the ability to spell both Murphy and Wright as well as Ike Davis at first.
BIG BUCK: John Buck drove in the clubs lone run with a solo blast in the bottom half of the ninth. The home run was Bucks second of the season. The veteran catcher is now 6-for-12 with two home runs and five runs batted in.
BRING ON THE FISH: The Mets will start a three-game weekend series with the Miami Marlins on Friday night, sending Jeremy Hefner to the mound to oppose Alex Sanabia.