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Mets drop second straight after Astros pull out rollercoaster victory

HOUSTON — Some might call Wednesday’s game between the Mets and the Houston Astros an adventure. Some might call it ugly. Really, there is no shortage of adjectives when trying to describe the Mets’ 10-8 loss to the defending World Series champs at Minute Maid Park.

The Mets (34-40) dropped the series, 2-1, and continued to sink deeper into this June hole they have dug themselves into (5-13 this month). It was the eighth time in the last 15 games they have scored at least six runs and lost.

“Eight runs, you like your chances,” said manager Buck Showalter.

Both teams had plenty of chances, but the fact that the pitching hasn’t been able to preserve leads illustrates a bigger picture.

“We faced a really good starter today and got him out of there,” Showalter said. “We needed to have better pitching today to be able to take advantage of that. We didn’t get it.”

Things went downhill right from the start. It took nearly an hour to play two calamitous innings. Tylor Megill and Christian Javier couldn’t seem to find the strike zone. They both exited after only 2 1/3 innings with the game tied at 4-4.

It was yet another brutal start for Megill, who has lost confidence this season and can’t seem to figure out how to command his fastball. The big righty now has a 5.17 ERA and shouldered much of the blame for this loss.

“It’s more so the embarrassing part for me,” Megill said. “Our offense is going out there and putting up great at-bats and giving me run support. The way [Houston’s] pitching happened to go, it’s one of those things where you want to go out there and go the distance. It’s not just for myself, it’s for the bullpen and the whole team. That’s probably the frustrating part for me is that I’m not helping the team out and I’m not doing my job.”

The Astros’ big hit came from Yainer Diaz in the bottom of the fourth, who teed off on the first pitch he saw from Dominic Leone (1-3) — a middle-in fastball — and put it into the Crawford boxes to give Houston a 9-6 lead.

It was the second homer off Leone in the game. The first one was to Chas McCormick in the bottom of the third and it broke the 4-4 tie.

An insurance run in the seventh helped the Astros keep the Mets at bay, but it didn’t really matter. The Mets failed to score again after Pete Alonso’s two-run homer in the sixth.

Facing former Mets’ right-hander Rafael Montero, Alonso crushed a 2-0 sinker 438 feet to extend his league lead to 23 home runs on the season. It brought the Mets back to within one, 9-8, but with the state of the pitching, they needed more than just those last two runs.

“Putting up eight runs against that pitching staff over there, you can tell we’re in a pretty good place as an offense,” Alonso said. “We’re putting up runs, but the value of a singular run, it’s wild. It’s indescribable because you never know how big that extra one run will be.”

Each game is a battle for the Mets right now, and this one was no different. The team is happy with the way they continued to fight, but they couldn’t overcome their own mistakes.

The Mets loaded the bases multiple times in the first two innings and only capitalized once in that span. The Astros took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, then gave it up in the top of the second only to load the bases against Megill and leave them loaded in the bottom of the inning. There was a runner’s lane violation by Alonso in the first that was part of a kind-sorta double play. The Mets tied it at 6-6 in the top of the fourth when Daniel Vogelbach (3-for-5, three RBI, one double) sent a bases-loaded single through the infield gap to score two.

Megill finished with five runs (four earned) on four hits with four walks. He struck out only two. The Mets may not have any other choice but to demote him to Triple-A Syracuse. No one seems to have any answers for why the pitching staff has crumbled this season.

No one seems to have any answers for why the Mets have already lost 40 games this season, a number they didn’t get to until August last season. It’s surprising for all involved, though the team insists that it’s going to change.

“Baseball is hard. It will try all it can to make you want to quit and make you want to give in. It’s why not everybody can do it,” Vogelbach said. “But if I know these people and these guys in this clubhouse, we’re not going to be those people. We’re going to keep going, we’re going to stick together and we’re going to get out of it. We’re going to go on a winning streak. I don’t know when that is. I wish I could tell you when, but I truly believe it’s going to happen and we’re going to get right back to where everybody in here believes we should be.”

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Source: Berkshire mont

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