BALTIMORE — The Mets got a glimpse into the future Friday night in Baltimore. The Orioles had to hit the reset button in 2019 and started to stockpile players in their farm system. Now, the O’s have the best record in the AL.
Maybe it’s fitting that the same week the Mets decided to reset and load their farm system with talent they went into Baltimore. The team that developed talent won, defeating the Mets 10-3 in the first game of a three-game series at Camden Yards. It was the fourth straight loss for the Mets (50-59), who have looked lost since the Tuesday trade deadline.
“Guys are human beings,” said manager Buck Showalter, who returned to Baltimore as a manager for the first time since his Orioles tenure ended in 2018. “But we have been outplayed, I know that.”
It’s been a tough run for the Amazins’ since the club began dealing away veteran talent last week, but there were positives to take from this one.
The Mets battled back after the Orioles (68-42) took a 2-0 lead. The Mets are paying catcher James McCann $11 million to play for Baltimore and he thanked them with a two-run single off right-handed reliever John Curtiss in the fourth.
But Francisco Lindor flared one into center field in the sixth with the bases loaded and one out. It brought in two runs to tie the game and get to the Baltimore bullpen. Right-hander Dean Kremer was done after Lindor, having gone 5 1/3 innings, allowing two earned on two hits with four walks and four strikeouts.
After a solid inning by rookie left-hander Josh Walker, newly-acquired righty Phil Bickford (2-4) imploded. Walker, a longtime Mets farmhand who is trying to establish himself in the big leagues, retired the top of the order in the fifth to keep the game tied.
Bickford entered in the seventh and struck out cleanup hitter Austin Hays to get the first out. But he walked Jordan Westburg and Ryan O’Hearn hit a single deep enough to score him from first. Ramon Urias then singled to bring up McCann. The former Mets catcher hit one deep to left for a double. The Mets challenged the tag but the call was upheld. Two runs crossed and the Mets went down 5-2.
Bickford was replaced by Reed Garrett, who let McCann steal third. He walked the next hitter and Adley Rutschman drove in McCann with a fly ball. McCann would go on to end the day with five RBI. It was only the second time in his career he’s driven in five.
“We have to play better and some people that are given opportunities have to take advantage of them,” Showalter said. “Guys like Lindor are doing what they can do. We tie that game up in the sixth there. Got some pitching issues.”
Bickford was tagged for four earned runs. Garrett would eventually be charged with four in the seventh. The Mets had no choice but to empty the bullpen.
“We had a couple double plays that we weren’t able to turn. Testament to them and their foot speed,” Showalter said. “We’re just not pitching very well and not scoring any runs. It’s a bad combination.”
David Peterson tossed three scoreless to start but since he’s been pitching out of the bullpen for the last month he wasn’t stretched out enough to go any deeper. Peterson was on a 60-pitch count and he threw 52.
“It felt good to start again but it was kind of annoying to be on a pitch count,” Peterson said. “But there’s nothing you can do, it’s just part of the process of building back up. It just kind of stinks when you see that many guys coming out of the bullpen, in the first game of a series especially. But I felt good with all of my stuff and I’m looking forward to getting more pitches next time and building on it.”
Source: Berkshire mont