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Seth Lugo implosion, silent bats doom Mets in loss to Diamondbacks

Mets training took up most of Saturday afternoon, and the bullpen was called early. It turned out to be a bad combination one day after a blistering rout in their home opener.

Without much offense to speak of and with Seth Lugo implosing in the seventh inning, the Mets fell to the Diamondbacks, 3-2, at Citi Field in front of 37,935 on a windy afternoon.

The Mets roster had been among the best in baseball so far this season, but had just five hits against Zac Gallen and five relievers and didn’t advance a runner past first base until at Starling Marte’s two-run homer in the eighth. Unlike Friday, when the Mets scored 10 runs and hit four homers, they clearly missed outfielders Brandon Nimmo and Mark Canha, who are on the COVID-19 injured list, wasting another solid outing from Carlos Carrasco.

The bullpen, meanwhile, continued to be a concern, especially Lugo, who was supposed to be one of the most reliable arms in the group. He has now been scored for four earned runs on five hits in 4 ¹/₃ innings. On Saturday, his velocity was down and his command missed.

Seth Lugo allowed a two-run homer in the Mets’ 3-2 loss to the Diamondbacks on Saturday.
Noah K. Murray

Sergio Alcantara carried Lugo deep with one out in the seventh inning, activating a 2-0 fastball down the middle and sending it over the fence into right center field. The indisputable, Alcantara’s second hit of the year, tackled the first runs of the afternoon. Three batters later, Ketel Marte made it a three-run game with a brace down the right-field line that tackled Daulton Varsho, who had walked ahead of him.

Marte put the Mets on the board at eighth with his second home run in as many days, a 419-foot blast off Ian Kennedy that cut the three-run deficit to one and woke the sleeping crowd. But after Francisco Lindor walked, Pete Alonso rebounded in a late-inning double play and the Mets went down in order in ninth.

Carrasco went through the first three innings, needing just 40 pitches and facing just one over the minimum. His last two runs, by comparison, have been hard work.

Seth Lugo implosion, silent bats doom Mets in loss to Diamondbacks
Carlos Carrasco
Noah K. Murray

In the fourth inning, the Diamondbacks’ first two batters reached , putting Carrasco in a second and third no-out situation. But the right-hander froze Christian Walker with a fastball, pushed Pavin Smith overreach on a substitution and retired Carson Kelly on a left line to keep the bases loaded.

In the fifth, Varsho made an offer to tackle the game’s first inning, but Jeff McNeil turned it down, making a bounding grab against the left field fence. Carrasco then recorded his eighth strikeout, stoking Marte with a change, to leave Yonny Hernandez at second base and complete his final inning of work. He extended his scoreless streak to 9 ²/₃ innings and lowered the Mets’ starting ERA to 1.17.