New York-There is an adage in baseball that it’s hard to sweep doubleheaders. The New York Mets (45-38) have gotten used to that mantra, having won the first game of their last four doubleheaders before dropping the nightcap. That trend continued today for the Mets, who fell to the Milwaukee Brewers (52-36) 5-0 to split the twin bill.
Robert Stock drew the start for the Mets and pitched fairly well aside from one big mistake in the second inning. Brewers’ catcher Manny Pina launched a two-run home run (5) off Stock (L, 0-2) to give Milwaukee a 2-0 lead. That would be the only runs Stock allowed on the day as he gave the Mets four innings of two-run ball, allowing four hits and walking two while striking out five in a spot start.
Milwaukee extended the lead in the sixth inning when Willy Adames hit a solo slot (14) off Drew Smith to make it 3-0 Brewers. The Mets had their chance to come back in the sixth as Brad Boxberger ran into a ton of trouble, walking the bases loaded but recovering by striking out Francisco Lindor, Dominic Smith and Pete Alonso in succession to strand all three runners.
That sequence effectively ended the game for the Mets, but Miguel Castro added more gasoline to the fire when he was asked to work the seventh by Luis Rojas. Castro hit the first batter he faced before allowing Luis Urias to stroke a two-run homer (12) to put the game out of reach at 5-0. This outing was the latest in a string of terrible performances from Castro, who has become unusable in anything but mop-up duty at this point.
The league is OPS'ing 1.081 off Miguel Castro over the past month. His ERA in those games is 8.31. (It had been 2.52 before that.)
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) July 8, 2021
Those numbers are alarming. Castro was great for the Mets early in the season but he clearly has hit a wall of some sort, likely from overuse when he was one of the few trustworthy arms that Rojas had available to serve as a bridge to Edwin Diaz. The Mets need to figure out what to do with Castro quickly because he can’t be trusted to even get through an inning unscathed. Smith, who had been working on a scoreless streak of 9.2 innings before Adames homered off of him in the sixth, should be given more high-leverage work before Castro at this point. Bullpen help should also be a priority for the Mets at the deadline.
The other big takeaway here is that sixth inning when the Mets’ 2-3-4 hitters couldn’t make contact with the bases loaded. Consistent offense has been an issue all season and it is fair to say that another bat, preferably right-handed, could make a difference here. The Mets likely believe that J.D. Davis will be that guy but they shouldn’t bypass potential upgrades in the trade market as a guy like Kris Bryant could transform this group into a legitimate World Series threat.
Post Game Notes:
- Jake Cousins (W, 1-0), the cousin of Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, tossed a scoreless fifth inning to pick up the win for the Brewers.
- Urias had a tremendous doubleheader for the Brewers, going 4 for 7 on the day with a homer in each game and drove in three runs.
- The Mets collected just three hits in this game, all coming off of starter Brett Anderson.
The Mets will wrap up the first half by starting a four-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates (32-54) tomorrow night. Taijuan Walker (7-3, 2.44 ERA) is set to take the mound for the Mets while the Pirates will counter with right-hander J.T. Brubaker (4-8, 4.09 ERA). First pitch for the contest is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. at Citi Field.