Shaky pitching and a futile offense are never a combination that goes well when the two describe a night's performance for one team. Add in an injury, and the you have the ingredients for one forgetful night at the ballpark.
This is what happened Friday night for the New York Mets, who lost 7-3 to the Cincinnati Reds at Citi Field, on the heels of an impressive three-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays. Jason Bay left the game in the second inning with a possible concussion, Dillon Gee couldn't command his pitches early and the Mets couldn't figure out Bronson Arroyo until it was too late.
So goes the season for the Mets, a team that has played better than most expected, but one that has also seen its fair share of discouraging efforts and bad news.
For Bay, the initial diagnosis was a "possible concussion," and those words are likely to be the best news for the struggling outfielder who is likely to miss a significant amount of time with his second head injury in less than two years. The left fielder dove for Jay Bruce's tailing fly ball in the second inning and ended up sliding and hitting his head into the left-field wall, ultimately giving Bruce an inside-the-park home run. Bay suffered a concussion July 23, 2010, and missed the rest of the season; receiving a second blow to the head means the Mets will only be more cautious now. Even with his struggles at the plate, Bay's effort has never lagged and his willingness to play full throttle in the field always evident.
That run was the first of four runs (three earned) Gee would give up in six innings. The Reds did all their damage against the right-hander, who gave up to home runs, by the third inning. Gee settled in after a Brandon Phillips homer, recording 10 straight outs when he was pulled for the start of the seventh.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit his third home run in two days off of Arroyo in the sixth inning, but in general, the bats were quiet. Nobody could barrel-up on the ball as Arroyo threw with his typical varying arm slots and by changing speeds.
New York was down 6-1 when Scott Hairston, Bay's replacement, hit a two-run home run in the seventh, driving in Ike Davis, but those were all the runs the Mets could muster, as the Reds bullpen locked down the win. On the bright side, their first baseman seems to be thawing from his deep early-season freeze; this was Davis' sixth straight game with a hit (he went 1-for-2 with a walk) and over his ten games he has drawn 10 of his 24 base on balls.
Justin Turner is likely to return from the disabled list Saturday to take Bay's spot on the roster.
|Final - 6.15.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|New York Mets||0||0||0||0||0||1||2||0||0||3||4||1|
|WP: Bronson Arroyo (3 - 4)
LP: Dillon Gee (4 - 5)
-- See Amazin' Avenue for complete discussion and analysis of the Mets