A large crowd was energized for the Mets’ first game after the All-Star break. Max Scherzer was on the mound and the team had just made a trade, acquiring designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach from the Pirates.
A big party seemed imminent. The only problem: the opposing pitcher.
The Mets have never struck against Yu Darvish, and they didn’t have a chance the last time they met. The Padres right-hander was dominant, tossing seven one-run innings to top Scherzer and sending the Mets to their second straight loss, 4-1, ahead of 36,855 at Citi Field.
Darvish has now faced the Mets twice this year and allowed a run in 14 innings in a pair of easy wins. During his 10-year major league career, the right-hander never lost to the Mets and entered the game with a 2.76 ERA in seven starts.
The futile offensive performance followed an anemia near the first half of the season in which the Mets managed just eight points in the last three games of a series with the dismal Cubs.
Eric Hosmer – who nearly came to the Mets in a spring training trade – drove in the first two runs of the game in the fourth inning, tossing a 2-1 fastball at 94 mph off the wall into center field left for his seventh home of the season. It was the freefalling first baseman’s second extra hit of the month — the other came in his first game at bat — and his first homer since June 23.
Scherzer did well to limit the Padres to two runs in six innings. He rounded an error by Pete Alonso in the third, pulling San Diego’s top three roster hitters after the first two hitters reached base. Scherzer allowed five hits, walked one and struck out eight while throwing 93 pitches.
Throwing it, of course, wasn’t the problem Friday night for the Mets. Darvish and their anemic bats were. The Mets rarely squared him. They widened the area and went on strike. He knocked them off balance all night, much like he did the first time he faced them this season.
The Padres put the game aside in the seventh by scoring two runs on Joely Rodriguez, aided by catcher Patrick Mazeika, who dropped a popup foul hit by Manny Machado, then tried to convert an unlikely double play 3 -1-3 with the bases loaded. His throw hit the runner, allowing a fourth run to score.
The Mets avoided the shutout in the half of the seventh at home when Luis Guillorme drilled a two-out double against the wall in right center field to tackle Jeff McNeil with their only run of the night. But they haven’t mounted an additional threat in the last two innings.
The Padres have now taken three of the Mets’ four this season and outscored them 29-14 in the process.
New York Post