Marcus Stroman was close to the All-Star gear for most of the first half of this season, but his last three starts haven’t been so pretty for the Mets.
There was a cut-off start against the Phillies, a drudgery at Yankee Stadium last weekend and Saturday’s dud, a performance that falls into that category depending on the opponent and how it went. .
In this case, it was opposing pitcher Tyler Anderson who hit a home run against Stroman in the Mets’ 6-2 loss to the Pirates in Game 1 of a doubles program at Citi Field.
A recent trend has ended: After five consecutive doubles winning the first game and dropping the last drink, the Mets have finally lost a first game. The Mets were to send rookie Tylor Megill to the mound for the last drink.
The Pirates entered as the team with the fewest points in the major leagues, but feasted on Stroman and the Mets’ bullpen. In his last three starts, Stroman pitched at a 5.54 ERA, with 16 hits allowed in 13 innings. This after throwing at a 2.32 ERA in his first 15 starts of the season.
Stroman was perfect for three innings but was knocked down in the fourth and fifth. Overall, he allowed three earned runs on five hits with five strikeouts in five innings. This is only the fourth time in 18 starts this season that Stroman has allowed up to three earned runs.
Trevor May, who pitched 10 straight scoreless innings, came in for the sixth and ceded a two-run homerun to Bryan Reynolds, which extended the Pirates’ lead to 5-2. May stepped on inning main hitter Ke’Bryan Hayes before Reynolds stepped through the fence in the center-right. The circuit was the first authorized in May since June 14.
In the fourth, John Nogowski netted a two-point brace that gave the Pirates a 2-1 lead. Adam Frazier scored early in the round to give the Pirates their first base runner and the runners just one out from Reynolds in the corners before Nogowski delivered.
Anderson, the Pirates’ starting pitcher, smashed a homerun with two outs in the fifth to put the Mets in a 3-2 hole. The explosion, which occurred on a 1-1 cutter from Stroman, was the second in Anderson’s career.
Brandon Nimmo provided the Mets with a huge boost in the first inning as he reached the center field fence to steal a home run from Reynolds. It was Nimmo’s last solid defensive job, who started the day plus two as a center fielder with above average strikeouts, according to Statcast.
Kevin Pillar’s two-out RBI single against Anderson in the first gave the Mets a 1-0 lead after Nimmo and Dominic Smith had an inning singles. Jonathan Villar’s third home run in two games, a solo explosion in the fourth, tied 2-2. On Friday, Villar became the 10th player in franchise history to score from both sides of home plate in the same game.