Marcus Stroman Has Rare Hiccup Of Outing; Mets Drop Series Opener At Fenway

Marcus Stroman had a rare hiccup of an outing, and the Mets blew a 2-0 lead to drop their series opener to the Red Sox at Fenway by a score of 6-3.
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The Mets' series opener against the Red Sox at Fenway Park started off better than it ended on Tuesday night.

New York initially jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but that wasn't enough to contain the Red Sox high-powered offense. 

After Marcus Stroman gave up a run in the bottom of the fourth, the Red Sox bats jumped all over him for three-runs on two home runs to grab a 4-2 lead in the following inning.

For Stroman, the two homers he allowed to Kike Hernandez and Xander Bogaerts  were the first long balls he has surrendered since August 17 against the San Francisco Giants.

Although Stroman wasn't terrible, he was also not his usual dominant self in this outing, finishing with four-runs allowed on seven hits across five innings.

And for the first time all season, Stroman's ERA is now up to 3.00. Stroman, whose record dropped to 9-13, has been the Mets' most consistent starter all year, but after having seven days of rest in between starts, he admitted that his mechanics were off tonight.

"Didn't make pitches when I needed to," said Stroman. "Mechanically I was a little off today. Anytime you are throwing seven days it's hard to lock it in mechanically. That's kind of been tough my whole career.

"[After seven days of rest] It's hard to have your mechanics exactly where they need to be, so I just think my mechanics were a little off throughout the day, over the five days," said Stroman. "They were great at times and they were terrible at other times, so it's just a matter of knowing that and focusing on my mechanics and everything I need to do before my next start."

While Stroman was less than superb, the Mets' offense wasted two prime scoring chances in this contest as well.

The Mets loaded the bases with nobody out against an erratic Eduardo Rodriguez in the top of the fourth. But they were only able to scratch across two-runs, as third base coach Gary DiSarcina sent Pete Alonso home from second on a Michael Conforto single, which scored Javier Báez, but saw Alonso get gunned down at the plate on a play that wasn't even close.

Instead of scoring a run and still having the bases loaded with no outs, to set up a big inning, the Mets had first-and-second with one out and did not score another run.

Afterwards, DiSarcina was seen punching the wall in the Fenway dugout out of frustration, following his poor decision. 

In the top of the fifth, a Brandon Nimmo single and a Francisco Lindor double set up second-and-third situation for the Mets with one-out against Rodriguez. 

Red Sox manager Alex Cora then brought in Ryan Brasier to try to get out of the jam. And that's exactly what he did, striking out Báez and getting Alonso to ground out, which left the Mets with nothing to show for it.

After Miguel Castro got the first two-outs in the bottom of the sixth, he hit a batter and issued a walk. This saw manager Luis Rojas bring in lefty Brand Hand to face left-handed batter Kyle Schwarber.

Hand walked Schwarber to load the bases and then gave up a two-run single to Xander Bogaerts, which extended the 'Sox lead to 6-2.

The Mets got one back in the top of the eighth on Alonso's laser home run over the green monster, which was his 34th long ball of the year.

However, that's all the Mets would get, as they fell by a score of 6-3. New York is now 73-78 on the season and have lost six of their last seven games.

With 11 games left to play in the regular season, the Mets could be seven back in the NL East barring the result of the Braves-Diamondbacks game.

Following their latest loss, Alonso acknowledged the reality that making the playoffs is unlikely at this point.

"Yes, it's unlikely. That's just the facts," said Alonso. "We haven't played up to our potential and as unfortunate as that is, we still have to finish the season strong."