The Red Sox were going for the series sweep against the National League East leading New York Mets. Wade Miley (10-10, 4.51) took the hill for Boston against one of the Mets young power starters Noah Syndegaard (8-6, 3.19). In a see-saw contest, the Mets prevailed 5-4
The Mets jumped ahead in the second inning as the Mets made some sharp contact against Miley. Singles by Michael Cuddyer and Juan Uribe began the inning. After two lineouts in the infield, Syndegaard helped himself by lining a single to left field that scored Cuddyer to make the score, 1-0.
The Red Sox first threat came in the fifth inning. Brock Holt singled, then advanced to second on an infield out. With the pitcher’s spot up after him, the Mets intentionally walked Alejandro De Aza. Miley was able to make contact, hitting a dribbler to shortstop, but was thrown out to end that inning.
The Red Sox got on the board from their usual sources in the sixth. Xander Bogaerts poked a single down the right field line with two outs. David Ortiz hammered a 97 mph Syndegaard fastball on a 3-1 count off the facing of the second deck in right field to put the Red Sox on top, 2-1.
Miley gave the lead right back in the bottom of the sixth. Daniel Murphy led off the inning with a crisp single to center. Cuddyer walked on a pitch that had been a strike all day for home plate umpire Joe West. Uribe hammered a double over the head of Mookie Betts in center field to score both runs to make it 3-2. Light-hitting catcher Anthony Recker (.491 OPS in 81 plate appearances) singled into left field to make it 4-2.
In the seventh, the resilient Red Sox rallied behind the legs of Blake Swihart. After beating out a single to second base on a grounder that Uribe could not come up with, Swihart took second on a wild pitch. He should have been out, but Recker bounced the throw to second, enabling Swihart to make it. On a fly out to center, Swihart took third. Jackie Bradley Jr. turned around a Syndegaard pitch for a ground rule double to left, to close the gap to 4-3. After Syndegaard was taken out, Mookie Betts tied the game when he lofted a fly ball to left that Cuddyer could not get to. The hit went for a triple as the Mets left third base uncovered.
The bullpen could not execute the shutdown inning. Robbie Ross walked David Wright with one out. He was later forced out on a grounder by Murphy. Heath Hembree paid no attention to Murphy who stole just his second base of the year on his first pitch. Cuddyer stroked a single to left to score Murphy, for his third hit of the day, to make it 5-4 Mets.
The Red Sox threatened in the ninth. Rusney Castillo beat out a grounder to shortstop. Swihart followed with a sharp single to left. De Aza didn’t help his trade value when he was unable to get a bunt down and then struck out. Travis Shaw put on a tough at-bat and appeared to walk on a 3-1 pitch but Joe West called a just outside pitch a strike again like he did the whole game. Shaw then grounded to shortstop, who forced Swihart at second on a close play. Why not run when it is a 3-2 count? They didn’t and it cost the Red Sox. Betts was unable to catch up to Mets closer Jeurys Familia‘s fastball, striking out on a 100 mph offering to end the game.
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The Mets lead the major leagues with 24 RBI by their pitchers.
Ortiz’ error dropping a Miley pickoff throw in the fourth inning was his first since 2009.
The Red Sox have swept just one series this season. That was in June at home against Oakland. They have swept none on the road this season.
Miley was his typical mediocre self. He worked out of a few jams until the sixth. Once the Red Sox gave him the lead, he gave it back within three batters after not recording an out. A .130 hitter then drove in another run. He pitched six innings and gave up nine hits and four earned runs, striking out six and walking one.
There will be no award today because both of the pitchers contributed to the loss. Ross walked Wright, a player just returning from injury after four months, on four pitches. This put a runner on. Murphy later replaced him on the basepaths. Hembree paid him no attention and he ran on him and put himself in scoring position for the red-hot Cuddyer. The former batting champion then singled to left for the go-ahead run. The inability to secure the shutdown inning has been the downfall of this team all year and the relief pitchers did the same thing Miley did in the sixth.
There were a few offensive heroes today. The award goes to Swihart for his two hits and run scored. He put pressure on the shaky Met defense taking two bases on their defense and was part of the ill-fated rally in the ninth. Bradley, Jr. deserves mention for his clutch RBI double in the sixth. Ortiz chipped in with a lasershot two-run homer to give the Sox their only lead of the day, which was short-lived.