Todd Frazier hit a two-run homer, Brandon Nimmo reached base three times and the New York Mets beat Marcus Stroman and the Toronto Blue Jays 6-3 on Wednesday night.
Stroman (1-6) lost six straight decisions before beating Detroit last Friday but couldn’t build on that performance. He allowed six runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings, raising his ERA from 6.02 to 6.50.
”I just didn’t have a feel for anything from pitch one,” Stroman said.
Frazier gave the Mets the lead with a drive to center field off the right-hander in a five-run fifth.
Now in his fifth season, Stroman was expected to be a steadying presence in Toronto’s rotation. Instead, he has dealt with a sore shoulder that sidelined him for more than a month, and been hit hard when healthy enough to pitch.
Mets manager Mickey Callaway, a former pitcher and pitching coach, said location is at the root of Stroman’s rough stretch.
”Everything is just up a little bit from what I’ve seen in the past,” Callaway said. ”I think, from a pitching coach’s perspective, for him to have his good sinker and his good slider, he’s got to make sure he gets the ball down. That’s kind of how he lived in the past and what his success was all about, getting guys to chase below the zone.”
Former teammate Jose Bautista flied out in his first two at-bats against Stroman but delivered an RBI single in the fifth.
”His stuff was moving, he just wasn’t locating as well as I’ve seen him do in the past from the outfield,” Bautista said.
Stroman, from Long Island, had never faced the Mets before.
Seth Lugo (3-3) pitched three innings of relief for the win. Jeurys Familia closed for his 16th save in 20 opportunities.
Wilmer Flores had two hits and Kevin Plawecki scored twice for the Mets, who had lost 11 of 13.
Toronto’s Kendrys Morales hit a solo home run in the second but the Mets answered on Nimmo’s RBI single in the third. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. restored Toronto’s lead with a two-out RBI single in the fourth before Stroman unraveled in the fifth.
Flores led off with a single and scored on Frazier’s 10th home run. Bautista and Asdrubal Cabrera chased Stroman with consecutive RBI singles, and Michael Conforto capped the outburst with a run-scoring single off reliever Luis Santos.
Making his second major league career start, New York right-hander Corey Oswalt allowed two runs and five hits in four innings.
”That’s a good leap forward for him,” Callaway said. ”He looked a lot better.”
LOOK OUT BELOW
Mets relievers Tyler Bashlor, Jerry Blevins and Robert Gsellman, and outfielder Kevin Kaczmarksi, ascended Toronto’s CN Tower earlier in the day for the Edge Walk attraction [url=http://www.newjerseydevilsteamshop.com/authentic-nico-hischier-jersey]Authentic Nico Hischier Jersey[/url] , which lets visitors circle the exterior of the observation deck. The tower’s official Twitter account posted a photo of the quartet.
Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard (right index finger) will make a rehab start for Class A Brooklyn on Sunday. … C Devin Mesoraco passed concussion tests again but was not in the starting lineup. Mesoraco was hit in the head in back-to-back innings Tuesday, once by a ball and once by a bat. … RHP Zack Wheeler will get an extra day of rest before his next start. Wheeler will be pushed back to Monday, when the Mets play a doubleheader against Philadelphia.
Blue Jays: An MRI on RHP Marco Estrada revealed a mild strain in his left gluteal muscle. Estrada left Tuesday’s start after just 12 pitches. It was not yet known whether he’ll be placed on the disabled list. … RHP Preston Guilmet was designated for assignment and LHP Tim Mayza was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo. Toronto selected Santos and RHP Rhiner Cruz from Triple-A. … RHP Seunghwan Oh was available after missing Tuesday’s game because of flu-like symptoms.
Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom (5-4) pitches Friday night at home against Tampa Bay. The right-hander leads the majors with a 1.84 ERA but has lost four of his past five starts despite not allowing more than three earned runs in any of them. Tampa Bay is expected to open with right-handed reliever Ryne Stanek (1-2, 1.98).
Blue Jays: RHP Sam Gaviglio (2-2, 3.97) goes Friday night in the opener of a three-game series against the Yankees. Gaviglio is 0-2 with a 4.78 ERA in six outings since winning his first start for Toronto. RHP Sonny Gray (5-6, 5.44) starts for New York.
Now that fan voting is finished, it’s a good time to take a hard look at All-Star Game selections.
Which players are worthy of participating July 17 in Washington, and who gets left out?
Let’s touch on this topic first: Shohei Ohtani is incredibly talented and fascinating to watch, but the Los Angeles Angels‘ two-way Japanese star simply hasn’t been on the field enough to earn a spot. Not at pitcher OR designated hitter.
Ohtani just returned to the lineup from an elbow injury that’s knocked him off the mound for now. He’s only made nine major league pitching starts, and the Angels have limited his at-bats all season due to concerns about the rookie’s workload.
So while it would definitely be fun to see him in baseball’s summer showcase, there are several more deserving American League sluggers at DH. It wouldn’t be fair to deny one of them in favor of Ohtani. And he’s unavailable to pitch at this point.
Let him win his invitation next season with a fully healthy and productive first half. Or the year after that. Or whenever it happens.
Buzzkill, I know.
But even without Ohtani, there’s plenty to watch for leading up to the first All-Star Game in the nation’s capital since the Senators hosted at RFK Stadium in 1969.
Start with Atlanta outfielder Nick Markakis. With more than 2,150 career hits, he’s poised to make an All-Star team for the first time in his 13th big league season.
Matt Kemp, Miles Mikolas and Mike Foltynewicz are enjoying feel-good comebacks.
Robinson Cano, the MVP of last year’s game, will sit this one out while serving a drug suspension.
Injuries may keep familiar stars such as Clayton Kershaw, Stephen Strasburg, Carlos Correa and Corey Seager from returning, but in their place should be exciting newcomers like Aaron Nola, Ozzie Albies, Alex Bregman and Eddie Rosario.
The American League has won five times in a row and is 17-3-1 in the last 21 years.
”I want to win. I always want to win. It’s not playing for home-field advantage anymore in the World Series, but all these guys are competitors and they want to win for their respective league,” said National League manager Dave Roberts of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
There’s a logjam at shortstop in the AL [url=http://www.billscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-charles-clay-jersey]Charles Clay Jersey[/url] , and the NL bullpen is loaded.
That sort of thing is where it gets complicated: Each roster has 32 spots, with 12 going to pitchers. Every club must be represented, too.
Online voting for the starters at each position ended at midnight Thursday, and the teams will be revealed Sunday night.
”I’m looking forward to it. It’ll be a great experience,” said Houston’s AJ Hinch, who will manage the AL squad. ”It’s as casual a game as you’ll play with the biggest names on the stage, and all the attention that comes with it. It’s a big deal.”
Disregarding fan and player balloting, here are our picks:
FIRST BASE – Jose Abreu of the White Sox gets the start, barely nudging out Toronto switch-hitter Justin Smoak.
SECOND BASE – AL MVP Jose Altuve from the World Series champion Astros is backed up by 34-year-old Oakland veteran Jed Lowrie, whose first All-Star nod is probably long overdue.
SHORTSTOP – Cleveland whiz Francisco Lindor is in the lineup. Top trade target Manny Machado from lowly Baltimore, and Jean Segura from Seattle are on the bench. Gold Glove winner Andrelton Simmons of the Angels is really tough to leave out.
THIRD BASE – Jose Ramirez gives the Indians both starters on the left side of the infield. Bregman backs up at the hot corner, from Houston.
CATCHER – Wilson Ramos is a big reason the Rays are holding their own. Perennial pick Salvador Perez represents the struggling Royals despite his subpar season.
OUTFIELD – Angels star Mike Trout plays center, with Boston’s Mookie Betts in left and Yankees masher Aaron Judge in right. Reserves include Rosario from the Twins, Mitch Haniger from the Mariners, and Nicholas Castellanos from the Tigers.
DESIGNATED HITTER – J.D. Martinez has been worth every penny during his first season in Boston. Texas’ Shin-Soo Choo and New York hulk Giancarlo Stanton, last year’s NL MVP, both still play the outfield sometimes, which helps. Seattle slugger Nelson Cruz is a very difficult omission.
STARTING PITCHERS – Luis Severino is in line to become the first Yankees pitcher to start an All-Star Game since Roger Clemens in 2001. Other right-handers include Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Charlie Morton from Houston, plus Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer from Cleveland. The left-handers are Boston ace Chris Sale and Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell. Seattle lefty James Paxton is our top pick to replace Verlander, who doesn’t plan to pitch in the All-Star Game because he’s scheduled to start two days before.
RELIEVERS – Four filthy closers in the bullpen: Yankees lefty Aroldis Chapman, plus right-handers Craig Kimbrel (Boston), Edwin Diaz (Seattle) and Blake Treinen (Oakland).
FIRST BASE – Braves cornerstone Freddie Freeman starts over Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt, who overcame a miserable May with a monster June.
SECOND BASE – The unexpected starter at a competitive position is Scooter Gennett from the Reds. Right behind him are flashy Javier Baez from the Cubs and 21-year-old igniter Ozzie Albies from the surprising Braves.
SHORTSTOP – San Francisco pro Brandon Crawford is backed up by Colorado bopper Trevor Story.
THIRD BASE – No