Max Scherzer picked a bad time for his worst start of the season.
The San Diego Padres took the three-time Cy Young Award winner deep four times in their demolishing 7-1 win over the New York Mets.
The Padres had power from unlikely sources early. Josh Bell – who slugged just .271 since being traded to San Diego – put the Padres on the board early with a two-run blast off Scherzer. In the second inning, Trent Grisham took him deep for a solo homer. Grisham’s slugging percentage was just .193 in his final 39 games.
Scherzer settled down for a bit afterwards, but in the fifth, it all unraveled. Jurickson Profar hit a three-run homer off the foul pole, giving San Diego a 6-0 lead. Two batters later, Manny Machado added a solo homer, and Buck Showalter didn’t even wait for Machado to touch home plate before he came to get Scherzer. In all, he allowed seven earned runs, all via the homer, in 4.2 innings of work. Scherzer had not allowed more than four runs in a start all season, and despite being the Mets’ biggest free agency splash arguably ever, he was booed off the mound.
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Aside from a solo homer by the red-hot Eduardo Escobar (who also doubled), Yu Darvish kept the Mets bats quiet all night. He tossed seven innings of one-run ball, allowing six hits and no walks while striking out four.
The Mets threatened in the bottom of the first with their big boys up as the lead runs, but Pete Alonso struck out and Daniel Vogelbach flied out to right to end the threat. They also had a runner on third with one out in the second, but to no avail. They went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position, but of course, it’s almost a moot point due to San Diego’s homers.
The Mets led the NL East by 10.5 games back on June 1 but lost the lead for good last weekend when they were swept by the Atlanta Braves. The two teams both finished 101-61, but the Braves finished with the tiebreaker, making them NL East champs and giving them a bye straight to the NLDS.
Now, the Mets are one loss away from their season ending.
Blake Snell will start Game 2 for San Diego on Saturday night, while Jacob deGrom will try to save the Mets’ season.
The winner of this series will face the 111-win Dodgers in the NLDS.