Oct 16, 2023
Padres' Blake Snell dominates Mets to halt winning streak at 6
SAN DIEGO — One big hit can be all it takes to win baseball games and that’s exactly what happened Friday night in San Diego. Padres’ reserve infielder Matthew Batten ended the Mets’ six-game winning
SAN DIEGO — One big hit can be all it takes to win baseball games and that’s exactly what happened Friday night in San Diego. Padres’ reserve infielder Matthew Batten ended the Mets’ six-game winning streak with a three-run homer in his first at-bat of the season at Petco Park. Coupled with a shutdown performance by Blake Snell, the Padres were able to hand the Mets a 3-1 loss.
The series is tied 1-1 and the Mets have a chance to win their third straight series Sunday before the All-Star break.
“We’re all proud of what we’ve done on this road trip over the last week,” said outfielder Mark Canha. “The sense of urgency is very much there and we need to keep doing it. It continues tomorrow.”
Batten’s home run came in the second inning off of left-hander David Peterson (2-7). The Padres (42-47) took a 1-0 lead when Brandon Dixon scored Gary Sanchez on a fly ball to right field. It dropped right in front of Starling Marte, the outfielder fielded it on the bounce and threw out the runner at second.
Batten, a second baseman who was only called up from Triple-A El Paso earlier in the week, then took a changeup and drove it over the left field fence to put San Diego up 3-0.
“It comes down to a couple pitches that I made early,” Peterson said. “Gave them the lead.”
Snell (6-7) made the lead stand up with six shutout innings. The left-hander made light work of the visitors, allowing only a single hit and three walks in his sixth straight scoreless outing.
Blake Snell dominated the scorching hot Mets on Saturday night in San Diego. (Gregory Bull/AP)
“He has good stuff and he makes good pitches. He doesn’t make too many mistakes,” Canha said of Snell. “When you have the kind of stuff that he has and the arsenal that he has and you’re not making mistakes, it just makes it really tough as a hitter to go and get good hitters’ pitchers sometimes on some nights.
“The way he’s been pitching lately, it was one of those nights tonight.”
The Mets struck out 11 times against Snell. Only twice did a runner reach second base.
Snell has been tough all season and especially so over the last month, as is evidenced by his June NL Pitcher of the Month accolades. But he was extra tough against the Mets.
“You have to go down and pick a good pitch,” Canha said. “It’s hard to do because his stuff moves a lot and it’s explosive. Then you have to hit a good pitch which is a whole other thing.”
The Mets’ only run came in the seventh inning when Francisco Alvarez hit his 17th home run of the season off right-hander Luis Garcia to finally put the Mets (42-47) on the board. His 17 home runs are the second-most ever by a catcher under 21 behind Johnny Bench’s 26.
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However, this time it came without the fireworks. In the next at-bat, Batten made a stellar stop on a line drive by Jeff McNeil to prevent the Mets from creating any momentum. Garcia retired the next two. Nick Martinez struck out the side in the eighth and Josh Hader earned his 21st save of the season.
“We had a chance,” said manager Buck Showalter. “Our guys grinded and got [Snell] out of there.”
Peterson pitched into the sixth inning before the Mets went to the bullpen with one on and one out. Shortstop Francisco Lindor bobbled a ball and dropped it trying to make the out at first, allowing Sanchez to reach. It was an uncharacteristic two-error night for Lindor.
Peterson didn’t allow another run after the homer to Batten and struck out seven for the night, but his outing underscored the difference in the Mets when they don’t get at least six innings from their starting pitchers: The Mets are 27-4 when their starting pitcher goes six innings, 11-1 when the starting pitcher goes seven and 4-0 when they go eight innings.
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The Mets ran out of gas after reeling off six straight and two of the last three in comeback fashion. A confident group is eager to earn one more win before breaking for four days.
“We’d go into the All-Star break feeling good,” Canha said. “I think both teams are probably on the same page there. We both want to win this series, we’re playing good baseball and I think we like where we’re at. But to go into the break feeling good about ourselves, that would be huge.”