Mets takeaways from 2-0 loss to Tigers, including anemic offense wasting Justin Verlander's solid debut
The Mets lost to the Tigers, 2-0, on Thursday afternoon as they were swept out of Detroit.
Here are the takeaways...
1. Justin Verlander's Mets debut got off to a shaky start, as he allowed back-to-back homers in the first inning after recording the first out. Riley Greene homered on a 1-1 curve that was sharp, down and on the inner half before Javier Baez deposited a 95 mph fastball over the wall.
He bounced back with a perfect second inning, but continued to allow hard contact. Of the first eight batters to face Verlander, five of them had an exit velocity of at least 100 mph.
Verlander struck out Jake Rogers swinging with an elevated 96 mph fastball to start the third inning, and escaped a second and third, two-out jam (after a walk and infield single) by getting Nick Maton to flail through an 88 mph slider for strike three.
In the fourth, Verlander worked around a one-out bloop single, getting Matt Vierling to ground into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.
After allowing a leadoff double in the fifth, Verlander locked in, striking out Rogers swinging on a 95 mph fastball, fanning Zach McKinstry looking on a slider, and getting Greene to ground out to second.
Verlander, who was on a pitch count, exited after the fifth, having thrown 79 pitches.
Overall, he allowed two runs on five hits while walking one and striking out five, with his fastball sitting mostly around 95-96 mph and topping out at 97.
2. The Mets' offense picked up where it left off on Wednesday night, with Tigers left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez needing 102 pitches to get through eight shutout innings as he struck out nine, allowed two hits, and walked one.
In the seventh, Rodriguez struck out the side while facing the middle of the lineup -- getting Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso swinging, and Tommy Pham looking.
The two hits the Mets got against Rodriguez -- who retired the last 15 batters he faced -- were a soft liner to left field by Pham in the second and a blooper to center by Starling Marte in the fourth.
Along the way, the Mets didn't work the count much and made very little hard contact.
Brandon Nimmo lined a single to left with one out in the ninth, and -- with Marte up and Lindor on deck -- bizarrely tried to steal second base and was thrown out. It was an absolutely mystifying attempt that short-circuited any chance the Mets had of staging a rally.
Home plate umpire Adam Beck missed calls all day -- including a low strike three to Jeff McNeil in the second inning that should've been ball four and a wide strike three to Pham in the seventh that was nowhere near the plate. Pham erupted in the dugout -- firing his bat and helmet -- after the call. But Beck was equally bad for both sides, and it was just the Mets who couldn't score.
3. Jeff Brigham and Dominic Leone -- making his Mets debut after being signed earlier on Thursday -- both fired perfect innings in relief of Verlander.
Drew Smith pitched a scoreless eighth inning, working around a two-out hit-by-pitch.
The Mets return home to Citi Field, where they'll open a three-game series with the Colorado Rockies on Friday night at 7:10 on SNY.
Kodai Senga gets the start for the Mets, opposed by Antonio Senzatela for Colorado.