Home News Joey Lucchesi, Mets unravel in 5th inning as they lose 3rd straight...

Joey Lucchesi, Mets unravel in 5th inning as they lose 3rd straight to Phillies

PHILADELPHIA — Joey Lucchesi was cruising along his first big league start of the season. The Mets held a one-run lead against the Philadelphia Phillies and Lucchesi’s signature “churve” looked every bit as nasty as it once did.

But then it all unraveled for the lefty in the fifth inning.

A four-run fifth did the Mets and Lucchesi in for the night, leading to a 10-5 loss to the Phillies on Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park. It was the third straight loss to their NL East foes for the Mets, who have now lost five of their last six games.

To be fair, there was plenty of blame to go around. The Mets made costly defensive mistakes with two errors and even more mental mistakes. The bullpen was a sieve, with right-hander Grant Hartwig giving up two runs (one earned) in relief of Lucchesi and right-hander Adrian Houser tagged for three.

Lucchesi (0-1) was called up from Triple-A Syracuse on Wednesday to make a start in place of Houser. Forced to empty their bullpen in Tuesday’s loss to the Phillies at Citi Field, Houser warmed up as the last pitcher standing and was unable to make his Wednesday start. Lucchesi drove from Syracuse to Philadelphia with third baseman Mark Vientos on Tuesday night, only to turn in one of his more disappointing starts.

The total damage was five earned runs on five hits, four walks and two strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. He gave up a home run to Bryce Harper in the first before settling in through the next few innings.

But in the fifth, he lost the strike zone completely and walked the first two hitters. No. 9 hitter Johan Rojas dropped a bunt to the left of the mound and instead of making a play at first base, Lucchesi turned and threw to third base where Edmundo Sosa was already safe.

It was reminiscent of a play Lucchesi tried to make last season in Miami. Lucchesi turned to throw to third and collided with Brett Baty in the process. Failing to realize the third baseman was right in front of him, he threw to an empty base.

Lucchesi then gave up three straight hits to the top of the order: An RBI double to Kyle Schwarber, an RBI single to J.T. Realmuto and a two-run double to Harper. The Mets got Realmuto at the plate for the first out, ending Lucchesi’s night.

The Mets (19-23) scored two runs off left-handed starter Ranger Suarez, who went five innings in the win (8-0). Right-hander Spencer Turnbull pitched three innings for Philadelphia (31-13), giving up three in the eighth. J.D. Martinez hit his second homer of the season to lead off and Vientos (2-for-4 with an RBI double) followed with a single up the center. With two outs, Jeff McNeil hit a deep fly to right-center field and Johan Rojas dove for it, but the ball fell right next to him for an RBI double. Tomas Nido sent him home on a single.

But the offensive output was too little, too late in the game.


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