Syndergaard and Storms Shut Out Tribe in Sweep; Mets 2, Indians 0
Bob Toth | On 23, Aug 2019
The back half of the Indians’ stay in New York was not so sweep…
Tough right-hander Noah Syndergaard weathered the storm before storms halted play for nearly two and a half hours. The delay knocked out both clubs’ starting pitchers, but the Mets bullpen picked up where Syndergaard left off until the game was finally called after a second rain delay, giving the Mets a 2-0 shutout in eight innings and a three-game sweep of the Tribe on Thursday night.
There was little offense to talk about on a night filled with rain at Citi Field. The Indians mustered just two hits off of Mets pitching, while the Mets used one big knock in the bottom of the fourth to score their only runs of the day. Rookie right-hander Aaron Civale, making his fifth big league start, had allowed just one base runner (a hit by pitch of Pete Alonso in the first inning) over the first three frames, but veteran Joe Panik started the home half of the fourth with a single to right. Alonso flied to center for the first out before Michael Conforto’s ground rule double put a pair in scoring position for Wilson Ramos. He fouled off a pair of pitches before dropping in a two-run double down the right field line to give the Mets a 2-0 lead while extending his hitting streak to 16 in a row.
The Indians got their first base runner and first hit in the top of the sixth after Syndergaard retired the first 16 batters in a row to start his outing. With one out in the inning, Tyler Naquin singled to center. The pitcher Civale struck out on a foul bunt for the second out before Francisco Lindor got the Tribe’s second and final hit of the game with a single to left-center. With the club’s first scoring opportunity of the day, Greg Allen grounded a payoff pitch to a diving Alonso at first to end the inning. Allen was also robbed of a base hit in the fourth inning on an over-the-shoulder catch in deep left by J.D. Davis.
Civale retired the side in order in the fifth and got the first two in the sixth before Conforto got him again with a single to right. Manager Terry Francona went to his bullpen, bringing on the right-hander Tyler Clippard, who got Ramos to line to left after Conforto swiped second base.
Clippard got into a mess in the bottom of the seventh, but had a little help to escape it. Todd Frazier reached on a one-out throwing error by Clippard, who airmailed his throw to Carlos Santana at first. A second throwing error on the play, this one by right fielder Yasiel Puig, allowed Frazier to go all the way to third. Juan Lagares worked the count to full before lofting a fly ball to left, where Naquin made the catch and gunned down Frazier at the plate trying to score.
Paul Sewald became the third Mets pitcher of the game in the top of the eighth. He got former Met Kevin Plawecki to fly to right before striking out Naquin swinging. Mike Freeman grabbed a bat for Clippard, but he struck out swinging to end the inning.
Hunter Wood was on the mound for the Indians in the bottom of the eighth when the rains became too heavy. It may have been for the best, as the Mets got their first two on via a walk by Luis Guillorme and a single to right by Amed Rosario that put runners on the corners.
The 2-0 shutout dealt to the Tribe marked the team’s third straight loss and ended the road trip at 2-5. Cleveland is now 74-54 on the season and three and a half games in back of Minnesota in the American League Central. The Mets have won five straight and are now 67-60 on the season.
Syndergaard retired the first 16 that he faced before giving up his two hits in the sixth. He worked six scoreless frames, striking out five while firing 73 pitches. He improved to 9-6 on the season. Sewald earned an unconventional save, striking out a pair in a perfect eighth.
Civale was once again a tough luck loser. For the first time in his career, he failed to go a full six innings, lasting five and two-third on the night. He gave up two runs on four hits with no walks and three strikeouts. He has lost his last three decisions, despite allowing just five runs in 17 2/3 innings in those outings. The loss moved him to 1-3 on the season with a 1.82 ERA.
Their seven-games-in-eight-days trip to New York complete, the Indians will return home to Cleveland after the delayed exit from the Big Apple to host the Kansas City Royals for three games this weekend. Rookie righty Zach Plesac (6-4, 3.53 ERA) will draw the starting nod in the 7:10 PM ET opener on Friday against fellow righty Jakob Junis (8-11, 4.78).
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