There’s no arguing the Mets’ offensive struggles and bullpen problems have been major issues during their stretch of losing seven straight games and 45 of their last 64 contests. But the team’s defense hasn’t helped either, as was displayed early and often in the Mets’ 6-4 loss to the Pirates Monday evening at Citi Field.
On the first batter of the game, Luis Guillorme, making only his ninth start and 11th appearance at third base this season, couldn’t make the play on a ground ball hit to him by Starling Marte, who came around to score the Pirates’ first run. It was an error on Guillorme.
It wasn’t his last one. Guillorme, who was filling in to give Todd Frazier a rest day, also made a throwing error in the third inning on a ball put into play by Josh Harrison, who also came around to score, and the infielder couldn’t make a barehanded play on a slow roller in the eighth inning on a hit from Harrison.
Despite being primarily a middle infielder, Guillorme put all the blame on himself, not the position switch. It was his first start at third base since June 2, but he said he didn’t feel rusty.
“At the end of the day, it’s a different position but you just have to make adjustments,” the 23-year-old said. “I should be able to play everywhere they put me and I felt comfortable tonight. It was just a different night for me.”
The errors forced Seth Lugo to throw more pitches, as he left after tossing 99 pitches over five innings, allowing four hits and three runs (one earned) with three walks and four strikeouts in the loss.
“It’s unfortunate,” manager Mickey Callaway said. “It cost Lugo about 24 pitches, probably affected tomorrow, too, because we had to use extra relievers. It’s unfortunate.
“He battled and I think he could have gone six, maybe into the seventh if we made a couple of plays behind him.”
The Mets entered Monday tied for 27th in baseball with the Pirates in defensive runs saved (-47), according to FanGraphs. The Mets tied for 26th with Texas in fielding percentage (.980) and tied with the Dodgers with the 13th most errors in baseball (44).
Lugo didn’t put the blame on his fielders though, who made three errors behind him. Asdrubal Cabrera also made an error in the fifth inning, but Lugo was able to escape that frame without giving up a run.
“I try to pick up them when I can,” Lugo said. “Wasn’t able to a couple of times tonight but last [error] I was able to. So good and bad but just trying to stay under control and stay focused.”