Mets play role of slumpbuster for Astros


Just when we were starting to wonder if the Astros would ever get a win for interim manager Tony DeFrancesco, along came the Mets. Amazingly enough, the Mets have been just as bad as the Astros over the last three weeks. Houston handed the Mets their sixth straight loss Friday night, giving both teams a record of 5-14 since August 3rd.

Jordan Lyles turned in his best outing of the year, allowing one run on only three hits in six strong innings. We kept waiting for Lyles to have his one terrible inning, but DeFrancesco made sure that didn’t happen. Lyles has pitched great for the first four or five innings in several games games this season only to fall apart in the fifth or sixth. Some of those big innings have been partly due to some bad luck. An error, a couple of broken bat hits, or a poor decision by an Astros defender have contributed to Lyles’ misfortune more than a time or two. This time Lyles seemed to have luck on his side.

With one out in the sixth, David Wright hit a line drive into the rightfield corner. Steve Pearce hustled over and played the ball off the wall. Pearce turned and made a perfect throw to second base to nail Wright for the second out. Ike Davis then hit a bullet right at Jose Altuve and Lyles was out of the inning. Lyles had also pitched out of trouble in the second inning, getting out of a first and third nobody out jam without allowing a run. The only run Lyles allowed came on a fourth inning homer by David Wright that barely cleared the wall in the rightfield corner.

Tyler Greene led off the seventh with a homer off Mets starter Jonathan Niese to give the Astros a 3-1 lead. Lyles was replaced on the mound by Wesley Wright who held the Mets scoreless in the bottom of the frame. Fernando Martinez then came out of the Astros bullpen, getting two quick outs in the eighth before running into trouble.

Wilton Lopez took care of the final four outs and the Astros snapped their losing streak at seven games. It was DeFrancesco’s first win as a big league skipper. The Mets are the only National League team that has yet to beat the Astros this season. They are now 0-4 against Houston with two games remaining in the season series. The Mets will have their best shot at ending their skid today when R.A. Dickey faces Fernando Abad.