Mets rally to beat Reds for 10th straight time
NEW YORK (AP) — Cincinnati manager Bryan Price stood for a full 50 seconds by the top step of the Reds dugout, waiting for the Mets to make a move with reliever Logan Verrett due up, runners at the corners and a three-run lead in the seventh inning.
Would Lucas Duda, who was in the on-deck circle, walk to the plate? Or would Yoenis Cespedes bat after missing three games with a leg injury?
As Duda returned to the dugout, Price went to the mound. Left-hander Tony Cingrani and right-hander Caleb Cotham were both warming up.
Price left Finnegan in the game, Cespedes came out to hit and the slugger rocketed a 93 mph fastball for a three-run homer. Slumping David Wright had a go-ahead single later in the inning, and the Mets rallied past Cincinnati 4-3 on Tuesday night for their 10th straight win against the Reds.
“I knew if I went to Cotham, they’d go to Duda, and he was the healthier player, so I wasn’t sure if they were going to use Cespedes solely as a decoy or not,” Price said. “Either way, if Cespedes was going to hit in that situation, I liked him against Finnegan because Finnegan had the three-pitch mix — as opposed to, I could have brought in Tony to keep Duda on the bench.”
New York manager Terry Collins at first maintained the Mets couldn’t find Cespedes, who had been hitting in the batting cage earlier.
“I said, ‘Luca, someone’s got to be on deck. I’m not putting you in, but go on deck,”’ the manager explained.
But then, when asked whether he was trying to make the Reds think Cespedes was unavailable, Collins left a hint.
“Well,” he said before chucking, “I don’t necessarily bring up my thoughts behind the whole thing.”
Cespedes had been 0 for 4 with three strikeouts against Finnegan before he homered on the left-hander’s 107th and last pitch. The ball left his bat at 111 mph and went just over the 8-foot blue wall erected for the 2012 season. It caromed off the deeper, taller green wall that set the original dimensions in 2009, and Cespedes initially seemed to think the ball was in play. But third base umpire Sam Holbrook immediately signaled home run, and Cespedes took a slow trot around the bases.
“I didn’t expect him to swing first pitch but he did,” Finnegan said. “He just reached out and turned on it. It’s going to happen, but, still thought I threw the ball great.”
Cespedes’ sixth home run of the season was the major league-high 38th allowed by the Reds. Cingrani (0-2) then relieved and Curtis Granderson tripled over speedy center fielder Billy Hamilton and off the fence in left-center. Asdrubal Cabrera struck out, and Wright fell behind 0-2 in the count before lining a fastball into left field.
“Sailed over the middle,” Cingrani said. “It was a bad pitch.”
Votto hit a third-inning sacrifice fly and Ivan DeJesus Jr. had a two-run homer in the fourth. In a matchup of youthful gumption and veteran savvy, 23-year-old Finnegan pitched one-hit shutout ball for five innings against 42-year-old Bartolo Colon, then escaped two-on, no-out trouble in the sixth.
“He pitched his tail off,” Price said. “Deserved a better result.”
Jay Bruce’s wife, Hannah, gave birth to Carter Bruce on Monday night. The Reds right fielder was put on the three-day paternity list Monday and is expected to rejoin the team Friday in Pittsburgh.
Hamilton used his speed to make a leaping catch on Plawecki’s fly to center in the fifth after initially misjudging the ball.
Reds: 2B Brandon Phillips was out of the starting lineup after fouling consecutive pitches off his left foot and shin during the fourth inning Monday, then three pitches later getting hit on the left ring finger by a 98 mph Noah Syndergaard fastball. Reds manager Bryan Price said the shin had inflammation. With Phillips out, Eugenio Suarez was dropped from second to fourth in the batting order, his first big league start as a cleanup hitter. … Making his second injury rehab start following Tommy John surgery, Homer Bailey allowed five runs — one earned — and six hits in four innings for Double-A Pensacola against Jackson. … Tyler Holt was hit on the right elbow by Colon’s pickoff throw to second base in the fifth.
Matt Harvey (1-3) is slated to start for the Mets against Jon Moscot (0-1) in Wednesday’s series finale.