By John Schweibacher
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The Mets turned out to be both sellers and buyers as general manager Sandy Alderson dealt away Lucas Duda and Addison Reed and acquired AJ Ramos in the days and hours leading up to Monday’s trade deadline.
Duda, who went to the Rays on Thursday for minor league reliever Drew Smith, hit 125 home runs for the Mets, the seventh most in club history. Seventy-one of those homers came at Citi Field, the most by any player. Duda appeared in 476 games for the Mets at first base. Only Ed Kranepool (1.302) and Keith Hernandez (854) played more games at first in club history.
Reed, who was sent to the Red Sox for three minor league relief pitchers Monday, was leading the Mets with 19 saves this season. The last time the Mets traded away their saves leader during a season was in 2011 when they dealt Francisco Rodriguez to Milwaukee at the All-Star break.
Ramos, who was acquired from the Marlins on Friday for a pair of prospects, was leading Miami with 20 saves this season. The last time the Mets dealt for a pitcher who was leading a team in saves during a season was two years ago when they got Tyler Clippard from Oakland at the trade deadline.
On Sunday afternoon, the Mets lost the rubber game of the three-game series in Seattle, 9-1. Seth Lugo took the loss, allowing five runs on eight hits in five innings.
The Mets had won 13 of Lugo’s previous 15 starts dating back to his second major league start on Aug. 25, 2016. Both of the losses came against the Washington Nationals — on June 17 and July 4 of this season.
Lugo has pitched at least five innings in each of his 17 starts in the major leagues. The only other Mets pitchers to go five innings or longer in each of his first 17 career starts were Matt Harvey (first 44 starts) and Bill Pulsipher (first 17 starts).
On Saturday, Jacob deGrom’s eight-game winning streak came to an end, as he allowed two earned runs over six innings and the Mets lost to the Mariners, 3-2, at Safeco Field.
DeGrom did have 10 strikeouts in the loss, the eighth time he has reached double digits in K’s in a game this season.
Here are the Mets pitchers who had the most games with 10 or more strikeouts in a single season:
• Dwight Gooden, 1984, 15
• Tom Seaver, 1971, 13
• Tom Seaver, 1970, 12
• Dwight Gooden, 1985, 11
• David Cone, 1990, 9
• Jacob deGrom, 2017, 8
On Friday night, the Mets won the opener of the weekend series, 7-5. Michael Conforto hit two homers in the victory, the fourth time this season that Conforto had a multi-homer game from the leadoff spot and the second time against an American League opponent.
Here are the seven times a Mets hitter has had a multi-homer games from the leadoff spot in an interleague game:
• 7/28/17: Michael Conforto at Sea
• 7/21/17: Michael Conforto vs. Oak
• 8/18/15: Curtis Granderson at Bal
• 8/8/15: Curtis Granderson at TB
• 6/14/12: Kirk Nieuwenhuis at TB
• 6/19/10: Jose Reyes at NYY
• 6/13/97: Carl Everett vs. Bos
On Thursday night, the Mets settled for a split of the four-game road series with the Padres, losing, 7-5. Chris Flexen, making his major league debut, allowed a home run to the first batter he faced, Manuel Margot, and was charged with four runs, five hits, four walks and a hit-by-pitch in three innings.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Flexen became the third Mets pitcher to allow a homer to the first batter he faced. The others were Jon Niese on Sept. 2, 2008, at Milwaukee (Rickie Weeks) and Steven Matz on June 28, 2015, vs. Cincinnati (Brandon Phillips).
On Wednesday night, the Mets lost to the Padres, 6-3. Steven Matz took the loss, allowing six runs on nine hits in three innings. He is now 0-3 in his last four starts with 14.18 ERA.
Elias says that is the highest ERA for a Mets pitchers over a span of four starts since Johan Santana posted a 17.36 ERA in July and August 2012. Ironically, Santana threw the franchise’s only no-hitter earlier that year.
Last Tuesday night, the Mets defeated the Padres, 6-5, at Petco Park. Yoenis Cespedes’ seventh-inning, check-swing, opposite-field triple led to two runs when it turned into a “Little League homer,” as Cespedes came home on a throwing error.
It was the third “Little League homer” for the Mets since the All-Star break. Jose Reyes doubled and scored on a pair of Cardinals errors in a 6-3 loss on July 17, and T.J. Rivera singled, advanced to second on a throw and scored on an error in a 7-5 win over the A’s on July 21.
Thanks to SNY for this fact: The last season in which the Mets had three “Little League homers” was 1986:
• Darryl Strawberry, July 8, vs. Cin (single and errors by Dave Parker and Ron Oester)
• Keith Hernandez, July 12, vs. Atl (triple and Glenn Hubbard error)
• Ray Knight, Sept. 20, vs. Phi (double and Steve Jeltz error)
Happy Recap: Standing Out. Mets outfielders have combined to hit 68 home runs, one behind the Marlins for the most in the major leagues.
Nine Miles of Rough Road: Worst First. Mets pitchers have given up 90 first-inning runs this season, the most in the majors.