MLB: Series win on line as Reds host Mets in matinee

One day after watching Justin Verlander shut down the opposition 2-1, the New York Mets will turn to a 30-year-old rookie against the host Cincinnati Reds on Thursday afternoon in search of their first series win in a month.

Right-hander Kodai Senga (4-1, 3.38 ERA) gets the starting assignment for the Mets, looking to continue an impressive beginning to his major league career after winning 104 games in 11 seasons in his homeland of Japan.

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In his last outing on Friday in New York, Senga held the Colorado Rockies to two hits over six scoreless innings in New York’s 1-0 win. Senga struck out four and walked four, and he became the fourth pitcher in franchise history to earn four wins through his first six career major league starts, joining Steven Matz, David Peterson and Jason Jacome.

The Mets have won just four of their last 16 games and will be looking for their first series win since April 17-19, when they won 2-of-3 from the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

The Reds will counter with right-handed reliever Derek Law (2-4, 3.00) in his fifth career start as an opener among his 210 major league appearances. Right-hander Ben Lively is expected to make his first big-league appearance since 2019 with Kansas City.

The Mets took the field on Wednesday trying to put a controversial call from Tuesday night behind them. The Reds’ Wil Myers broke up a play at second base when he slid into the bag and kept Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor from fielding the ball off the bat of Kevin Newman. The Reds scored three runs in the inning and won, 7-6.

Mets manager Buck Showalter asked the umpires to huddle and discuss the play. He became upset when they didn’t and was ejected for the first time in two seasons with the Mets.

“I just saw it differently,” Showalter said. “It’s pretty obvious what it was, but it’s hard to imagine four guys not being able to see what happened. There’s about three ways you can get that play right.”

“There are different plays that happen throughout the game that could’ve cost us the game,” Lindor said. “But for me, as a defensive player, it is very difficult to watch. But as a professional athlete, we have to be able to turn the page and not focus on the umpires.”

On Tuesday night, playing for Cincinnati’s Triple-A affiliate Louisville, Elly De La Cruz accomplished a first in professional baseball. According to, no team in Triple-A or MLB had ever hit three balls in play measured above 115 mph in the Statcast era in the same game. De La Cruz did it all by himself.

In Louisville’s 10-9 win over Triple-A Columbus, the 21-year-old phenom had batted balls with exit velocities of 118.8 mph (double), 117.1 mph (home run) and 116.6 mph (home run). The two home runs traveled 428 feet and 456 feet, respectively.

Ironically, De La Cruz won the game on a bases-loaded walk.

“You hit the ball that hard, that’ll lead to walks, for sure,” Reds manager David Bell said. “There is no question that says a lot. That’s where a number like that can point something out that needs to be paid attention to. That’s a big deal. That’s really hitting the ball hard consistently.”

De La Cruz is hitting .345 with five home runs, four doubles, 13 RBIs and 12 runs in his last 12 games at Triple-A.

Prior to Wednesday’s game, the Mets placed catcher Tomás Nido on the 10-day injured list with a vision issue. Taking Nido’s spot was catcher Michael Perez, who was selected from Triple-A Syracuse.

–Field Level Media

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