Travis d’Arnaud made his long-awaited debut with the Mets Saturday night in San Diego. It was a losing effort, no fault of his. He was the only bright spot in an an otherwise long, boring game in which the Mets may have lost yet another starting pitcher.
D’Arnaud was tested defensively early. Will Venable led off the first inning with an infield single and promptly stole second. He really didn’t steal it off d’Arnaud — he got a huge jump off of Jenrry Mejia. D’Arnaud got rid of the ball quickly and his throw was right on target on the second base bag. Even though he did everything right, there was no way anyone was going to throw out Venable with that jump. Venable advanced to third on an out. Yonder Alonso walked and with two outs Chris Denorfia singled to give the Padres a 1-0 lead.
D’Arnaud got his first at bat with two outs in the second inning and walked.
Eric Young generated a run in the third. He led off with a bunt single and stole second. Daniel Murphy then singled to right to score Young to tie the game at one.
Alexi Amarista doubled to lead off the bottom of the third. He was on third with two outs when Mejia threw a ball in the dirt. D’Arnaud did a fine job of blocking the ball, keeping it in front of him and keeping Amarista at third. A line shot to Omar Quintanilla ended the inning to strand him there.
Travis d’Arnaud led off the top of the fourth and was retired on a fly ball to center.
Mejia was lifted from the game with an apparent injury after throwing two pitches in the fourth inning. The team called it “elbow discomfort.” Mejia is pitching with bone spurs in his elbow and is already slated for surgery after the season to clean out the elbow. He struck out five batters in his short outing.
David Aardsma came in and allowed a single to Logan Forsythe. He stole second on another big jump and Nick Hundley crushed a ball over the wall in left to give the Padres a 3-1 lead. With two outs Venable doubled and went to third on a balk by Aardsma. Amarista then singled to make it 4-1.
The Mets made it 4-2 in the fifth when Eric Young doubled and Ike Davis drove him home with a two-out single. Wilmer Flores, back from his ankle injury, doubled down the line in right to put Davis on third. Travis d’Arnaud then got his first big chance, but he tapped out to third.
But Aardsma gave the run right back in the bottom of the inning. A single, stolen base (on a pitch in the dirt that bounced off of Travis d’Arnaud’s shin guard and ricocheted into the stands), walk and another single scored a run to make it 5-2. After a strong start, we are now seeing why Aardsma has been with seven teams in his eight-year career.
D’Arnaud had a passed ball in the sixth and he also couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt in the seventh that got by him and was ruled a wild pitch.
In the eighth d’Arnaud walked again. So he went 0-2 with two walks in his first game. Travis d’Arnaud wasn’t perfect behind the plate, but overall he looked pretty good.
Carlos Torres allowed a three-run home run to Jedd Gyorko in the eighth as the Padres extended the lead to 8-2.
That was the final score as the Mets lose a snoozer that dragged on for nearly four hours.