Yamamoto, Mets hit 'a little speed bump'

May 23rd, 2021

The Mets needed length from right-hander on Sunday afternoon. For most of last week, the team overworked its bullpen. But Sunday was no different.

Facing his former team, Yamamoto lasted four innings in a 5-1 loss to the Marlins at loanDepot park, during which it was learned that Yamamoto had right shoulder soreness.

It’s not known if Yamamoto will go on the injured list. He started to feel pain in the third inning. After the game, Yamamoto didn’t have any excuses. He wanted to beat the Marlins badly. He considers them friends, but not during the Sunday’s game.

“It’s a little speed bump in the road, but we’ll get better,” Yamamoto said about the injury. "Through all that, I’m supposed to pitch. At the end of the day, I’m trying to give my team a chance and I let them down today.”

Before his shoulder started hurting, Yamamoto had a poor second inning, when Miami scored all five of its runs. He threw 38 pitches, which he feels had nothing to do with the shoulder soreness. He didn’t have fastball command and was missing his spots. Marlins right-hander Cody Poteet and Jazz Chisholm Jr. took advantage of the situation and each hit an RBI single.

It would have been less damage for New York in the second inning, had Yamamoto covered first base during a potential double-play ball. With one out and the bases loaded, Miguel Rojas hit a hard ground ball to first baseman Dominic Smith, who threw Chisholm Jr. out at second. It looked like shortstop Francisco Lindor made a perfect throw to Yamamoto for the double play, but the ball went past Yamamoto for an error that allowed two runs to score.

“The double play could have been damage minimized, but Yamamoto didn’t control his position on the throw from Lindor,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said. "Because of not finishing the double play, [it] led up to that five-run inning. It could have been a two-run inning. We would have been in a closer game. You don’t know how it could have played out. The defense hurt us there.”

Yamamoto wanted to pitch the fifth inning, but Rojas said he was done because of his high pitch count. Rojas didn’t know about Yamamoto’s injury until later in the game.

Right-hander replaced Yamamoto in the fifth and he gave New York three shutout innings with two strikeouts.

The Mets couldn’t touch Poteet. It was his third Major League start and he was outstanding. He pitched seven innings and allowed three hits, all singles. Poteet retired the final 14 hitters he faced. The Mets didn’t have a runner in scoring position until doubled in the eighth inning off Marlins reliever John Curtiss.

“[Poteet’s] changeup looked like it was coming along,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “I thought as the game went deeper his slider got better, seemed to be up a little bit early. He just kind of kept making pitches. I thought [catcher] Sandy [León] did a nice job with him, keeping the mix in there. It was another good outing for him.”