CINCINNATI, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 21: Seth Lugo #67 of the New York Mets pitches during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on September 21, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
(Photo by Bryan Woolston/Getty Images)

New York Mets reliever Seth Lugo claims he was once a victim of the Astros’ sign-stealing during the 2017 season.

Seth Lugo started eight and 18 games for the New York Mets during the 2016 and 2017 campaigns, respectively. During the latter year, he had just one appearance in relief, seeming as if he was going to become one of the primary guys in the rotation.

But this is professional sports, and things change. By 2019, Lugo was a full-time reliever, appearing in 61 games out of the pen during what was an 86-76 season. So what caused him to end up there in the first place? Well, there were numerous reasons for Lugo’s transition, but he ultimately credits a September 2017 start against the cheating Houston Astros.

Lugo made it through five scoreless innings before allowing four runs in the sixth. The Mets pulled him thereafter, and this week, the 30-year-old reflected on that game as Houston finally faces justice.

“I pitched that inning. I was making good pitches,” Lugo said at spring training, per Tim Healey of Newsday. “And when you execute a pitch, you shouldn’t give up good hits. Maybe a little bloop or a ground ball up the middle or something. But their whole approach changed.”

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.