For a little while there it looked as if the Mets would creep to within two games of first place in the NL East. Using equal parts grission and actual baseball ability, the Mets battled back from 2-0 deficit to plate two runs apiece in the sixth and seventh innings, carrying a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the eighth. The bullpen took over for an impressive Livan Hernandez, and Pedro Feliciano and Sean Green conspired to allow a run on two hits as they watched the Orioles trim the Mets' lead to 4-3.
I'll let my inner monologue take it from here...
Alright, our usually-reliable bullpen coughed up a run there. No problem, the Mets will just get that run right back in the top of the ninth. Castillo's leading off, eh? He's pretty lousy, but has done a decent job of getting on base this season. Everyone hates him, but I secretly love him. Err, I mean I have faith in Li'l Louie.
L Castillo singled to left.
A-ha! A leadoff single! Take that, haterz! Now we've got Cora and his .387 on-base percentage. There's a pretty good chance he'll get on here and push that insurance run into scoring position with nobody out. No way he's gonna bunt; that would be completely retar... ooooohhhhhh JEBUS NOOOOOOOO!!
A Cora sacrificed to pitcher, L Castillo to second.
Why oh why do we always bunt? Playing for one run in the top of the ninth isn't really a bad idea, but Cora has been uncharacteristically decent this year and I'd prefer he take a shot there. Double ugh. Oh well, Murph, Voltron and Wright coming up, we can still get this run in. Alright Blue Collar Dan, take some pitches here. Wait for something good. Bleah, curveball for strike one. That wasn't your pitch anyway. Let's go, pick up thy lunchpail and knock in this run.
D Murphy flied out to right, L Castillo to third.
Aaaand a just-missed flyout to right, Castillo motors to third, but who really cares because we still need a hit to get this run in. Good thing Voltron's up. He'll clean up this mess. Albers can't find the strike zone here. What a bum; this guy suc...
C Beltran intentionally walked.
Oh, he's intentionally walking him. Figures. I wouldn't want to pitch to Voltron, either, what with his leonine appendages and got-served-itude. Wright up, and he thrives in these big pressure situations. Close and late, I think Karl Ravech calls them. Wait: is Wright good in these situations? I feel like he used to be, but now I'm not sure. I know he strikes out a lot. Let me just quickly check B-Ref and we'll see wha...
D Wright grounded out to shortstop.
Ah crap, groundout to short. That Cora bunt paid off as usual. Whatever, who needs an insurance run? Frank's coming in to nail this one down. It'll be the old one-two-three, scream, fingers-to-the-sky and we're back within two of the Philths. Aaand, go.
M Wieters doubled to left center. F Pie ran for M Wieters.
Not the start I was hoping for. Putz I expect this from. Frank The Closer, you're better than this. Alright, a couple of whiffs and a lazy fly and we're on the plane to Queens.
N Reimold hit for R Andino. N Reimold walked.
Just setting up the force play, or something. No big deal, this game is still very much in control. As long as nobody does anything stupid here we'll be fine.
B Roberts sacrificed...
A bunt! Who does this guy think he is, Jerry Manuel? Let's go, Santos L. Halper. Grab the ball and take the sure out at first. Whatever you do, don't do something crazy like throwing to thir...
...into fielder's choice to catcher, F Pie to third, N Reimold to second.
!@^$*&!@ [unintelligible]. Being aggressive has its place, but when the opposing team gives you a sure out in a situation like this, you take it. The lead runner doesn't win the game, so just be smart and play it by the book. But noooo. Just being lousy at the plate isn't enough for you, is it? Alright, now we're in trouble. Bases loaded, none out (thanks, Halper!), and Frank's a little spotty with his control. Well, he has Adam Jones quickly 1-2 after the youngster waved uselessly at two changeups. Just one more strike and we're back in business.
A Jones walked, F Pie scored, N Reimold to third, B Roberts to second.
N Markakis struck out looking.
One down. A double-play and we'll go on to win this one in extra...
A Huff singled to right, N Reimold scored, B Roberts to third, A Jones to second.
Big winners: Carlos Beltran, +30.8% WPA, Livan Hernandez, +17.7% WPA
Big losers: Francisco Rodriguez, -79.1% WPA, David Wright, -16.4% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Murphy RBI double in seventh, +19.9% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Wieters leadoff double in ninth, -24.4% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -61.0% WPA
Total batter WPA: +11.0% WPA
GWRBI!: Aubrey Huff
Nice job by Jadden Hopkins; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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