The Mets and Giants squared off in game two of their four game set at Citi Field and it was the team from New York that came out victorious with a 4-2 victory. The game featured two starting pitchers who share a first name, as Jacob deGrom and Jake Peavy traded zeroes and stymied the opposition for most of the evening. It was a fantastic pitcher's duel and the excellent pitching was only aided by some fantastic defense and a very energetic crowd at Citi Field.
On Saturday evening, the pair of Jacobs (or Jakes, if you wish) took the hill at Citi Field and twirled some outstanding ball. For the Mets, it was deGrom who shut out the Giants and kept them without a baserunner into the 5th inning. After walking Brandon Belt, deGrom ignored the momentary bump in the road and continued to stifle the Giants, not allowing a hit until Pablo Sandoval lined a double into the gap with two outs in the 7th inning. All of deGrom's pitches were working quite well on this evening, as his fastball easily navigated the corners of the plate with mid-90's velocity and his offspeed stuff induced a number of awkward swings and misses. For a while, it seemed like deGrom might actually have a shot at history. And yet, Peavy was somehow even better. The longtime vet, in his second start with the Giants, matched and even bested deGrom, taking a perfect game into the Mets half of the seventh inning. While only striking out 4 batters in total, Peavy was incredibly efficient with his pitches and got the Mets to get themselves out with weak contact.
Both sides also played crisp defense behind their pitchers, always important when trying for the elusive no-hitter. Juan Lagares made a sparkling leaping play in the second inning to rob Brandon Belt of extra bases deep in the left center field gap. Hunter Pence followed that with an outstanding sliding catch along the right field line to retire Wilmer Flores a few innings later. It was a pitching and defensive clinic between these two team for most of the evening. Then, with one foul ball, it was all over.
Fast forward to the bottom of the seventh inning with Curtis Granderson at the dish to lead it off. Granderson fouled a ball off onto the third base side and out of play. Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval went hard after the foul ball, colliding with the fence and a parabolic microphone set up in the opening of that fence. After the collision and unsuccessful catch, Sandoval realized he'd cut himself on the microphone and asked the trainer to come out to bandage him up. At this point in the Mets booth, Keith Hernandez spoke about how the wait for Sandoval to get bandaged could negatively affect Peavy on the mound and the Mets' broadcaster may have been right.
After play restarted, Granderson launched a ball to the deepest part of the ballpark in right center field where it was caught on the warning track. Not a hit but probably the hardest contact on the evening to the point. Up next followed Daniel Murphy, who lined a ball to left field. Giants left fielder Michael Morse, known for his bat and certainly not his defense, misjudged the fly ball and it went over his head for a double and the Mets' first baserunner of the game. Peavy looked visibly upset that Morse missed the ball and things began to unravel from there. David Wright followed with a bloop single in front of Morse to put runners at the corners with one out and Lucas Duda was then hit by a pitch to load the bases for Travis d'Arnaud.
With the bases juiced and one out, the only thing d'Arnaud couldn't do was hit the ball on the ground. Waiting for his pitch, d'Arnaud lined a ball to deep right field that Pence caught, allowing Murphy to score with the Mets first run of the night. Juan Lagares then followed that with a single to score the second run of the night. The Mets were not done, however, and Wilmer Flores came up to the plate and ripped a two-run double down the left field line. With a little help from the SNY microphones and some poor outfield defense, the Mets went from seventh inning perfect game to 4-0 lead just like that.
Leading for the first time, Jacob deGrom came out and gave up a pair of runs in the eighth on a Travis Ishikawa single before being lifted for Jeurys Familia. With a runner at first and the tying run at the plate, Familia managed to strike out Hunter Pence and induce a Brandon Crawford fly ball to center to end the Giants rally. In the ninth inning, Jenrry Mejia allowed a leadoff hit to Buster Posey before retiring the next two batters. With two outs, Brandon Belt singled to put the tying run on base but Mejia was able to get Joe Panik to weakly ground out to second base to end it. It was an exciting win for the Mets, one that featured stellar pitching all around and timely hitting. Let's do that again real soon!
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Jacob deGrom (30.8%), Jeurys Familia (7.1%)
Big losers: Curtis Granderson (-8.5%), Eric Young (-3.0%)
Teh aw3s0mest play: Juan Lagares' RBI single to make it 2-0 (9.2%)
Teh sux0rest play: Buster Posey's leadoff single in the 9th inning (-7.0%)
Total pitcher WPA: 43.7%
Total batter WPA: 6.3%
GWRBI!: Travis d'Arnaud