The Mets continued their uniform carousel and busted out their camo uniforms for an early day game, but it was of no luck as they were defeated in an action-packed 4-3 game. Dillon Gee was opposite Tim Hudson, and neither pitcher got out of the sixth inning.
As a result, each team's bullpen had a large part to play in the outcome of today's game. For the first time in a long while, both Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia gave up the pivotal runs and the back-end of the pen, which has been so reliable recently, failed the Mets. The team leaves Citi Field today six games under .500 and will embark on back-to-back division series in Washington and Philadelphia.
The Mets jumped Tim Hudson early and tagged him for two runs in the bottom of the first. After making a terrific catch to deny Hunter Pence of an extra-base hit to lead off the top of the first, Curtis Granderson worked Hudson for a tough nine pitch at-bat and earned himself a base on balls to open up the bottom half of the frame. Daniel Murphy followed up by quickly getting down 0-2 in the count, but Hudson could not put him away and hung a breaking ball middle-middle, which Murphy deposited over the fence in right field for his ninth home run of the year. Hudson got the next three batters out, but the Mets were able to get on the board early today—a welcome sight after being completely dominated by Madison Bumgarner last night.
The Giants managed to get to Gee in the third and tie the game up at two. Pence, who the Mets have had trouble getting out all series, hit a double with one out in the second. After getting Gregor Blanco to strike out, Gee elected to pitch around Buster Posey and walked him with first base open and two outs. Pablo Sandoval then rocketed a double to the gap in right-center which plated both Blanco and the hustling Posey all the way from first base. Gee got Brandon Belt to fly out but found himself walking back to the dugout with his lead gone.
The Mets were able to get their lead back with a run in the fifth. It started with Murphy, who hit a two-out single and then stole second base. The throw from Posey on the stolen base attempt was airmailed into center field and allowed Murphy to advance to third. Gregor Blanco collected the ball in center and fired it to third base, but that throw was also errant, though Murphy had to hold at third. David Wright finally got a break and drove in the run by narrowly legging out an infield single. The Mets were back on top 3-2.
The sixth inning saw both starting pitchers chased from the game. After Gee gave up a two-out double to Joe Panik, Terry Collins tapped Vic Black to close out the inning. With first base open, Black walked Juan Perez to bring up Travis Ishikawa, who was hitting for Hudson. Black got the him to strike out and kept Gee on the hook for the win.
Gee did not have great fastball command this afternoon, but he was able to get the Giants' batters to chase his breaking ball as he racked up six strikeouts in his five-and-two-thirds innings of work. He also allowed an uncharacteristic three walks, but two of them were to Posey. Gee was able to limit the damage and allow just the two runs in the third.
It was a gutsy start from Gee, and while he did not have his best stuff or work deep into the game, he kept the Mets in it. With so many young hurlers in the pipeline, these final two months appear to be critical for Gee if he would like to secure his rotation spot in the Mets' organization for the future. Although it was not a sterling outing, it was a step in the right direction.
Black was relied upon for just the one out, and Collins called on Jeurys Familia in the seventh inning, instead of his customary eighth inning, in a game which the Mets badly wanted to win before heading back out on the road. Today was not Familia's day, however, and he was extremely wild and could not preserve the lead.
Pence hit a triple to lead off the seventh—because of course he did—and Familia found himself in trouble immediately. Pence skied the ball to the left center gap that saw Chris Young and Lagares both come together at the outfield wall, but neither ended up with the ball in their glove. The triple was Pence's sixth extra-base hit of the series, and the Mets will be extraordinarily happy not to see him step up to the plate against them again this year.
Familia walked Blanco, and with Posey up at the plate, he issued a wild pitch and Pence was able to motor home from third. He could not find the strike zone against Posey and issued yet another walk. Sandoval hit a single that went in between Familia's legs all the way to Lagares in center, but Lagares gunned down Blanco at the plate. It was the only out Familia was able to record in what was his worst appearance in some time, and with the left-handed Brandon Belt due up, Josh Edgin trotted out from the bullpen. He needed just one pitch to get Belt to ground into a textbook 6-4-3 double play and keep the game tied at three.
The bottom of the seventh saw some more fireworks. With Javier Lopez on the mound and Lucas Duda up with two outs, he ran the at-bat to a full count, and rookie umpire Ben May called him out on a fastball strike three which Duda determined to be too low. The Mets' dugout took exception with this call as well, and Terry Collins began barking at the umpire from the dugout steps after Duda said what he had to say to the ump. May then turned to Collins and said "that's enough" but the manager did not heed this warning and was ejected from the game.
The game looked destined for extra innings but the Giants got a run off of Jenrry Mejia in the top of the ninth to give themselves their first lead of the day. Mejia got the first two hitters he faced out but then gave up a hit to Blanco, his first of the entire series, who then stole second to put a runner in scoring position with Posey up at the plate. Posey walked for the fourth time of the day, which brought up Pablo Sandoval, who hit an automatic double down the left field line to score Blanco from second. Mejia got the next out from there to end the inning.
San Francisco's closer, Santiago Casilla, came on and made quick work with the Mets in the bottom of the ninth to put them out of their misery.
Lagares had quite an adventurous game today. He racked up three hits, got thrown out on the basepaths early on, did not come up with one or two fly balls he may have gotten to on a different day, and he threw out a runner at home on an exquisite throw to keep the game tied in the seventh. He has quickly grown into a very entertaining young player to watch, as he is able to influence the game in so many different ways.
While we have grown accustomed to seeing Familia and Mejia being lights out, today was a blip on that radar screen. Familia was just a mess today, and it will be interesting to see how he rebounds when he is called upon in Washington for his next appearance. The run Mejia gave up was more of the unfortunate variety, as he retired the first two batters he faced and just couldn't get out of the inning. He made a mistake on the double he allowed to Sandoval, as he got him to a two-strike count and showed him too much of the strike zone on the hit.
Besides the Murphy homer, the Mets' offense was pretty stagnant all day. They managed just one other extra-base hit and were unable to put anything together to add to their run total. The Mets will now look to right the ship in Washington tomorrow.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Josh Edgin, 21.6%; Daniel Murphy, 12.5%
Big losers: Jenrry Mejia, -33.4%; Jeurys Familia, -28.8%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Daniel Murphy home run in the first
Teh sux0rest play: Pablo Sandoval double in the ninth
Total pitcher WPA: -30.1%
Total batter WPA: -19.9%
GWRBI!: Pablo Sandoval double in the ninth