When the defending champions are in town, and you believe that you're a playoff contender, getting swept would undoubtedly sway some opinions on the quality of your team. When you're looking to avoid that sweep with arguably the most beleaguered player on your roster—Jon Niese—on the mound, the headlines would seem to write themselves. The Mets, however, played like they've played at home all year: resiliently.
It looked like Jon Niese was going to be in trouble from the outset. Niese gave up two hits and a walk to start the game, before Buster Posey rifled a ball into right field, which scored Nori Aoki. Aoki shouldn't have been on base in the first place, as it seems that the umpire missed a call at first base, but replay review was inconclusive. Nevertheless, Niese got Justin Maxwell to roll a ball over for a tailor-made double play, which scored Joe Panik, but he got out of the inning having given up two runs when things could have gone worse.
The Mets were facing former superstar Tim Lincecum, who stymied them in the first four innings. It looked like Tuesday night could be repeating itself, as a guy who seemed to have less-than-stellar stuff seemed to ramp it up and dominate the Mets slumping offense. The no-hitter carried itself into the fourth when, after a Lucas Duda walk and a Matt Duffy bobble on a Michael Cuddyer grounder that cost him an out, Travis d'Arnaud dunked a ball behind first base, scoring Duda.
The Mets score twice more in the fifth.Niese showed his prowess with the bat, drilled a double over the head of Angel Pagan in center. He later scored on a Lucas Duda sacrifice fly. The Mets put another run on the board when Michael Cuddyer drove a double into the right-center field gap, giving them the lead.
The sixth inning, however, was a picture-perfect indication of the Mets' recent struggles. Niese retired the first two batters in the frame, but Eric Campbell couldn't cleanly field a ball at third which allowed Justin Maxwell to get on base. Brandon Crawford then deposited a ball into the Mets bullpen, and the Giants were back ahead.
The Mets didn't roll over after that deflating moment, though, as Curtis Granderson tied the game up in the seventh when he brought Darrell Ceciliani home. Granderson was involved in two of the Mets biggest moments of the game, as he would come up with one out in the ninth.
After Sergio Romo had worked Granderson to a two-strike count, he let a ball slip out of his hand, which drilled Granderson in the back. With Granderson on first, Giants catcher Andrew Susac let a ball skid off the edge of the webbing of his glove, which went to the backstop, allowing Granderson to advance. Granderson advanced on a ground out by Juan Lagares, and the Giants intentionally walked Duda to get to Cuddyer.
He powered a single up the middle, scoring Granderson to win the game. It was a big night for Cuddyer, as he drove in two critical runs. And with a Nationals loss last night, the Mets are back in first place in the National League East.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Michael Cuddyer, 52.5% WPA, Curtis Granderson, 37.2% WPA
Big losers: -34.5% WPA, Eric Campbell, -22.0% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Michael Cuddyer's walk-off single, 37.7% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Brandon Crawford's home run, 38.4% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -13.8% WPA
Total batter WPA: 63.8% WPA
GWRBI!: Michael Cuddyer