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Final Score: Mets 7, Nationals 2—Collins's alchemy turns Soup to gold

The Mets had an unlikely hero last night: a pinch hitter! Eric Campbell helped to even the series in Washington and once again draw the Mets within two games of first place.

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

In the top of the seventh with the Mets trailing 2-1 and runners on second and third with one out, Terry Collins elected to pinch hit for starter Jacob deGrom.

Even though deGrom had only thrown 82 pitches to that point, with eight strikeouts, no walks, and only 3 hits allowed.

Even though deGrom came into the game with a .205 batting average, which far outstripped the Mets' team pinch-hitting mark of .161.

Even though the guy he used to pinch-hit, Eric Campbell did not have a pinch-hit yet to his credit this year in nine plate appearances.  Heck, Campbell didn't even have a hit in games he came off the bench for defensive purposes, extending his string to 21 hitless plate appearances coming off the bench this year.

"So, we rolled the dice," Collins said of his decision after the game.

Maybe Collins knew something about Campbell's performance at the craps table in Las Vegas (stats unavailable), because the Mets had him cash in on a two-run single over a drawn-in infield, giving them a lead the bullpen wouldn't relinquish.

The Mets exploded for four more runs in the ninth, but still opted to bring in closer Jeurys Familia to finish the game with a five-run lead.  If nothing else, we saw what could be the go-to late inning crew for the orange and blue: Jenrry Mejia in the seventh, Bobby Parnell in the eighth, and Familia in the ninth.

Wilmer Flores went 2-for-4 with two RBI, a run scored, and a walk, while Curtis Granderson went 2-for-5 with two runs scored, an RBI, and a steal.  After going 4-for-72 with runners in scoring position their previous nine games, the Mets went 5-for-15 in those situations in this one.

The rubber game of the series is Wednesday at 12:35 ET, as Noah Syndergaard takes on Jordan Zimmerman.

GameThread Roll Call

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