Jacob deGrom threw eight shutout innings in his final start before the All-Star break, and the Mets finally got the 300-pound monkey off their back when Eric Campbell delivered a two-run home run in the top of the ninth. Jeurys Familia was able to lock things down after Bobby Parnell had his first stumble of 2015, putting a finishing touch on a successful 4-2 road trip.
deGrom was definitely the focal point of the game. After getting beaten around by the Cubs a bit in his last start, he came out dealing today. He struck out ten Giants and only allowed two walks and two hits. Not that it needed any reinforcement, but deGrom was able to once again demonstrate that he's one of the best pitchers in the National League. He is among the league leaders in FIP and fWAR, and the only two pitchers that have been better to any significant degree are Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer.
Familia also deserves mention, as he locked down yet another save for the Mets. Though he's overperforming his FIP significantly, likely because of his extreme ground ball tendencies, Familia currently has the second-best ERA of all qualifying National League relievers, ranking second in RA-9 WAR. It's tough to add much more value to a team as a reliever, and while he probably doesn't deserve to win the final choice vote, Familia certainly deserves to be on the All-Star team over relievers like Jonathan Papelbon and Francisco Rodriguez.
True to recent form, the Mets' offense was much less exciting to watch. The Giants gifted the Mets a run when Brandon Crawford made a rare throwing error on a Daniel Murphy ground ball in the sixth inning. The ball rattled around in the on-field bullpen, allowing Ruben Tejeda to score all the way from first. The next inning, Eric Campbell hit a leadoff single, and deGrom followed with a perfectly executed hit-and-run single, sending Campbell to third. Juan Lagares then hit a ground ball that Matt Duffy made a diving stop on. The Giants retired deGrom at second, but Campbell scored, and Lagares was safe at first.
Come the ninth inning, the much-maligned Campbell had another key hit, driving a two-run home run to left field that extended the Mets' lead at the time to four runs and breaking a streak of 414 plate appearances without a home run for the Mets. It was the first time in fourteen games that a Met other than Curtis Granderson left the yard.
Campbell might only have a 59 wRC+ at the moment, but he's improved all his peripheral statistics—he's walking more, hitting more line drives, and has a slightly higher hard-hit rate—but has seen his BABIP dip 90 points below his career average. The calls to replace him with a player like Alex Castellanos or Matt Reynolds are certainly not without merit, but Campbell is probably better than he's played so far in 2015. Perhaps his home run can take a little pressure off him and the Mets' struggling offense.
With the win, the Mets pulled to within three games of the first place Nationals and also ensured that the Braves will remain alone in third place, at least for tonight. The Mets remain 3.5 games back of the Cubs for the second Wild Card spot, but they are within striking distance and came through this road trip about as well as could be expected given the circumstances.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Jacob deGrom, +54.3% WPA, Daniel Murphy, +15.4% WPA
Big losers: Curtis Granderson, -9.3% WPA, Kevin Plawecki, -5.6% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Daniel Murphy's single to SS in the seventh and Crawford throws the ball away, +19.9% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Kevin Plawecki flies out with runners on the corners in the top of the sixth, -5.1% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +50.6% WPA
Total batter WPA: -0.6% WPA
GWRBI!: Juan Lagares