On a rainy Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia, the New York Mets punched their ticket to the Wild Card game by defeating the Phillies, 5-3. James Loney was the hero of the day, making some suave moves at first base and blasting a two-run homer to right field in the top of the sixth.
That proved to be the game-winning hit, though the Mets tacked on an insurance run in the eighth inning thanks to the continued heroics of Asdrubal Cabrera. Other runs came from T.J. Rivera and Jose Reyes, suggesting that the sometimes-stagnant Mets offense might finally be clicking.
It wasn’t a great day for Yoenis Cespedes, going 0-for-5 before being ejected for arguing over a called third strike in the top of the ninth inning. That ejection might have proved fortuitous, as the final out of the game was a sliding catch by Michael Conforto, who took over for Cespedes in left.
That last out wouldn’t have been possible if not for the Mets’ pitching staff, though. Bartolo Colon served up five innings of excellence, with six strikeouts and two earned runs, courtesy of Met-killer Ryan Howard. Other than a solo home run from Darin Ruf off Fernando Salas in the seventh, the bullpen kept the game under control. Hansel Robles and Jerry Blevins combined to make the sixth inning a non-issue, and the overwhelming duo of Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia ensured the lead stayed intact.
The Mets are now a lock for the postseason. For a team that was nearly written off by the middle of August, simply making the Wild Card game is an accomplishment worthy of celebration. The Mets conclude their regular season against the Phillies tomorrow at 3:05 PM.
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