If the Mets are to maintain any hope of earning one of the National League’s two Wild Card spots, they’re going to have to start winning games soon. While last night’s loss to the lowly Diamondbacks leaves them two-and-a-half games back for the second spot, the Cardinals and Marlins are tied for that spot, and the Mets are tied with the Pirates.
That they failed to gain any ground on a Marlins team that lost yesterday certainly wasn’t Bartolo Colon’s fault. The 43-year-old continued his best season as Met with a very good start. He struck out eight, walked one, and allowed only one run in seven innings of work. He gave up seven hits along the way and often dealt with runners in scoring position, but that didn’t phase him much. He now has a 3.35 ERA on the season, and he’s been a significant contributor to a team that’s had so much go wrong.
The culprit in last night’s loss was, as usual, the Mets’ offense. Arizona starter Robbie Ray came into the game having a pretty bad year, but he was dominant against the Mets. In seven innings of his own, he struck out four and gave up just three hits and didn’t allow a run. And after Addison Reed gave up a rare run in the top of the eighth, Enrique Burgos threw a scoreless bottom of the inning to send the game to the ninth with the Diamondbacks up 2-0.
Erik Goeddel and Jon Niese combined to throw a scoreless top of ninth. After Alejandro De Aza drew a pinch-hit leadoff walk, Curtis Granderson struck out, but fellow pinch-hitter Kelly Johnson hit a rocket into the second deck in right field to tie the game.
That gave the Mets a chance, but a couple of scoreless innings from Jeurys Familia—which required 38 pitches—weren’t enough. The Mets didn’t score in either the tenth or eleventh innings. In the tenth, Bronx native T.J. Rivera hit a leadoff single for his first major league hit, and Terry Collins asked the slumping Travis d’Arnaud to bunt him over. But d’Arnaud, who hasn’t had much experience bunting, popped out, and Rivera only advanced as far as second base in the inning.
With Jerry Blevins pitching in the top of the twelfth, right-handed catcher Oscar Hernandez hit the first home run of his major league career. That proved to be the difference in the game, and the Mets are now 57-56 on the season and in desperate need of even a small winning streak as they attempt to remain relevant over the final month-and-a-half.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Kelly Johnson, +44.1% WPA, Jeurys Familia, +23.9% WPA, Bartolo Colon, +18.8% WPA
Big losers: Jerry Blevins, -32.9% WPA, Jay Bruce, -25.2% WPA, Wilmer Flores, -20.2% WPA, Curtis Granderson, -19.7% WPA, Travis d’Arnaud, -14.6% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Kelly Johnson hits a two-run home run in the ninth, +47.9% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Oscar Hernandez hits a solo home run in the twelfth, -35.8% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +1.7% WPA
Total batter WPA: -51.7% WPA
GWRBI!: Oscar Hernandez