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Mets vs. Padres recap: Mets get by with a little help from an infielder

The Mets won!

San Diego Padres v New York Mets Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Mets took an odd path to get there, but they finally won a game last night as they beat the Padres in eleven innings. For a while, it looked like Jacob deGrom was going to throw a shutout, and even after he lost that, the Mets regained a one-run lead in the ninth and had the Padres down to their final out. That didn’t quite work out, either, but the Mets won by one in the end.

For a team that had just dipped below .500 for the first time since April, any kind of win was welcome. After Jose Reyes drew a walk to begin the bottom of the first, he took second and third on a wild pitch and a throwing error by the catcher and scored on a Neil Walker single. The way deGrom was throwing, that run looked like it’d be enough for the Mets to win the game.

Although he, too, had walked the first batter he faced, deGrom settled in very quickly, inducing a double play and then striking out the next four batters he faced. He took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, racked up strikeouts throughout his start, and kept his pitch count very low until the seventh inning. With two outs in that inning and a shutout still well within reach, Yangervis Solarte hit a home run that knotted the game at one.

deGrom finished off that inning without issue, and his final line was still excellent: seven innings, nine strikeouts, one walk, three hits, and one run. With that, he has a 2.30 ERA on the season, among the best marks in all of baseball.

In the bottom of the seventh, Wilmer Flores hit an infield single, believe it or not, and Alejandro De Aza drew a walk. For the second time in recent memory, Terry Collins had Travis d’Arnaud bunt—a trend we should all hope doesn’t continue—which he did successfully. Pinch hitter Kelly Johnson hit a fly ball to deep center field to plate Flores, and if not for a great catch by Padres center fielder Travis Jankowski. Jose Reyes then struck out to end the inning, and after an 0-for-4 night with the aforementioned walk, he has a .273 on-base percentage on the season.

Still, the Mets had that slim lead back, and Addison Reed threw a perfect eighth. They didn’t get any insurance in the bottom of that inning, but Jeurys Familia—who brought back “Danza Kuduro” as his entrance music—came on for the ninth and got two quick outs. Then he served up a game-tying home run to Wil Myers. He kept the tie intact, and Citi Field filled with boos as the top of the inning ended. Here’s hoping those were more about general frustration than Familia himself.

And so the teams traded zeroes in the tenth, with Travis d’Arnaud throwing out a would-be base-stealer to end the top of the inning, which featured Jerry Blevins and Erik Goeddel on the mound. After the Mets went down in order in the bottom of the tenth, they turned to rookie Gabriel Ynoa for his major league debut in the eleventh. He retired the side in order on a pop out, fly out, and strikeout. And he set the Mets up for victory in the bottom of the inning.

Neil Walker singled to begin the inning, and after Jay Bruce smoked a line drive that the right fielder caught just shy of the outfield fence, he took third on a heads-up baserunning play when James Loney singled. And when Wilmer Flores hit a ground ball to second baseman Ryan Schmipf, the infielder opted not to step on the bag at second and throw to first for a very likely double play—given the lack of speed of the two runners involved. He instead threw home, missing the catcher by a lot. Walker scored, and the Mets won.

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What’s WPA?

Big winners: Wilmer Flores, +33.8% WPA, Jacob deGrom, +20.5% WPA, Erik Goeddel, +12.3% WPA, Gabriel Ynoa, +12.0% WPA, Neil Walker, +10.3% WPA
Big losers: Jeurys Familia, -23.8% WPA, Curtis Granderson, -12.9% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: James Loney singles to put runners on the corners in the eleventh, +19.4% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Wil Myers hits a game-tying home run in the ninth, -37.8% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +31.5% WPA
Total batter WPA: +18.5% WPA
GWRBI!: Wilmer Flores