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Mets vs. Diamondbacks recap: Lightning strikes in the desert

Thor packed Mjölnir on his trip to Arizona.

MLB: New York Mets at Arizona Diamondbacks Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets defeated the Diamondbacks, as their offense found an oasis in the desert in the form of Arizona starter Braden Shipley. But some sloppy Mets defense made this game a tight contest.

Noah Syndergaard pitched his best ballgame in quite some time, although his final numbers belie that point. His velocity held throughout the game and he pitched inside more effectively than he had in his more recent games. The stolen base epidemic continued, but he was mostly able to work around it. What’s also important to note is that Noah Syndergaard made your humble writer look like a genius. More on that later.

The start of the game looked like more of the same for the Mets on both sides of the ball. The offense looked sluggish in the top of the first against Shipley, and in the bottom of the first the stolen bases against Syndergaard started almost right away.

Michael Bourn doubled with one out, and after Paul Goldschmidt struck out, Jake Lamb walked. With runners on first and second, they both took off and made it safely for the first stolen bases of the night. Syndergaard got out of that early trouble when Yasmany Tomas grounded out.

The second inning started both T.J. Rivera’s and Kelly Johnson’s good days at the plate. Johnson walked and Rivera got his first hit of the day. Unfortunately they went no further when Alejandro De Aza lined out and Rene Rivera grounded into a double play.

Syndergaard threw up zeroes in the second but ran into trouble in the third. Jean Segura reached base on an infield singe and moved to second on a groundout. He stole third but Syndergaard got out of it when Lamb struck out to end the inning.

In the fourth it wasn’t the stolen base that hurt Syndergaard but the home run. Tomas sneaked a ball just fair leading off the inning to give the snakes a 1-0 lead.

The offense responded in a big way in the top of the fifth. T.J. Rivera singled to lead off the inning and De Aza followed with a double. Rene Rivera smoked a ball to center that Michael Bourn ran down and made an incredible catch. T.J. tagged and the game was tied. De Aza did not tag up on the play since it was hard to judge if Bourn would make the catch so he remained at second. In the end it did not matter because Noah Syndergaard crushed his third home run of the season which makes four by Met pitchers this year.

Wait, hold the phone. They have hit a total of four home runs? Remember when I said your writer was a genius? Well in the beginning of the season I predicted that the Mets pitchers would hit four home runs this season. Never did I think Bartolo would have one of them, but I’ll take it.

Okay, back to the action: Jose Reyes tripled following the Syndergaard home run and Curtis Granderson hit a shallow ball to right that Reyes was able to tag up on to bring home the fourth run of the inning.

The barrage off Shipley continued in the sixth when Johnson led off the inning with a home run. T.J. Rivera picked up another hit and took second on a Bourn error. He came home when De Aza doubled and De Aza went to third on an error by Tomas. That was it for Shipley who only lasted five innings and gave up seven runs but only six were earned.

Daniel Hudson relieved Shipley and almost got out of the inning without De Aza scoring from third, but with two out Reyes singled him home to give the Mets a 7-1 lead.

T.J. Rivera had a good day at the plate but his play in the field was a different story. He committed two errors in the sixth that ultimately did Syndergaard in. Lamb reached on his first error and moved to second on a wild pitch. Welington Castillo singled with one out and Lamb moved to third. Mitch Haniger hit a ball to right that Granderson misplayed and Haniger collected his first major league hit which ended up being a triple. That hit cut the lead to 7-3 but Syndergaard had a chance to get out of the inning when Chris Owings popped up for the second out.

Unfortunately T.J. made his second error of the inning on a ball hit by pinch-hitter Phil Gosselin and Haniger came home. Gosselin then picked up the fourth stolen base against Syndergaard and moved to third when T.J. Rivera could not throw out Jean Segura at first on an infield hit. James Loney did not stretch for the ball so their combined lapses ended Syndergaard’s night. He finished the day going 5.2 innings and gave up four runs but only two were earned. He also struck out eight.

Jerry Blevins relieved Syndergaard and struck out Bourn to end the inning. Hansel Robles followed Blevins out of the pen and got into trouble right away when Goldschmidt doubled to lead off the seventh. He got the next two outs but then walked Castillo.

Terry Collins wasn’t taking any chances today and brought in Addison Reed to face his former ballclub. Haniger continued his big day and doubled to bring home Goldschmidt but Castillo held up at third. Owings grounded out to end the threat, but the lead was further cut into and it was now 7-5.

Reed settled down and pitched a clean eighth, and Jeurys Familia earned his 40th save of the year when he got the heart of the potent Diamondbacks’ lineup in order in the ninth.

The offense looked better and with Yoenis Cespedes’s and Asdrubal Cabrera’s returns on the horizon, hopefully the Mets have found their way out of their offensive desert.

SB Nation GameThreads

Amazin’ Avenue
AZ Snake Pit

Box scores


Win Probability Added


What’s WPA?

Big winners: Noah Syndergaard (at the plate) +17.2%, T.J. Rivera +14.7%, Alejandro De Aza +10.8%
Big losers: Rene Rivera -15.1%,
Teh aw3s0mest play: Noah Syndergaard home run in fifth
Teh sux0rest play: Yasmany Tomas home run in fourth
Total pitcher WPA: +23.1%
Total batter WPA: +27.0%
GWRBI!: Jose Reyes