In a brisk two-hour, twenty-five minute game on Sunday night in San Francisco, Noah Syndergaard and Yoenis Cespedes kept the Mets’ playoff hopes alive. Trailing by four-and-a-half games in the wild card race to begin the day—and five at first pitch—the Mets couldn’t really afford to lose the series finale.
For a while, it was far from a sure thing that they would win. Jeff Samardzija, who had a 4.24 ERA when the game began, held the Mets without a hit through six innings. But with Syndergaard nearly matching Samardzija’s no-hit bid, the Mets turned the no-no into a two-run deficit in short order in the top of the seventh.
Curtis Granderson hit a leadoff double to left field, ending Samardzija’s no-hit bid. Cespedes hit a long two-run home run, ending Samardzija’s shutout bid and giving the Mets all they needed to win the game.
From there, Syndergaard threw two more scoreless innings. His pitch count at 98 after the bottom of the eighth, Syndergaard admitted to Terry Collins that he was done for the night. Perhaps Collins would have gone to Jeurys Familia regardless, but whatever the case, Familia gave up just a one-out single as he threw a scoreless ninth, notching his 41st save of the season in the process.
And with that, the Mets maintained their 4.5-game deficit for the second wild card. It might not sound like much, but it beats the hell out of a 5.5-game deficit. And if Yoenis Cespedes hits nearly as well as he did over the weekend, that deficit very well might keep shrinking.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Noah Syndergaard, +46.0% WPA, Yoenis Cespedes, +20.1% WPA
Big losers: none
Teh aw3s0mest play: Yoenis Cespedes hits a two-run home run in the seventh, +23.1% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Buster Posey hits a one-out single in the ninth, -5.2% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +52.9% WPA
Total batter WPA: -2.9% WPA
GWRBI!: Yoenis Cespedes