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Ynoa strikes out eight as Mets complete sweep of Twins

The Mets are now in sole possession of the first Wild Card in the National League.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at New York Mets Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

For the third time in as many days, the Mets beat the Twins at Citi Field on Sunday afternoon as their two Wild Card competitors continued to play one another, guaranteeing one team—the Giants this time—would lose ground to the Mets once again. They really could have brought back Bachman-Turner Overdrive at Citi Field when the Mets wrapped up the sweep.

As was the case in each of the first two wins, the Mets scored three runs in the game. Rather than waiting until late in the game to score like they did on Saturday night, though, they jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. They could have easily scored more, too.

Twins starter Kyle Gibson loaded the bases with nobody out, and Michael Conforto—who started in right field and hit cleanup—singled to score two runs. That was it for the Mets in the inning, as Gibson re-loaded the bases before Travis d’Arnaud smoked a ball directly to Brian Dozier at second base, and Dozier doubled off Conforto at second. There really wasn’t anything Conforto could have done to avoid that, and Lucas Duda grounded out to third base in his first at-bat since early in the season.

Gabriel Ynoa, who was making his first major league start, had a good start overall. He gave up one run in four-and-two-thirds innings, struck out eight, issued one walk, and gave up four hits. That run scored on a sacrifice fly in the top of the second, and it didn’t take too long for the Mets to respond, as T.J. Rivera hit a solo home run in the bottom of the third.

Over the course of the game, the Mets could have scored more runs, but their bullpen managed to make those three runs hold up. Terry Collins had a relatively quick hook for Ynoa, who was pulled after giving up a hard-hit single with two outs in the fifth. Josh Edgin took over and faced one batter but gave up a hit, and Erik Goeddel got the Mets out of that inning and pitched a scoreless sixth, too. Josh Smoker threw a scoreless inning before Fernando Salas gave up a solo home run Kennys Vargas that cut the Mets’ lead to 3-2. But Jerry Blevins threw a four-out save to secure the win.

Coming into the weekend, it was clear that the Mets needed to take advantage of the schedule. They did, and in the process, they took over sole possession of the top Wild Card spot in the National League.

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What’s WPA?

Big winners: Jerry Blevins, +23.1% WPA, T.J. Rivera, +14.0% WPA, Gabriel Ynoa, +12.1% WPA, Erik Goeddel, +11.0% WPA
Big losers: none
Teh aw3s0mest play: T.J. Rivera hits a solo home run in the third, +10.4% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Travis d’Arnaud lines into a double play with the bases loaded in the first, -10.5% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +40.2% WPA
Total batter WPA: +9.8% WPA
GWRBI!: T.J. Rivera