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Mets vs. Reds recap: Cespedes delivers after bullpen keeps it close

The Mets continued their dominance over the Reds

New York Mets v St Louis Cardinals Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The Mets beat the Reds and stretched their winning streak to four games. Rafael Montero made his second start of the season, filling in for the injured Jacob deGrom. The Reds countered with Brandon Finnegan, the centerpiece of last year’s Johnny Cueto deal, and the NL’s leader in home runs allowed.

In keeping with the main theme of their 2016 season, the Mets scored all of their runs on home runs today. They took an early lead when Curtis Granderson and Jose Reyes hit solo shots in the second and third innings respectively. Unfortunately, Montero relinquished the lead in the bottom of the third by allowing a two-run home run to Adam Duvall.

Montero only lasted until the fifth inning, when he departed after allowing a triple and a walk. Montero’s final line of 4.1 innings, 4-4 K-BB, and three runs allowed is uninspiring, and makes one yearn for Jacob deGrom to return healthy. Montero’s third run allowed scored after John Edgin gave up a sacrifice fly to Joey Votto.

The Reds held the lead until the top of the seventh, when Asdrubal Cabrera hit a one-out single. Yoenis Cespedes then crushed a home run to dead-center field to put the Mets ahead. Cespedes made his presence felt again in the bottom of the eighth when Brandon Phillips hit what looked like a double off the left field wall. Cespedes barehanded the ball and threw a strike to Kelly Johnson at second base to end the inning. Alejandro De Aza hit a solo home run of his own in the ninth to add some insurance before Jeurys Familia shut the door.

With this win, the Mets gained ground on the Marlins and Pirates in the chase for the second Wild Card spot. It looked as though the Pirates would beat the Cardinals, but the dastardly Redbirds rallied for three runs in the ninth inning to stay a game ahead of the Mets for that second Wild Card birth. The Mets will look to sweep the Reds again as Noah Syndergaard takes the hill against Anthony DeSclafani on Wednesday afternoon.

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Box scores


Win Probability Added

What’s WPA?

Big winners: Yoenis Cespedes +33.4%, Curtis Granderson +14.3%
Big losers: Travis d’Arnaud -12.7%, Rafael Montero -10.8%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Cespedes’ go-ahead home run +36.5%
Teh sux0rest play: Michael Conforto strikeout in the 6th -8.1%
Total pitcher WPA: 26.6%
Total batter WPA: 23.4%
GWRBI!: Yoenis Cespedes