In the grand scheme of things, it hasn’t been very long since the Mets and Giants played each other in the National League Wild Card game, the outcome of which SNY was very happy to remind its viewers of during the broadcast of the series opener between the two teams on Monday night at Citi Field. No amount of regular season games would undo the way that game went, but as the Giants travel well and have had plenty of success, it sure was nice to see the Mets beat them and further set them back in the early-season struggles.
Thanks in large part to Neil Walker—who would have driven in two runs on a first-inning double if it hadn’t bounced over the fence and forced the second runner to stop at third base—the Mets were able to win despite a so-so start from Jacob deGrom and a huge missed opportunity by the Mets’ offense in the bottom of the fifth, which Walker took part in himself.
deGrom struck out eleven, another game of double-digit strikeouts for him among several in his recent starts. But he gave up three runs in six innings, two on a home run by Hunter Pence and one on a bomb by Buster Posey, and walked three. He threw 105 pitches in the process, too. All of that is pretty decent, but given the weakness of the Giants’ offense, it wasn’t exactly the dominant version of Jacob deGrom that we’ve seen before.
As for that bottom of the fifth, the Mets were trailing 2-1 when T.J. Rivera hit a double with runners on first and second and nobody out to tie the game. That left runners on second and third, but Jay Bruce and Wilmer Flores popped up before Walker struck out to end what could have been a very good inning.
But the Mets were able to claw back again after Posey’s home run put the Giants back out in front. Curtis Granderson pinch hit in the sixth and doubled to the left-center field gap to make the game 3-3.
The Mets’ bullpen—Fernando Salas, Jerry Blevins, Addison Reed, and Jeurys Familia—shut the Giants down the rest of the way with three strikeouts, no walks, and just one cue-shot single allowed combined. And that helped set the stage for Walker, who came up with runners on first and second and two outs in the bottom of the ninth and reached down for a pitch that he turned into a game-winning single to right field.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Neil Walker, +35.2% WPA, Curtis Granderson, +22.0% WPA, Jeurys Familia, +12.8% WPA, Michael Conforto, +11.0% WPA, Addison Reed, +10.1% WPA
Big losers: Asdrubal Cabrera, -27.4% WPA, Jay Bruce, -14.0% WPA, Jacob deGrom, -10.4% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Neil Walker’s walk-off single in the ninth, +39.4% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Asdrubal Cabrera grounds into an inning-ending double play in the eighth, -27.4% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +20.9% WPA
Total batter WPA: +29.1% WPA
GWRBI!: Neil Walker