It was the worst of times, it was the best of times for the Mets in California this week, as the team bounced back from an embarrassing four-game sweep at the hands of the Dodgers to take three in a row from the Giants, winning comfortably Sunday by the score of 8-2. The sweep was the first the Mets recorded since April 10th-12th against the Phillies, having blown four other opportunities since to complete a series sweep—several in painful fashion.
The Mets jumped on Giants starter Matt Moore early, scoring a run in the first inning without benefit of a base hit, as Curtis Granderson walked, advanced on a wild pitch, and scored via two productive outs.
Rafael Montero as the announced starter might not inspired optimism that an early Met lead would hold, but he looked solid early. Montero received some early defensive help from catcher Rene Rivera, who made a nice snag of a Denard Span foul pop-out in the top of the first.
Rivera wasn’t done making his mark on the game, as the catcher blasted the first of his two home runs on the day in the top of the second to extend the lead to 3-0. In the bottom of the third, the Giants got a rally going against Montero, cutting the score to 3-1 on a Buster Posey sacrifice fly.
With runners on first and third and Brandon Belt at the plate with two outs, Hunter Pence proved that he doesn’t know how to eat pizza and doesn’t know the best time to steal a base, as Rivera gunned him down trying to steal second with two outs, Span at third base, and Brandon Belt at the plate.
The scariest moment thereafter for the Mets was Matt Moore’s final pitch, which struck Michael Conforto in the left wrist in the fifth inning. He left the game a couple of innings later with what x-rays revealed to be a bruise.
Montero continued his solid work until running into a bit of trouble in the sixth inning, where he got a somewhat fortunate pop-out double play with the runners in motion from Buster Posey, then saw Josh Edgin come in to close out the inning by striking out Belt. Overall the right-hander was effective over his 5.2 innings, striking out seven in earning his second career win—and first since September 2014—likely earning him at least another start.
The Mets piled it on late via a couple of home runs. The one in the ninth that Granderson (on base five times today) deposited in San Francisco Bay was the team’s 46th in June—already a team record with four games left to play this month. While the series sweep doesn’t change much about the reality of the team’s place in the standings, the team is certainly leaving San Francisco feeling a bit better than just days ago trudging out of Los Angeles.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Rene Rivera, 25.8% WPA, Rafael Montero, 14.9% WPA (pitching), Curtis Granderson, 9.0% WPA
Big losers: T.J. Rivera, -7.5% WPA
The aw3s0mest play: Rene Rivera’s two-run home run in the second inning, +18.6%
The sux0rest play: Hunter Pence’s walk to load the bases in the third inning, -7.0%
Total pitcher WPA: 19.7 WPA+
Total batter WPA: 30.3 WPA+
GWRBI!: Rene Rivera