The Mets continue to stymie the front office’s attempts to become sellers by winning games, beating the Athletics 7-5 at Citi Field this evening. Michael Conforto hit two home runs - one a tape-measure job that hit Shea Bridge - and Steven Matz looked more like himself than he did when getting shelled last week.
Matz still looked shaky to begin the game, giving up three straight hits and an early run. He eventually settled down, striking out five and walking none over the course of his start. In the fifth, he successfully picked off Rajai Davis, but a throwing error by Lucas Duda proved costly, as the out was not recorded, and led to two more runs after a Marcus Semien single and a Khris Davis sacrifice fly.
The Mets were already on the board by that point, thanks to a Michael Conforto two-run shot that hit the Shea Bridge and showed off his awesome, but still somewhat surprising, center-field power. Down 3-2, Matz was pulled for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the fifth, after only 83 pitches. The move didn’t exactly work out, as pinch-hitter Curtis Granderson hit into a fielder’s choice, and the team didn’t score a run in that inning. A’s starter Paul Blackburn went five and a third innings, striking out one, walking one, and left the game with two men on in the bottom of the sixth.
Those two men were Asdrubal Cabrera, who reached via walk and Yoenis Cespedes , who singled. Duda then singled after Blackburn left the game, loading the bases with one out. T.J. Rivera then singled and, due to some funky Oakland defense, managed to score the lead two runners, before Duda was thrown out at third. But there was a throwing error by Matt Chapman which sent the ball sailing into the outfield, and allowed Rivera to score. This wasn’t exactly a crisp game, folks.
One inning later, Conforto hit another two-run home run, putting the team up 7-3. The bullpen was a bit of a mess going forward, especially as it was asked to do more due to Matz’s early exit. Both Erik Goeddel and Addison Reed looked like junk, requiring Jerry Blevins to attempt, and record, a five-out save.
Tomorrow, Zach Wheeler will face off against Sean Manaea at 7:10 at Citi Field. A win would mean the Mets have not lost a series since before the All-Star Break.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: T.J. Rivera, +32.3% WPA, Jerry Blevins, +32.0% WPA, Michael Conforto, +21.8% WPA
Big losers: Addison Reed, -18.4% WPA, Steven Matz, -16.6% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: TJ Rivera’s single turned inside the park home run
Teh sux0rest play: Marcus Semien’s RBI single
Total pitcher WPA: -0.9% WPA
Total batter WPA: 50.9% WPA
GWRBI!: Michael Conforto