In one of the weirder games of what has mostly been a disappointing season for the Mets, the team beat the Cardinals even though Jacob deGrom gave up four solo home runs. Perhaps the mistakes deGrom made were all deserving of such punishment, but the game looked like a good case against Major League Baseball’s memo that tried to claim the ball hasn’t changed.
Overall, deGrom’s start wasn’t so bad. He still went seven innings, and while he only struck out five, he didn’t walk anybody. At a time when home runs are flying out of ballparks across the league at record rates, it seems that pitchers who strike out the world should fare better than those who don’t, but even some of the game’s very best pitchers have succumbed to the trend.
It wasn’t just the Cardinals who hit solo home runs, though. Jose Reyes hit one in the second inning, which gave the Mets a 2-0 lead at the time after a first inning that saw them threaten to score a bunch of runs but only emerge with one that scored on a bases loaded hit-by-pitch. And after the Cardinals twice tied the game—at two and then again at four after the Mets plated a pair of runs in the top of the fourth on a Travis d’Arnaud single and a Curtis Granderson double—it was Jay Bruce’s turn to hit a solo home run. That one gave the Mets their third lead in the fifth inning.
That wasn’t quite enough for the Mets to secure the victory, but a T.J. Rivera double in the seventh plated a run that gave them the insurance they needed. Jerry Blevins allowed a baserunner in the eighth, and he later scored on a sacrifice fly with Paul Sewald pitching. But Addison Reed set the Cardinals down in order in the ninth to finish the game.
The team awarded its celebratory crown to Bruce after the game, as he went 3-for-5 with that solo home run, a double, and a single that was briefly a double until replay review reversed the call on the field and ruled Bruce out at second. So that one was just a single.
At 39-45 on the season, the best the Mets can do is get to four games under .500 going into the All-Star break. That’s far from ideal and probably won’t get them back into any real form of contention, but for now, at least their three-game losing streak stopped.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Addison Reed, +19.5% WPA, T.J. Rivera, +15.7% WPA, Curtis Granderson, +12.5% WPA, Jay Bruce, +11.4% WPA, Jose Reyes, +10.7% WPA
Big losers: Lucas Duda, -14.3% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jay Bruce hits a go-ahead home run in the fifth, +15.0% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Jedd Gyorko hits a game-tying home run in the fourth, -13.8% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +15.5% WPA
Total batter WPA: +34.5% WPA
GWRBI!: T.J. Rivera