Things didn’t start off terribly auspiciously in Flushing against the wild-card leading Diamondbacks Wednesday night, as Chris Flexen allowed a lead-off single to David Peralta, then walked A.J. Pollock. Even recording the first out of the game was stressful, as Jake Lamb pushed Juan Lagares back to the warning track in center. But Flexen buckled down and struck out MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt, ultimately escaping while allowing only one run, on a bloop single to center by the dangerous J.D. Martinez. Thereafter, Flexen and his fellow rookie Mets settled down and went to work.
Brandon Nimmo (on base all four times and looking perfectly comfortable in the leadoff spot) doubled to lead off the bottom of the first, then came around on an RBI single by Michael Conforto through the non-shifted right side of the infield.
The Mets took the lead for good in the fourth when Arizona starter Zach Godley had a bout of wildness, walking Dominic Smith and Travis d’Arnaud in succession. Amed Rosario quickly made him pay, roping a single into center field that scored Smith from second base.
The lead almost didn’t hold up for long, as Flexen—in bend-but-don’t break mode most of the night—loaded the bases with one out. This time, Martinez hit the ball a little harder than in the first, but the result for him was much, much worse, as Juan Lagares tracked it down in somewhat shallow center and nailed Pollock trying to score to end the inning, preserving the tenuous 2-1 lead.
The Mets quickly capitalized, extending their lead thanks to the Nimmo/Conforto tag team once again. Nimmo worked a one-out walk from Godley, and, after advancing on an Asdrubal Cabrera ground out, came around on another Conforto RBI single. The sixth inning saw the teams exchange home runs, as Chris Ianetta took Flexen deep in the top of the frame, but Dominic Smith responded by leading off the bottom of the inning with the third home run of his young career.
That would close out the scoring, as the Mets would get some exceptional relief work from Paul Sewald (1.2 perfect innings, including striking out Goldschmidt and getting Martinez to ground out with a man on in the seventh) before A.J. Ramos closed the door in the ninth for the victory.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Paul Sewald, +23.2% WPA, Bradon Nimmo, +17.1% WPA, Michael Confrto, +14.6% WPA, Chris Flexen, +11.8% WPA, Amed Rosario, +11.2% WPA, Dominic Smith, +10.0% WPA
Big losers: Asdrubal Cabrera, -18.1% WPA, Juan Lagares, -15.2% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: J.D. Martinez flies out to center, Juan Lagares throws out the runner at home plate to end the fifth, +21.6% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Chris Iannetta hits a solo home run in the sixth, -11.7% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +31.8% WPA
Total batter WPA: +18.2% WPA
GWRBI!: Michael Conforto