It was a crisp start to a lovely getaway day game in Flushing, as Rafael Montero and Robbie Ray matched zeroes over the first three innings. Yoenis Cespedes then gave the Mets a lead in the bottom of the fourth with a solo home run into the second deck in left field. But figurative clouds—seemingly never far away—lurked on the horizon.
The Diamondbacks struck right back in the top of the fifth. With one out, Ray Fuentes lined a single up the middle, then Chris Hermann followed with a grounder down the third base line that went for a hit against the shift. With Ray sacrificing, Wilmer Flores got caught in-between charging and waiting for a force at third, allowing Ray to reach on a single. The extra out allowed Arizona to grab the lead on a sacrifice fly.
It was in the bottom of the fifth, though, when Mets fans saw perhaps their worst sight of the season since Noah Syndergaard grabbed at his right side in late April. With two on and two out, Michael Conforto crumpled to the ground after swinging and missing at a high and tight Ray fastball. Brandon Nimmo would replace him and strike out to complete the at-bat. Later in the game the bad news would be confirmed, that the young star had dislocated his shoulder on the same day the Mets had the hubris to issue a morning press release summarizing their myriad injuries.
That was all for Ray, who recorded the victory in his first game back from a scary injury of his own on July 28, when he was struck in the head by a Luke Voit line drive with a recorded exit velocity of 108 MPH.
The top of the sixth started with a ground single by Paul Goldschmidt that should have been fielded by Amed Rosario. Goldschmidt would come around with what proved to be the winning run on a Brandon Drury single, which closed the book on Rafael Montero, who pitched better than his line would indicate today.
The bullpen kept the game close—Erik Goeddel fired two solid innings—but the Mets could only plate one more. As if to rub salt in the fresh wound, Conforto’s spot in the lineup came up twice in the late innings in big spots, but Nimmo would ground out with the bases loaded in the seventh (scoring the Mets’ second run) and ground out again with a runner on second and one out in the ninth. Torey Lovullo went against the book to walk the red-hot Cespedes and put the winning run on base, and Wilmer Flores popped to center to end a game that one might well fear will prove to be Conforto’s final one of the season.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Yoenis Cespedes, +27.8% WPA, Asdrubal Cabrera, +13.3% WPA
Big losers: Wilmer Flores, -37.2% WPA, Rafael Montero, -27.0% WPA (-9.9% batting), Brandon Nimmo, -19.4% WPA, Amed Rosario, -16.2% WPA, Dominic Smith, -13.3% WPA
The aw3s0mest play: Yoenis Cespedes’s home run in the fourth inning, +13.6%
The sux0rest play: Wilmer Flores flying out to center to end the game, -19.0%
Total pitcher WPA: 2.3% WPA-
Total batter WPA: 47.3% WPA-
GWRBI!: Brandon Drury