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Mets vs Nationals Recap: Long balls go a long way

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Three dingers lifted the Mets over the Nats this afternoon

New York Mets v Washington Nationals - Game One Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Mets were way out in front of the Nationals this afternoon in the nation’s capitol, but as the team is wont to do, the bullpen made things quite interesting. A late inning surge from their young shortstop propelled the Mets to victory, 6-5 in game one of a day/night doubleheader.

WIN, 6-5

The offensive flourish started early, with Brandon Nimmo leading off the game with a single. After a Juan Lagares hit by pitch, Asdrubal Cabrera hit a home run to right field, putting the Mets up 3-0 before recording an out. Nationals starter Erik Fedde settled down shortly thereafter, putting away seven of the next eight batters to face him.

In the third inning, Cabrera walked with one out, leading to a two-run home run off the bat of Wilmer Flores, who is having one hell of a weekend. Aside from a pair of singles from Juan Lagares and Amed Rosario, the Mets would not put another man on base until the eighth inning.

Tommy Milone started for the Mets, and looked pretty solid over his first four innings. Aside from a triple to former Met Alejandro De Aza in the second, Milone breezed through the Nats lineup, walking one and striking out four.

In the fifth inning, Milone let in a run on three singles to Rafael Bautista, Howie Kendrick, and Wilmer Difo, leading Terry Collins, presumably, to forget that it was the fifth inning in a doubleheader and go to his bullpen with one out in the inning. Hansel Robles entered, and struck out both Anthony Rendon and Ryan Zimmerman, escaping further trouble.

Well, they escaped trouble until the next inning.

Rafael Montero began the sixth inning, since this was his throwing day between starts, and promptly walked Michael Taylor, who stole second base, and then gave up a double to De Aza, scoring Taylor. After Bautista singled, Collins brought in Josh Smoker. Pinch hitter Andrew Stevenson walked, after which Collins brought in Paul Sewald. The first batter to face him was Kendrick, who hit a sacrifice fly, plating De Aza, making it 5-4.

Sewald remained in the game for the start of the seventh, where he gave up three straight one-out hits, including a Michael Taylor double that scored Zimmerman. After Jerry Blevins replaced Sewald, De Aza, putting up better offensive numbers in one game than it seemed he did in an entire season on the Mets, hit a sacrifice fly, and tied the game at 5-5.

In the top of the eighth, Rosario cracked a home run to center field, putting the Mets up 6-5. AJ Ramos did his best to make it interesting during his six out save attempt, letting two runners on in the eighth, and almost blowing the lead in the ninth. Adam Lind hit a two-out single, and was replaced by pinch runner Edwin Jackson. Former Met Daniel Murphy hit a double to center field, but Jackson was tagged out at the plate, upheld after an umpire review, and the Mets held on to win.

Later tonight, the Mets play the Nationals in game 2 of the doubleheader, with Seth Lugo and Tanner Roark squaring off in the nightcap.

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Win Probability Added

Mets vs Nationals WPA Chart, 8/27/17 Fangraphs.com

What’s WPA?

Big winners: AJ Ramos, +34.3% WPA, Amed Rosario, +27.2% WPA, Asdrubal Cabrera, +18.7% WPA
Big losers: Paul Sewald -21.9% WPA, Rafael Montero, -14.1% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Amed Rosario’s solo home run
Teh sux0rest play: Dominic Smith’s eighth inning ground out
Total pitcher WPA: +2.0% WPA
Total batter WPA: +38.1% WPA
GWRBI!: Amed Rosario