After getting beaten up in the afternoon game, the Mets hung on to win 3-2 in the second half of the doubleheader. Seth Lugo led the way with a fantastic start, while Travis d’Arnaud carried the offense with an RBI double and a solo home run. Jeurys Familia secured the save after some poor defense made things close in the ninth.
After Lugo worked around a single from Nick Markakis in a quick top of the first, the Mets put together a rally in the bottom half. Brandon Nimmo led off with a double that should have been caught by left fielder Lane Adams, and Juan Lagares followed with a slowly hit single through the left side. In an odd baserunning blunder, Nimmo was unable to advance on that single, as he didn’t know where the infielders were and hesitated around second base for too long.
Nimmo’s blunder proved costly. Asdrubal Cabrera bounced a ball to third that went for a double play, and while Nimmo did make it to third base this time, he should have been crossing home plate. Travis d’Arnaud also bounced out to third, stranding Nimmo at third and preserving the scoreless tie.
Poor defense from the Braves led to another scoring opportunity for the Mets in the second. Kevin Plawecki reached on a pop up that Rio Ruiz couldn’t catch, and Ozzie Albies dropped the transfer on what should’ve been a double play off the bat of Travis Taijeron. Matt Reynolds and Gavin Cecchini followed with a double and a hit-by-pitch to load the bases with one out. Fried was able to wriggle out of this jam as well, though, getting Seth Lugo to bounce into an inning-ending double play.
Fried finally ran out of wriggle in the third. Brandon Nimmo led off with a single, and the Braves followed that up with their fourth defensive miscue of the night, as Max Fried threw the ball away on a dribbler in front of the mound. That put runners on second and third, and Nimmo came home to score on Asdrubal Cabrera’s ground out one batter later. Travis d’Arnaud added another run (and a blooper-reel belly flop into second base) on an RBI double, giving the Mets a 2-0 lead.
The Mets would have a couple more scoring opportunities wasted, as they grounded into two more double plays before the end of the sixth. Seth Lugo made that irrelevant, however, as he spent the evening carving up the Braves’ lineup. In six innings of scoreless work, Lugo allowed two hits and no walks. The right-hander also had a nice stretch where he struck out six of nine Braves, finishing with seven punch outs and pushing his FIP below four for the first time this season.
Jerry Blevins relieved Lugo in the seventh and sandwiched a double from Kurt Suzuki in between retiring Nick Markakis and Freddie Feeman. He then walked Johan Camargo, prompting Terry Collins to bring in Chasen Bradford to face Jace Peterson. Bradford needed only one pitch to retire the pinch hitter, and he worked around a couple of singles in the eighth to preserve the Mets’ 2-0 lead.
Travis d’Arnaud continued his hot hitting in the bottom of the eighth, lining a solo home run off Jose Ramirez to stretch the Mets’ lead to three runs. It was d’Arnaud’s sixth home run of the month and the 219th home run of the season for the Mets, setting a new club record.
Jeurys Familia entered for the ninth looking for his second save since returning from the disabled list, and he made it anything but easy. Kurt Suzuki started the inning with a single, and Familia made things worse by failing to field a dribbler off the bat of Freddie Freeman. That brought the tying run to the plate with nobody out. Johan Camargo nubbed a dribbler of his own that Travis d’Arnaud made the play on for the first out of the inning, but Jace Peterson followed with a single to drive in a run and put runners on first and third with one out.
That brought Matt Kemp to the plate, and he hit a weak ground ball to first that Dominic Smith fielded cleanly. However, instead of throwing to second to start what would have been an easy, game-ending double play with Matt Kemp nursing a hamstring injury, Smith hesitated and was forced to only get one out at first. Thankfully for the struggling Smith, Familia got Tyler Flowers on a ground out to put out the fire and secure the 3-2 win.
The win was the Mets’ 67th, pushing them into sixth in the reverse standings (the only part of the team worth caring about at this point in the season, really). Rafael Montero will take the mound against R.A. Dickey tomorrow night for the third game of the series.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Seth Lugo (pitching), +31.9% WPA; Chasen Bradford, +13.0% WPA; Juan Lagares, +12.1% WPA; Brandon Nimmo, +11.3% WPA; Travis d’Arnaud, +11.1% WPA
Big losers: Seth Lugo (hitting), -16.4% WPA; Asdrubal Cabrera, -11.9% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Juan Lagares reaches on a fielding error in the third, +11.9% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Seth Lugo grounds into a double play with the bases loaded in the second, -15.4% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +48.2% WPA
Total batter WPA: +1.8% WPA
GWRBI!: Travis d’Arnaud