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Mets Morning News: Mets’ offense explodes to avoid sweep

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Your Thursday morning dose of New York Mets and MLB news, notes, and links.

MLB: Washington Nationals at New York Mets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Meet the Mets

After two brutal losses, it was not looking good for the Mets in the eighth inning down by two runs. After experiencing their own bullpen meltdown in the opening game of the series, the offense exploded against Washington’s bullpen to the tune of nine runs. Todd Frazier first tied the game, and then Juan Lagares got a key two-out hit to give them a two-run lead. Yoenis Cespedes blasted a grand slam to put an exclamation point on the inning and the Mets avoided a sweep by the Nationals.

Choose your recap: Amazin Avenue short and long, Bergen Record, Daily News, MLB.com, Newsday, Post, Times

Steven Matz was shaky early but had found a groove when Mickey Callaway pulled him in the fourth inning. That meant a reliance on a bullpen that was up to the task this time.

Matz was not entirely happy with his manager’s decision to remove him from the game.

Yoenis Cespedes had been mired in a deep slump but hopefully that one mighty swing can help him turn it around.

Before Cespedes’s slam, it was Juan Lagares who had the biggest hit of the night.

Despite the calendar only reading April, the victory still felt like one the Mets had to have to make a statement.

Jose Reyes had yet another terrible appearance at the plate but he will continue to get at-bats so he can, in theory, break out of his slump. No matter how poorly he does at the plate, he most likely isn’t going anywhere but is that really the smartest move?

Jason Vargas continues to progress as he works his way back from injury and the Mets could go with a six-man rotation when he does make return.

Unfortunately for Anthony Swarzak, his progress was stalled when he felt some discomfort when he resumed throwing.

Matt Harvey will start the opener against the Braves, and with everyone else settling in, Harvey could be the odd one out when Vargas returns.

Jay Bruce sat down for a lengthy Q & A and discussed a variety of topics including Mickey Callaway and Bruce’s return to New York.

Brandon Nimmo was hit by a pitch in his only plate appearance but he has been one of the nice surprises so far during this young season.

Despite losing both of their catchers in the span of a day, the Mets do have options at that position.

The Mets signed pitcher Vance Worley to a minor league deal.

Around the National League East

The Braves had a very busy day. In a curious move they signed Jose Bautista to a minor league contract to play third base. Before their game against the Phillies, Anibal Sanchez injured himself during warmups and was placed on the DL. The news got worse during the game when Freddie Freeman was hit on the wrist with a pitch and immediately exited the game. Despite all that the Braves defeated the Phillies 7-3.

Vince Velasquez was not good on the mound for Philadelphia in their defeat.

Ryan Madson was the main culprit behind the Nationals’ bullpen implosion.

Around Major League Baseball

The Reds have fired manager Bryan Price and his pitching coach this morning.

The Yankees put together a video to support a victim of bullying and invited her to a game at the Stadium.

A group in Portland, Oregon made an offer on several pieces of land that could eventually be turned into a major league ballpark.

Diamondbacks starter Taijuan Walker received a second opinion on his injured arm, and it revealed that he has a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. He will eventually undergo Tommy John surgery.

Baseball in Puerto Rico went on as scheduled despite the rest of the island suffering massive power outages.

Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen has not been the same pitcher this season and his cutter especially has not been an effective for him.

Yesterday at Amazin’ Avenue

Chris McShane reviewed Steven Matz’s starts so far this season.

This Date in Mets History

The Mets picked up their first win at Shea with a 6-0 victory over the Pirates on this date in 1964.