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Mets use the long ball to defeat Cardinals

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Both Yoenis Cespedes and Jay Bruce went yard in the roller coaster victory.

New York Mets v St Louis Cardinals Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Despite not getting great starting pitching, the Mets managed to battle their way back with the help of two mighty swings by Yoenis Cespedes and Jay Bruce. Both outfielders had been struggling at the plate but together they erased the Cardinals’ lead and led the Mets to a 6-5 victory.

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The Mets were behind right from the start. Zack Wheeler was his own worst enemy when he walked Matt Carpenter to start the game. Tommy Pham was up next and made it 2-0 when he sent a ball over the centerfield fence.

Wheeler again made things hard on himself when he hit Paul DeJong with one out in the fourth. Kolten Wong doubled him home and then pitcher Luke Weaver singled to make the score 4-1. After that less than stellar inning, Wheeler’s night was finished. He only went four innings, gave up six hits, and four runs. He struck out three and walked two. This is definitely not what the Mets need out of their fifth starter.

After getting down early the Mets’ offense attempted to punch back right away in the second inning. Jay Bruce tripled home a run, but was left stranded at third. It seemed like the Mets wasted a golden opportunity because Weaver settled into a groove after that inning.

He was cruising and was one out away from finishing the fifth inning when he completely lost the strike zone. He issued back-to-back walks to both Wilmer Flores and Michael Conforto without throwing a strike. He did not throw a strike to Yoenis Cespedes, but during his recent struggles he has been swinging at everything, so Cespedes swung at a ball in the dirt. He eventually worked the count to 3-1, but had he not swung earlier in the at bat it could have been another walk on four pitches. Instead Cespedes swung and this time he did not miss. He hit a jaw dropping home run that traveled 463 feet and tied up the game at four.

It seems like such a long time ago: that day in June in Atlanta dubbed Super Tuesday. Both Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey promised brighter days on the horizon for a rebuilding team. Fast forward to 2018, and this is now a potentially contending team that is winning despite not getting much production out of the two rising stars of five years ago.

Matt Harvey entered the ballgame in the fifth after being sent to the bullpen. He got two quick outs but then gave up back-to-back doubles to give the Cardinals a 5-4 lead.

Harvey’s outing looked much like Harvey’s starts. Amed Rosario showed some good range and got to two ground balls for outs, and Asdrubal Cabrera made an outstanding play to end the sixth and get Harvey through his second inning of work. Harvey pitched two innings, gave up two hits, allowed one run, and he struck out two. Not awful but certainly not dominant.

Paul Sewald was up next out of the pen and pitched two solid innings. Despite having Jerry Blevins warming, Sewald was allowed to face a few lefties and he performed brilliantly. He allowed only one hit and struck out one in his two innngs of work.

With Sewald keeping the deficit at one, the Mets were able to tie it up in the eighth. Todd Frazier walked to lead off the inning against fireballer Jordan Hicks. Jay Bruce somehow squeaked a single through the shift and Frazier ran to third. He came home on Adrian Gonzalez’s sac fly and the game was once again tied.

Robert Gsellman has become one of the more reliable arms out of the bullpen but he got into trouble right away. A walk and a bloop single put the winning run on second base in the ninth with no outs. Even with the pressure on he struck out Jose Martinez and induced a double play from Marcell Ozuna. Crisis averted.

And we go to extras! The tenth started off well when Asdrubal Cabrera singled to lead off the inning, but even with pinch hitter Jose Reyes running, Todd Frazier’s ground ball turned into two outs. That left it up to Jay Bruce who did not disappoint. He sent a ball over the centerfield wall to give the Mets their first lead of the night.

In came Jeurys Familia in the bottom of the inning to nail down the save. He was sharp and struck out two to give the Mets a nice bouceback victory after Saturday’s heartbreaker.

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What’s WPA?

Big winners: Jay Bruce +70.4%, Jeurys Familia +19.8%, Paul Sewald +14.8%, Robert Gsellman +13.6%, Yoenis Cespedes +11.6%
Big losers: Zack Wheeler -22.1%, Adrian Gonzalez -15.5%, Tomas Nido -15.4%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jay Bruce home run in tenth
Teh sux0rest play: Tommy Pham home run in first
Total pitcher WPA: +20.9%
Total batter WPA: +29.1%
GWRBI!: Jay Bruce