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Mets rally twice, claim series as bullpen holds off Nats

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Mets take their second in a row in Washington against the presumptive NL East favorites.

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

The resilient early season Mets didn’t allow a pair of one-run deficits to deter them, coming back for a second time in the game and going ahead for good in the top of the seventh, then riding a suddenly powerful bullpen to a tight 3-2 victory in chilly Washington, D.C.

WIN, 3-2

Steven Matz got off to a fast start Saturday afternoon, striking out five batters in a row after a Trea Turner leadoff bunt single. When he did get in trouble in the second after a two-out walk to and a stolen base (one of a troubling four allowed on by Matz on the day), Juan Lagares was there to bail him out with an incredible throw to nail Brian Goodwin at home on a Pedro Severino single.

Gio Gonzalez—as is his wont against the Mets—pitched well himself, matching Matz zero for zero through four. The Nats crept ahead with an unearned run in the fifth off of Matz thanks in part to a Todd Frazier error and another stolen base, this time by Michael Taylor.

The Mets struck right back in the top of the sixth, as Frazier doubled (just missing a home run) and Travid d’Arnaud singled him home to tie the game at 1. Bryce Harper immediately put the Nats back on top in the bottom of the inning with a home run off of Hansel Robles, but again—as they have shown a propensity to do this young season—the Mets bounced right back.

Amed Rosario led off the top of the seventh with a single, and promptly streaked home on an Asdrubal Cabrera double to tie the game. Cabrera came around to score to go-ahead run on a Todd Frazier ground out on which Michael Conforto was running from first, which may have prevented the inning-ending double play.

From well-timed stolen base attempts to bullpen management, everything continues to come up nicely for Mickey Callaway, as the Mets rode four relievers from their resurgent bullpen through the final three innings—primarily Jeurys Familia, who worked around a Jerry Blevins walk of Bryce Harper—and a fifth Nationals stolen base—in the eighth inning en route to recording a five-out save.

The victory was the fourth straight for New York, as they continued their impressive start to the 2018 season and claimed a huge early season road series victory over the preseason N.L. East division favorites. The Mets will look to continue their roll and earn a sweep of their division rivals behind Matt Harvey tomorrow night on ESPN.

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Win Probability Added

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What’s WPA?

Big winners: Jeurys Familia +36.1% WPA, Asdrubal Cabrera +22.6% WPA, Steven Matz (pitching) +12.9% WPA A.J. Ramos +11.0 WPA
Big losers: Steven Matz (batting) -14.2 WPA Hansel Robles -11.2% WPA
The aw3s0mest play: Asdrubal Cabrera seventh inning RBI double +22.6 WPA
The sux0rest play: Bryce Harper sixth inning home run -16.2 WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -+48.3%%
Total batter WPA: +1.7%
GWRBI!: Todd Frazier RBI groundout in the seventh inning