After a brutal loss, a three-hour rain delay, and twelve hours of baseball, the Mets hung on for an 8-5 win in game two of their doubleheader. P.J. Conlon got beat up, but the bullpen put up its best performance in a week, and the offense came through in a big way to snap a brutal losing streak.
The Mets built themselves a lead in the first inning for the second time of the day. Michael Conforto singled with one out and Jay Bruce doubled to put two men in scoring position. Adrian Gonzalez followed with an RBI single, and a throwing error by Brandon McCarthy pushed another run across. There was a chance to add more, but Jose Reyes grounded into a double play, and the Mets had to settle for a 2-0 lead.
P.J. Conlon made that lead stand up the first time through the Braves batting order. He worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the first, but served up a leadoff home run to Kurt Suzuki in the second. It could have been worse, as Brandon Nimmo misplayed a ball in left that turned into a double, but Conforto threw out Johan Camargo at the plate on a single to center to preserve the 2-1 lead.
Nimmo atoned for his mistake in the third, launching a solo home run to stretch re-establish a two-run lead. Once again, there was a chance for more, with two outs and two on, but Reyes grounded out again to leave more men on base. That bit the Mets in the butt immediately, as the Braves quickly figured out Conlon and started hitting everything hard in the bottom of the third. Conlon was hurt by a terrible play from Jay Bruce that went for a double, but he gave up four hard hit balls without recording an out. Hansel Robles entered and cleaned up the mess, but the Braves scored three and took a 4-3 lead.
Things quieted down for a time on both sides of the ball. Robles kept the Braves off the board in the fourth and fifth, recording three scoreless innings with three strikeouts. Brandon McCarthy did the same for the Braves, holding the Mets without a baserunner for two innings after being handed the lead. McCarthy recorded the first out of the sixth as well, but the Mets then notched three straight singles to load the bases and chase the lanky right-hander from the game. Peter Moylan replaced McCarthy, and Amed Rosario struck immediately with a two run single to give the Mets a 5-4 lead. For the third time, there was a chance for more, but Jose Bautista and Brandon Nimmo failed to drive in some insurance.
Unsurprisingly, the Braves capitalized on the Mets’ offensive failings immediately for the second time in the game. Robert Gsellman, who has been brutally overworked so far this season, allowed a seeing-eye single, then a hard double to start the bottom of the sixth. After a strikeout and an intentional walk to load the bases, Gsellman induced a weak ground ball from Nick Markakis. It was placed perfectly, unfortunately, and the Braves tied the game at five. Gsellman danced out of trouble to prevent the Braves from going ahead, but the Met bullpen had failed to protect yet another lead.
Sick of the bullpen’s antics (probably), the Met offense would not go quietly. Three singles loaded the bases with one out in the top of the seventh, bringing Jose Reyes up to the plate in another big spot. Big surprise, Reyes didn’t get the job done, striking out. Luckily, Luis Guillorme came up big, lining a single to left that scored two and gave the Mets a 7-5 lead. Amed Rosario followed with a single, an impressive bit of hitting on an up-and-in fastball, giving the Mets a bit of extra insurance.
Mickey Callaway wasn’t taking any chances, and Jeurys Familia entered for the six out save. Familia, on four days of rest, made short work of the Braves, setting down all six batters he faced to secure the 8-5 win. It broke a four game losing streak and ended a brutal, twelve hour day of baseball on a positive note.
If there was ever a game that showcased that the Mets should be relying on their young talent, this was it. Luis Guillorme had the big hit in the seventh, and Amed Rosario went 2-for-5 with three RBI. Brandon Nimmo’s day wasn’t the best, but he did record an impressive home run to center field. Perhaps most importantly, Michael Conforto went 4-for-5, as he continues to improve after an early season slump. These are the kind of players the Mets should put out there everyday, rather than veteran lottery tickets.
Rain is going to be a problem all week in Atlanta, but if they get the game in tomorrow, Steven Matz will take on Anibal Sanchez in game three of the series.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Luis Guillorme, +37.7% WPA; Amed Rosario, +25.0% WPA; Kevin Plawecki, +23.8% WPA; Hansel Robles, +18.0% WPA
Big losers: P.J Conlon, -37.7% WPA; Jose Reyes, -19.1% WPA; Robert Gsellman, -10.4% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Luis Guillorme gives the Mets a 7-5 lead in the seventh with a two-run single, +27.8% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Ender Inciarte doubles to right field in the sixth off Robert Gsellman, -17.9% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -14.9% WPA
Total batter WPA: +64.9% WPA
GWRBI!: Luis Guillorme