Major League Baseball occasionally does things well, and last night in Williamsport, the Mets got to take part in an event that was great for the sport. And they beat the Phillies in the process, which is never a bad thing.
The tone of the Little League Classic was great. Players from both teams interacted with Little Leaguers throughout the day and during the game itself. The Mets’ rotation—save for Jason Vargas, who started the game and actually pitched well—sat among Little Leaguers in the stands for a bit. Phillies pitcher Jake Arrieta visited the booth and talked to one of them, too. And there just generally seemed to be a sense among everyone involved that baseball was supposed to be fun.
As for the game itself, the Mets were a hitting machine, and they did so in a way that must have made Gary, Keith, and Ron proud. Of their fourteen hits. thirteen were singles. Only Dominic Smith, who was added to the Mets’ roster, hit a double for the team’s only extra-base hit, driving in the Mets’ eighth and final run of the night.
The Mets scored four runs in the second, with Jose Bautista, Kevin Plawecki, and Amed Rosario all driving in runs. Jeff McNeil, who also managed to remain in one piece as he flipped over a wall in the game trying to make a catch, drove in a couple more in the fourth. And Rosario singled in one more run in the sixth.
On the mound, Vargas was great through five innings before hitting a bit of a wall. He served up a two-run home run to Carlos Santana in the bottom of the sixth, and it took him 99 pitches to get through five-and-one-third innings. But by the standard he’s established this season, it was like his own version of Jacob deGrom’s complete game.
The Mets’ bullpen kept things from getting interesting after that. Seth Lugo, Drew Smith, and Daniel Zamora combined for three-and-two-thirds innings of scoreless work to finish the game.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Jason Vargas, +12.1% WPA, Austin Jackson, +10.2% WPA
Big losers: none
Teh aw3s0mest play: Austin Jackson singles in the top of the second, +9.2% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Carlos Santana hits a two-run home run in the sixth, -2.6% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +18.6% WPA
Total batter WPA: +31.4% WPA
GWRBI!: Amed Rosario