In a game that gave you flashbacks to Luis Catillo, the Mets fell 2-1 to the Giants in 13 innings. Zack Wheeler was brilliant again, but he was undone by a bloop double and a quiescent offense. Dom Smith and Amed Rosario were the goats, colliding in the outfield in the top of the 13th to drop a pop up that led to the game winning run.
The evening started pleasantly enough. Wheeler worked around a two-out single, striking out two in a scoreless first. In the bottom half, Amed Rosario led off with a single and scored two batters later on a double from Wilmer Flores. Quickly, the Mets had a 1-0 lead.
For the next six innings, that seemed like it would be enough. Wheeler’s second half renaissance continued, as he diced up a mediocre Giants lineup. He didn’t allow a second baserunner til the fifth, at which point he struck out three consecutive Giants to work out of a second-and-third, no-out jam. He followed that up with a clean sixth, but the Giants finally broke through in the seventh.
Brandon Crawford led off the inning with the walk, Wheeler’s only free pass of the evening. Brandon Belt followed with an infield single—a sharp line drive to Amed Rosario—but Wheeler bounced back to retire the next two batters on a fly ball and a strikeout. Wheeler seemed to be out of the jam entirely when he induced a pop up from Alen Hansen, but the ball was placed perfectly to plunk down in short left field between Jack Reinheimer and Amed Rosario. Brandon Crawford scored, and the game was tied.
Jeff McNeil and Michael Conforto did their best to set up a Mets rally in the bottom half of the seventh following the blown lead, as both singled to put runners on first and third with one out. Rosario worked a decent at-bat, but he chased an offspead pitch that was probably off the plate outside and grounded into double play. This came after Jose Bautista killed a rally in the sixth with a double play of his own. This seems like an appropriate time to mention that the Mets have the fifth most runs on the road in baseball, but have the fewest runs scored at home, a whopping 20 fewer than the 29th-ranked Royals.
The game entered a lull for the next several innings, with neither team recording a baserunner in the eighth, ninth, or tenth innings. The Giants put runners on first and third with two outs in the eleventh, but Daniel Zamora struck out Brandon Belt to end that threat. In the bottom half, a single and a walk put two on for the Mets, but Jose Reyes lined out to short. The Mets put together another threat in the twelfth with a pair of two out walks, but the opportunity was once against squandered when Austin Jackson popped out.
Finally, the dam broke in the 13th. Tyler Bashlor allowed the first two runners to reach on a single and a walk, and throwing error and a stolen base moved the runners to second and third with one out. Bashlor seemed to have worked out of the jam, getting a fielder’s choice from Buster Posey—a ball that Wilmer Flores almost threw away—and a pop up off the bat of Brandon Crawford, but playing Dom Smith in left field needed to have consequences at some point. On a ball that Amed Rosario was calling and was easily under, Smith came barging in, colliding with Rosario and leading to a dropped ball. Andred McCutchen scored, and the Giants took a 2-1 win.
Even by Met standards, the bottom of the 13th was pathetic. Wilmer Flores hit a weak ground ball to third, Todd Frazier hit a soft line drive to center, and Jason Vargs—yes, Jason Vargas—made the last out of the game as a pinch hitter. This all happened against Derek Law, a reliever with an 8.74 ERA and a 5.37 FIP on the season.
The loss dropped the Mets to 54-70 on the season, and it gave Zack Wheeler a good taste of what Jacob deGrom has been going through for most of the season. Steven Matz takes the mound against Chris Stratton tomorrow evening in a game where he’ll need to provide some length after the Mets burned most of their bullpen in a 13-inning game.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Zack Wheeler, +24.1% WPA; Robert Gsellman, +23.4% WPA; Jerry Blevins, +13.1% WPA; Michael Conforto, +10.5% WPA
Big losers: Austin Jackson, -23.3% WPA; Jose Reyes, -23.2% WPA; Tyler Bashlor, -18.0% WPA; Devin Mesoraco, -16.1% WPA; Amed Rosario, -16.0% WPA; Jose Bautista, -14.2% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Buster Posey grounds into a fielders choice in the 13th, 21.7% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Dom Smith and Amed Rosario collide and drop a pop up in the 13th, giving the giants a 2-1 lead, -34.3% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +55.7% WPA
Total batter WPA: -105.7% WPA