In the series opener against the Giants on Monday night, the Mets scored in the first inning, but despite the game going thirteen innings, they never scored again in an ugly loss. Tuesday night’s game seemed like more of the same when the Mets were being shut out heading into the seventh inning, but what seemed like a potential shutout loss quickly turned into a 6-3 victory.
Steven Matz’s first start off the disabled list did not go well against the Phillies and this game did not get off to the best of starts for him either. He walked Andrew McCutchen to lead off the game and then Evan Longoria blasted a two-run home run to give the Giants an early lead.
To his credit, Matz settled in after the shaky first and did not give the Giants much to work with for the rest of his outing. He was pulled after five innings and allowed just two hits and the two runs. He struck out five and walked one.
Corey Oswalt relieved Matz after being sent to the bullpen last week. He was terrific in three innings of work and kept the Giants off the board.
Unfortunately, the two runs seemed like enough for Giants’ starter Chris Stratton. Through six innings he allowed only three hits. Two by Jeff McNeil and one by Wilmer Flores that only fell because the defenders miscommunicated and allowed the ball to drop.
That all changed in the seventh. Jeff McNeil picked up his third hit of the night with a leadoff single and Wilmer Flores followed with a double. Michael Conforto hit a sacrifice fly and the Mets were on the board. Austin Jackson tied it up when he sneaked a ball past Longoria to bring home Flores.
The next inning Jose Reyes led off with a triple but it seemed like he would be left stranded when he was still standing on third base with two outs two batters later. Just when it seemed like the Mets would squander a golden opportunity to score, Jeff McNeil walked up to the plate to face lefty Tony Watson. The lefty posed no problem for McNeil who laced a double to left to give the Mets the lead.
The home team was not done scoring that inning. After Flores was intentionally walked, Conforto also handled the lefty reliever and deposited a ball over the left field wall.
Now with a comfortable 6-2 lead it was up to Seth Lugo to close it out in the ninth. Evan Longoria singled and moved to second on defensive indifference but came home to score when Jose Bautista misplayed a ball in right to make it 6-3. That would be as close as the Giants would get as Hunter Pence grounded out to end the game.
It was a nice bounce back win for the Mets after an embarrassing loss to start the series. Jeff McNeil continues to impress and has already picked up the second four-hit night of his young career. It was especially encouraging to see both him and Michael Conforto pick up big hits against a lefty, and in a lost season all positives are welcome.
Hopefully they can keep it going as Noah Syndergaad takes the mound for the third game in the series.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Jeff McNeil +36.4%, Wilmer Flores +19.4%, Austin Jackson +17.5%, Corey Oswalt +16.9%, Jose Reyes 16.7%
Big losers: Amed Rosario -19.6%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jeff McNeil double in eighth
Teh sux0rest play: Evan Longoria home run in first
Total pitcher WPA: 16.6%
Total batter WPA: 33.4%
GWRBI!: Jeff McNeil