The first game of today’s doubleheader was worth the day-long wait for it to begin...almost. With a trio of home runs, the Mets reeled in the Marlins by the score of 4-3. Things looked bleak for the Amazin’s as the game moved into the bottom of the ninth, but some clutch home runs by Todd Frazier and Michael Conforto sent the fans to an intermission happy.
After a scoreless first for the Marlins, the Mets looked ready to pounce on an early scoring opportunity after Brandon Nimmo lead off the bottom half with a single. But, two groundouts and a pop fly quickly put those dreams to bed and ended the threat.
After the Mets failed to score in the first, the Marlins had no problem doing so as they came to bat in the to of the second. After leading off with a strikeout, Steven Matz gave up a home run to Peter O’Brien—his first in almost two years. There wasn’t much time for Matz to collect himself as the next at bat ended in similar fashion. With his ball going over the left field wall, Isaac Galloway connected for his third big fly of the year and put the Marlins ahead 2-0.
The Marlins didn’t have much time to enjoy their lead as Steven Matz took matters into his own hands a few moments later. After a walk to Kevin Plawecki to put a man on, Steven Matz made Grandpa Matz proud by rocketing the first pitch he saw over the Great Wall of Flushing to tie the game. With his first career home run, every member of the 2015 World Series rotation, Harvey, Syndergaard, deGrom, and Matz, has at least one home run as a Met.
On the pitching side of things today, Matz had an alright afternoon at the ballpark. He pitched 6.1 innings of three-run ball, with the three runs all coming on the second inning home runs. Along with that, Matz only gave up three total hits and walked twoe while striking out four fish.
Following Matz’s home run, things got very quiet for both team’s offenses. From the end of the second inning until the start of the seventh, two batters reached base on walks, but both were out on the bases by the end of the next at bat.
The first team to finally break through was the Marlins in their half of the seventh inning. Rookie of the Year candidate Brian Anderson dunked an automatic double over the wall in right to get things started. Two batters later, with Matz out of the game and Drew Smith in, familiar face Peter O’Brien singled to right field to put Miami up 3-2. The Marlins loaded the bases later that inning, but Jeff McNeil snagged a liner to limit the damage to just one run.
Things cooled off again until the bottom of the ninth as the heart of the Mets’ order went up against Kyle Barraclough, needing one run to tie and two to win. Things looked bleak as Jay Bruce and Dominic Smith quickly made the first two outs of the inning and left things to Michael Conforto with two down. In his first swing of the at bat, Conforto took a changeup to right field to tie things up at three apiece. Without missing a beat, Todd Frazier came to the plate and decided that it was time to end the game. Frazier’s 18th homer of the season went out to deep left field and put an exclamation point on this 4-3 victory.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Todd Frazier +39% WPA, Michael Conforto +37.9% WPA, Steven Matz (Hitter) +19% WPA
Big losers: Jay Bruce -13.8% WPA, Drew Smith -11.5% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Michael Conforto’s ninth inning game-tying home run, +49% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Peter O’Brien’s seventh inning RBI single, -16.9% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +14% WPA
Total batter WPA: +100.4% WPA
GWRBI!: Todd Frazier
While the second game of the doubleheader may not have been as dramatic as the first, it still counts as a win either way. This time, Jason Vargas got the start and, just like last game, Michael Conforto lead the offense to a triumphant win. The Mets took game two by the score of 5-2, which is only fitting on the day of David Wright’s press conference.
It was a rocky start for Vargas as he found himself in a bases loaded situation with two outs in the very first inning. The three runners reached on a single, a dropped third strike, and a walk. Luckily for Vargas, and the Mets, Isaac Galloway flew out to center to end the threat before things took a turn for the worse.
Neither side had much going on until the bottom of the second inning when the Mets started to put something together against the rookie Jeff Brigham. Following a Dominic Smith single and a Brandon Nimmo walk, it looked like the Mets had something cooking with two on and none out. Unfortunately, the trio of Austin Jackson, Jose Reyes, and Tomas Nido went down in order before any runs came home.
The Marlins, on the other hand, weren’t going to be stopped from scoring. The pitcher, Brigham, singled to lead things off in the top of the third, and then Miguel Rojas followed up with a blast to center field to give the Marlins a 2-0 lead over Vargas and the Mets.
The Mets took a little bit of time to respond, but when they did, they put themselves back ahead. With one out in the fifth, Tomas Nido became the second Met of the day, after Steven Matz, to hit his first career home run. That home run was followed by a pair of singles off the bats of Jason Vargas and Amed Rosario. After Jeff McNeil hit into a fielder’s choice to create a corners situation, Michael Conforto laced a double to right field to bring both runners home and give the Mets a 3-2 lead.
In the top of the seventh, Seth Lugo took over for Jason Vargas and promptly dominated the seven Marlins batters that he faced. After striking out all three men he faced in the seventh, he struck out another two in the eighth and recorded a fly out after allowing a single to Brian Anderson.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Mets put the finishing touches on their conquest of the Marlins as they scored another two runs on another three hits. Much like last time, Amed Rosario singled and then Jeff McNeil followed him with one of his own. Coming through again with men on, Conforto singled to right to bring home Rosario and put McNeil on third base with Dominic Smith coming up. Smith managed to ground out and bring a run home in the process, the Mets’ fifth and final run.
Robert Gsellman entered the game in the ninth and faced four batters in a relatively calm save situation. J.T. Realmuto flied out to, who else, Michael Conforto to end the game and send the fans home happy.
Starting tomorrow, the Mets make their first trip to Fenway Park since 2009 as they kick-off a three game series against the 101-game winner Boston Red Sox. Noah Syndergaard will take the mound against Hector Velazquez.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Michael Conforto +36.2% WPA, Seth Lugo +13.2% WPA
Big losers: None!!
Teh aw3s0mest play: Michael Conforto’s fifth inning go-ahead double +29.7% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Miguel Rojas’ third inning home run -18.3% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +22.3% WPA
Total batter WPA: +27.7% WPA
GWRBI!: Michael Conforto