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Any win you can walk away from

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The Mets walked a whopping 10 times in a sloppy win over the Twins.

Minnesota Twins v New York Mets Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

In a game that very quickly changed from tidy and quick to an absolute slog, the Mets came out on top 9-6 over the Twins. If you’re a fan of good bullpens and strike throwing relievers, this was not the game for you, as both the Mets and Twins’ bullpens struggled mightily. Noah Syndergaard’s excellence for the first seven innings provided enough of a cushion, however, and the potent Met offense continued to churn out runs.

It was a pitchers’ duel in the early going, and the Mets were on the short end of it. Syndergaard was dominant, but an infield single, a sacrifice bunt, and a bloop single just over Amed Rosario’s glove gave the Twins a 1-0 lead in the third. Twins starting Jake Odorizzi, meanwhile, held the Mets hitless through the first 4.1 innings, allowing only one base runner (a four pitch walk to Amed Rosario). Then it all fell apart.

Jeff McNeil got things started with a one out single to break up the no-hitter. Back-to-back walks to Rosario and J.D. Davis followed, loading the bases. The Mets gave an out away when Jeff McNeil TOOTBLAN’d, freezing between third and home on a pass ball and being tagged out trying to get back to third . The Twins looked that gift horse in the mouth, however, and promptly forgot how to throw strikes. The next five batters were walked or hit by a pitch, forcing in four runs that flipped the score. Wilson Ramos finally got a strike to hit and ground a two-run single, breaking the game open. Nine straight Mets reached base, only two of them by hits, and the score was suddenly 6-1.

Syndergaard continued to blow the Twins away, setting down 13 straight after allowing the run in the third. The offense rewarded him with more insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh, capitalizing on an infield single and two walks with a two-run single from Michael Conforto and another RBI single from McNeil. Heading to the top of the eighth, the Mets had a 9-1 lead and one of their aces was seemingly in complete control.

Of course, the 2019 Mets don’t make anything comfortable or easy in the late innings, and this game would be no exception. Syndergaard allowed an infield single, a squibbed double down the right field line, and finally a well struck triple to start the eighth inning, and left without recording an out. Jeurys Familia replaced him and allowed the first three Twins to reach as well, cutting the Met lead to 9-4 and loading the bases with no outs. He escaped by inducing a run-scoring double play off the bat of Willians Astudillo and a ground out from Eddie Rosario, but the Met lead was down to four runs.

Juan Lagares’ leadoff walk in the bottom of the eighth was wasted, and Edwin Diaz entered in a non-save situation. He started off strong, blowing away C.J. Cron on three pitches, but then had his own struggles. Mitch Garver, who took Jacob deGrom deep twice on Tuesday, narrowly cleared the left field wall for his third homer of the series, and Jonathan Schoop followed with a single of his own. Diaz finished strong though, throwing impressive fastballs right past Byron Buxton and Ehire Adrianza to close out the win.

The victory improves the Mets’ record to 7-4, and they’ll finish their first home stand of the year 2-3. Tomorrow, they’ll being a ten game road trip to Atlanta, Philadelphia, and St. Louis, with Steven Matz squaring off against Kevin Gausman tomorrow evening.

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Win Probability Added

What’s WPA?

Big winners: Noah Syndergaard, +11.5%; Pete Alonso, +10.9%; Brandon Nimmo, +10.3%
Big losers: Jeff McNeil, -14.1%
Total pitcher WPA: +13.0%
Total batter WPA: +37.0%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Brandon Nimmo hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the fifth, +16.2% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Max Kepler bloops a single to center in the third, -12.0% WPA