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What would have been a good win turns into a horrible loss

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New York Mets v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

In a game that might best be described as a ‘train wreck’ or a ‘tire fire’, the Mets blew a late inning lead to fall 9-8 to the Dodgers. Noah Syndergaard was solid. The Met offense, led by Pete Alonso, was excellent against a front line starting pitcher in Walker Buehler. The bullpen, however, was an utter disaster, and the result was a crushing loss.

This game started off very well for the Mets. Alonso launched a two-run bomb in the first, Noah Syndergaard looked dominant in the bottom half, and Adeiny Hecahavarria added another run in the top of the second to build a 3-0 lead. Syndergaard gave that lead back in short order, however, allowing three consecutive doubles in the second and an RBI single to Justin Turner in the third that tied the game. It’s worth noting that at least a couple of those hits came on objectively good pitches that a couple of good hitters got to, which is just the way things go some times when you’re facing an elite offense.

Annoyed that Syndergaard blew the first lead he was given, Alonso struck again in the fifth, launching his second two-run home run of the night. Hechavarria drove in another run in the sixth, and when Syndergaard departed after the sixth, the Mets were up to 6-3 (hat tip to Carlos Gomez for helping Thor out in the fifth with a fantastic throw from center field). The Mets promptly added two more runs on back-to-back home runs from Amed Rosario and Dom Smith in the seventh.

With an 8-3 lead and nine outs to go, things seemed pretty set. Recaps were written, Met fans went to sleep, and Dodger fans left the stadium. But instead of cruising to a win, the Mets imploded. Robert Gsellman gave up a run in the seventh and Jeurys Familia gave up a run in the eighth. Nothing to worry about, the Mets have a stud closer in Edwin Diaz right? No, not right at all.

Diaz entered and immediately surrendered back-to-back home runs, cutting the lead to one. Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger followed that up with back-to-back doubles, tying the game and putting the winning run in scoring position with no outs. After an intentional walk, Amed Rosario botched an easy play on a softly hit ground ball, and the bases were loaded. Juan Lagares stepped on to the dirt to set up a five man infield, but Alex Verdugo hit one deep enough to left to drive in Bellinger, and the loss was complete.

Before tonight, Edwin Diaz had never given up more than two extra-base hits in a game, and he gave up four tonight while recording only one out. He’s looked extremely off of late, and hasn’t been able to consistently put away batters in at least two or three outings. Conclusions shouldn’t be drawn from one bad outing or even a bad week, but it’s a disturbing trend that merits monitoring.

This loss is one of the most deflating, depressing, infuriating losses in recent memory, exacerbated by who was involved and the circumstances around their acquisition. Hopefully the Mets are able to move past this and not let such a disaster define the rest of their season. They’ll play one more against the Dodgers with Jason Vargas on the mound tomorrow before continuing their road trip in Arizona.

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What’s WPA?

Big winners: Pete Alonso, +42.8% WPA
Big losers: Edwin Diaz, -96.6% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -97.7% WPA
Total batter WPA: +47.7% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Pete Alonso hits a two-run home run in the first, +25.4% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Cody Bellinger ties the game with a ninth inning double, -37.9% WPA