The Mets took their fourth straight game today with a decisive victory over the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Coming out of the All-Star break, the team has won both of its first two series, with the only blemish being Jason Vargas’s start on Friday night in Miami. Today, Vargas put that loss behind him and pitched a fine game.
Vargas did what he’s been doing this season, which is hold teams to manageable scores, and keep his team in it long enough to give them a chance to win. The Twins got on the board in the second inning, after Max Kepler doubled, and eventually scored on a Miguel Sano single. The Mets answered in the top of the third when Amed Rosario hit his tenth home run of the season to tie the game.
In the next half inning, Nelson Cruz hit a solo home run of his own, to put the Twins up 2-1. In the fifth inning, the Mets loaded the bases on an error, a hit, and a hit by pitch, but managed to only score one run on Todd Frazier’s RBI double-play groundout. Much like his Mets’ counterpart, Martin Perez pitched well enough for the Twins, going six innings of two-run ball, while striking out four and walking one. Vargas added an extra earned run in the form of a Mitch Garver home run, but both pitchers essentially had the same afternoon.
As has been the case in so many Mets games so far this season, it all came down to the bullpens. Once Martin left the game, the Twins’ hopes departed with him. Amed Rosario led off the seventh with a single, and then Adeiny Hechavarria struck a ground rule double, putting runners on second and third with no outs. After a Jeff McNeil pop out, Dominic Smith hit a three-run home run, putting the Mets up for good.
But that wasn’t enough for the team today, and they scored in each subsequent inning. The the eighth inning, with one man on and two outs, the Mets went on a tear. Five straight batters reached base, punctuated by Pete Alonso’s 31st home run, smashing a ball onto the third deck, traveling 474 feet. It is the longest Met home run of the Statcast era. The homer put the Mets up 11-4.
In the ninth, had a second spell of five batters reaching base in a row, though only three came around to score on a Rosario triple and another Hechavarria double.
Jeurys Familia and Chris Mazza pitched the final three innings of relief, and while neither looked particuarly great, they limited the damage to just one run in the eighth inning.
The Mets travel to the West Coast to begin a four game series with the Giants at Oracle Park tomorrow. Noah Syndergaard and Madison Bumgarner face off in a battle of the potential trait baits at 9:45pm ET.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Dominic Smith, +32.6% WPA, Aideny Hechavarria, +28. 5% WPA, Amed Rosario, +23.8% WPA
Big losers: Jeff McNeil, -17.1% WPA, Michael Conforto, -14.3% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +3.9% WPA
Total batter WPA: +46.1% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Dom Smith’s three-run jack, +31.6% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Mitch Garver’s home run, -14.6% WPA