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Mets lose second straight in extras on a Dominic Smith error in the tenth

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Every time one thinks the Mets can’t possibly reach new heights of Metsing, they deliver another Metsian performance for the ages.

MLB: New York Mets at San Francisco Giants Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets lost to the Giants 1-0 in walk-off fashion in the tenth inning—their second straight walk-off loss. Although this game did not last as long as Thursday’s game, it was perhaps even more excruciating, as the winning run crossed the plate on an error by Dominic Smith on a routine fly ball to left field.

As always, the Mets seem to be in peak LOLMets form when Jacob deGrom is on the mound. deGrom delivered seven magnificent innings of work, allowing just three hits and no runs. He reached double-digit strikeouts, fanning ten Giants hitters and generating a huge number of swings and misses overall on the night. He walked three batters and the Giants only saw three baserunners reach scoring position in the outing. deGrom began to show signs of fatigue in the seventh, walking the leadoff hitter. But he was assisted by an impressive defensive play on the part of Wilson Ramos, who pounced on a Mike Yastrzemski bunt that appeared destined to be a base hit to throw him out at first base. deGrom gave up hard contact to Kevin Pillar, but Jeff McNeil was able to reach up and grab the line drive and deGrom induced a fly ball from Joe Panik to retire the side and leave with the game still tied at zero.

Of course, as is the Mets way, the instant that the bullpen has a stretch of competence for a change, their bats fall silent and their defense falls apart. The Mets were unable to break through against Tyler Beede, who matched zeros with deGrom, also only allowing three hits on the night. Beede even outlasted deGrom in the game, thanks to an economical pitch count, and was able to toss eight scoreless innings.

Mickey Callaway could not turn to his usual high-leverage relievers, as they all pitched one or multiple innings in Thursday’s loss. Luis Avilan stepped up, providing a scoreless eighth inning, working around a walk to retire the side. Will Smith followed for the Giants with a 1-2-3 top of the ninth inning with two strikeouts. Jacob Rhame—unable to pitch in Thursday’s marathon affair due to the fact that he was serving his suspension—contributed a scoreless bottom of the ninth, but not without difficulty. He walked the leadoff hitter Stephen Vogt on four pitches to start the inning. However, it is worth noting that ball four was a blatant missed call by the home plate umpire and should have been called a strike. Nonetheless, Rhame was able to escape by the skin of his teeth. The next batter, Brandon Crawford, put a charge into one to deep center field, but the cavernous Oracle Park held the hard-hit ball and Michael Conforto caught it on the warning track for the first out. Rhame recorded another fly ball out before walking yet another batter, pushing the winning run into scoring position. But he got a clutch strikeout of Joe Panik to get out of the inning unscathed and push the game to extra innings.

After the Mets were set down 1-2-3 by Sam Dyson in the tenth, Callaway stuck with Rhame for the bottom of the tenth, which began much the same way as the ninth began. Rhame walked the pinch hitter Alex Dickerson to lead off the inning, but then struck out two straight batters, which brought Pablo Sandoval to the plate. Sandoval got under an 0-2 pitch, sending a lazy pop-up to shallow left field. Dominic Smith came in on the ball and Amed Rosario went out. Smith, feeling a certain level of PTSD from a previous play much like this where he and Rosario collided, costing the Mets a game, pulled up just short of where he needed to be to catch the ball properly. As a result, he reached down to make an underhand catch and the ball dropped just in front of his glove, skirting away from him and allowing Dickerson to score from first on the error.

Even after this disastrous misplay in the outfield, the Mets still had a chance to nab Dickerson at the plate, as Smith immediately picked up the ball and hit the cutoff man Todd Frazier, who whipped a relay throw to the plate. However, Wilson Ramos was not there to receive the throw, which went skipping away toward the visiting dugout, sealing the Mets’ fate. It was a loss that brought to mind shades of Luis Castillo and underscored the misguided roster construction that has a first baseman manning left field on a regular basis—a reversal of the Mets’ refusal to give Smith reps there during spring training, despite him asking for them.

Jacob deGrom walks away from this nightmare with yet another no decision and now has just 15 wins in his last 52 starts, despite holding a 2.18 ERA over that span.

The Mets send Walker Lockett to the mound in this afternoon’s game to fill in for the injured Zack Wheeler. In his third start of the season, Lockett will face off against Jeff Samardzija.

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What’s WPA?

Big winners: Jacob deGrom, +42.4% WPA
Big losers: Jacob Rhame, -24.5% WPA, Michael Conforto, -14.9% WPA, Dominic Smith, -14.8% WPA, Pete Alonso, -13.6% WPA, Adeiny Hechavarria, -11.4% WPA, Amed Rosario, -11.2% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +28.0% WPA
Total batter WPA: -78.0% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jacob Rhame strikes out Joe Panik for the second out in the tenth, +10.6% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: The Giants walk it off on Dominic Smith’s error in the tenth, -44.0% WPA