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Mets find displaced offense in rout of Giants

Who knew that scoring runs made winning games more likely?

New York Mets v San Francisco Giants Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

After two consecutive brutal losses, the Met offense broke out in a big way, slugging four home runs and tallying 17 hits in a 11-4 win. It’s not quite enough to totally wash the taste of the last two days out of our mouths, but it was encouraging win with contributions from the entire roster. Dom Smith showed his value, Pete Alonso came off the bench to slug his 33rd home run, and even the bullpen looked impressive for a time.

Though the end result was good, the start of the game felt like more of the same for the Mets. Michael Conforto was hit by a pitch and Wilson Ramos singled, and a wild pitch put both of them in scoring position with one out. Robinson Cano and Todd Frazier couldn’t capitalize however, and both struck out to strand two runners.

Mercifully, the offensive drought didn’t extend any further. Dom Smith did his best to make up for his mea culpa in Friday’s game by launching an impressive 433 foot home run to right-center, over the infamous triples alley. Two innings later, Frazier lined a triple into the that same alley, and Smith came through again with an RBI single that extended the Met lead to 2-0. Next inning, Jeff McNeil doubled that, banging his 9th home run of the season off the right field foul poll with a runner on.

As the Mets were overcoming their offensive malaise of the past two days, Walter Lockett was continuing the stretch of excellent starting pitching. The right-hander needed only 41 pitches to get through the first four innings, allowing three singles but also inducing a double play. He utilized his curveball a lot more than in his previous starts, and the change in approach was effective.

Lockett gave up one run in the fifth thanks to a hit batsman, an errant throw that prevented a double play, a wild pitch, and finally an RBI single from Joe Panik. Todd Frazier got that run right back though, launching a solo home run with one out in the top of the sixth. After a ground out and a couple singles, Pete Alonso came off the bench to bat for Lockett and hit a stupendous 440+ foot home run to the opposite field, stretching the lead to 8-1 and blowing the game open.

Perhaps relaxed by the size of the lead they had to protect, the Met bullpen looked excellent. Justin Wilson tossed a perfect sixth, and Tyler Bashlor looked even better, setting down six straight Giants on only fifteen pitches. Still, this team should know better than to trust any lead at this point, and they added on three more runs in the ninth thanks to a two-RBI single from Smith and an RBI single from J.D. Davis.

Those runs ultimately didn’t matter, though Stephen Nogosek did struggle in the ninth and allowed two home runs. Despite the hiccup, he was able to close out the 11-4 win with a generous called strike three. The win improves the Mets to 45-53 and 5-3 in the second half. They’re still well outside the range of legitimate playoff contention, but there have been some signs of life of late. Steven Matz will take the mound for the series finale tomorrow afternoon.

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Win Probability Added

What’s WPA?

Big winners: Walter Lockett, +19.7% WPA; Dom Smith, +14.0% WPA
Big losers: Robinson Cano, -10.9% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +21% WPA
Total batter WPA: +29% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jeff McNeil launches a two-run home run in the fifth, +12.0% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Robinson Cano strikes out looking in the first, -7.8% WPA