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Mets break through in ninth to top White Sox for their sixth straight victory

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The Mets survived wild late innings to creep closer in the Wild Card standings.

MLB: New York Mets at Chicago White Sox Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

After a taut, crisp pitchers’ duel between Jacob deGrom and Lucas Giolito over seven innings, Wednesday night’s matchup between the Mets and the White Sox got wild and a bit weird, with the Mets ultimately prevailing 4-2, to record their sixth straight victory.

DeGrom displayed his standard excellence, striking out 11 batters through his seven innings. The White Sox pushed across their only run against deGrom in the third. After Yolmer Sanchez and Leury Garcia blooped back-to-back singles, deGrom lost the strike zone against Ryan Goins to load the bases. Jose Abreu hit a sacrifice fly to right-center, but deGrom limited the damage, and mostly cruised thereafter.

Unfortunately for the Mets, Lucas Giolito bounced back from recent struggles to match deGrom, striking out nine Mets over seven innings, allowing only three hits. One of those almost tied the game in the fifth, as Todd Frazier blasted a shot off the top of the right-center field wall for a double. The Mets would waste the leadoff double, with Adeiny Hechavarria and Jeff McNeil both striking out to end the inning.

New York would manage to tie the game the following inning. After a leadoff walk, Michael Conforto advanced to third on a Robinson Cano single, then snuck home, scoring on a deft slide around James McCann’s tag on a slow Wilson Ramos ground out to third.

Once the starters departed, the game turned into a series of odd bounces. The White Sox threatened in the bottom of the eighth. With runners on first and second and one out, Jon Jay hit a sharp grounder up the middle that struck the second base umpire in the infield—a ball it was unclear Robinson Cano would reach. By rule, the runners on first and second could only advance one base, leaving the bases loaded. Justin Wilson wriggled out of the jam by inducing a Tim Anderson force out.

In the top of the ninth, the Mets rallied despite a bounce that seemed to go against them. After Wilson Ramos reached on an Anderson error, J.D. Davis launched a ball deep into the right field corner. The ball—called foul—looked as if it landed fair, but the Guaranteed Rate Field foul line didn’t quite extend to the base of the wall where the ball landed, and the replay was thus inconclusive.

Davis responded with a single up the middle, and Frazier immediately followed with an opposite field RBI single to plate pinch-runner Aaron Altherr. With two outs, Michael Conforto delivered two huge insurance runs with a clutch single to right, extending the lead to 4-1. The hit would be crucial, as Edwin Diaz—looking much better than Tuesday—still surrendered his ninth home run of the year, but worked around it, striking out the side and recording the save for the Mets’ sixth straight victory.

The win puts the Mets at 52-55, 4.5 games behind (many teams) in the National League Wild Card standings. The Mets go for the sweep of the White Sox tomorrow afternoon, with Zack Wheeler—still with the team after a quiet trade deadline—taking the hill against Dylan Cease.

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What’s WPA?

Big winners: Jacob deGrom, +28.4% WPA, Todd Frazier, +20.9% WPA, Wilson Ramos, +20.9% WPA, Michael Conforto, +13.5% WPA

Big losers: Jeff McNeil, -20.3% WPA, Amed Rosario, -15.7% WPA

Total pitcher WPA: +43.0% WPA

Total batter WPA: +7.0% WPA

Teh aw3s0mest play: Todd Frazier’s RBI single in the top of the ninth inning, +19.8% WPA

Teh sux0rest play: J.D. Davis grounding into a double play with two on in the top of the sixth inning, -13.0 WPA