The Mets evened this three-game series at one game apiece with a 4-1 win over the Kansas City Royals. The game was a pitchers’ duel in the early going, as Jacob deGrom and Jakob Junis matched zeros for the first four innings. The Mets got a runner to third base in the top of the fourth with two outs, but failed to score.
The Royals were the first to strike in the bottom of the frame. deGrom had not allowed a baserunner until that point, but he walked Alex Gordon with one out and Hunter Dozier singled, advancing Gordon to third. Jorge Soler then hit a bouncer to first base, which Pete Alonso misplayed. It glanced off Alonso’s glove and went into no-man’s land near the mound, allowing Gordon to score to put the Royals on the board. However, Jacob deGrom limited the damage by getting Cheslor Cuthbert to ground into a double play to retire the side.
However, the hangover didn’t last long on the part of the Mets and they came right back to tie the game in the top of the fifth. Juan Lagares led off the inning with a single and Aaron Altherr followed with a base hit of his own to put two men on with nobody out. Amed Rosario then grounded into an unfortunately-timed double play, but Lagares advanced to third. Joe Panik came through with an RBI single to chase home Lagares and tie the game at one.
deGrom delivered an easy 1-2-3 fifth and Michael Conforto led off the bottom of the frame with a drive into the gap, but center fielder Brett Phillips made a fantastic running grab against the wall to rob Conforto of extra bases and nothing materialized for the Mets. deGrom had another quick 1-2-3 inning in the sixth and it was the seventh where the Mets were finally able to mount a rally.
With Junis pitching into the seventh, Juan Lagares singled up the middle with one out. In a scary moment, Altherr was then hit by a pitch square in the helmet, but remained in the game. It was the second Met hit by a pitch on the night, as Rosario was also hit flush on the hand with a pitch, but also seemed to emerge from the encounter no worse for wear. Ned Yost then turned to Jake Newberry to get Amed Rosario out, but Newberry issued a free pass to Rosario to load the bases. Newberry was promptly removed from the game in favor of the lefty Tim Hill. The Mets countered by pinch hitting J.D. Davis for Joe Panik and Davis struck out swinging. The Royals took a gamble and left Hill in to face Pete Alonso and they ended up paying for it. Alonso narrowly missed a grand slam; similar to last night, the ball sailed right near the right field foul pole and was ruled foul upon replay review. After the game, Alonso went on to say regarding the almost-grand slam, “Only God knows, I don’t know,” if it was fair. But he still delivered with a single up the middle that plated two runs and gave the Mets a 3-1 lead.
The Mets were able to scratch out an insurance run off Jacob Barnes in the top of the eighth. Luis Guillorme smacked a two-out single to center field. Then Juan Lagares came through with his third hit of the game—a triple over the head of Hunter Dozier in right field to score Guillorme and give the Mets a 4-1 lead. Justin Wilson worked around a hit to pitch a scoreless bottom of the eighth inning.
Kevin McCarthy pitched a scoreless ninth inning for the Royals and Seth Lugo threw just 12 pitches to close things out for the Mets in the bottom of the inning. That earned Lugo his third save of the season and sealed the victory for the Mets.
The Mets will go for the series win, as Zack Wheeler goes toe-to-toe against Glenn Sparkman in the rubber game.
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Win Probability Added
Big winners: Jacob deGrom, +31.1% WPA, Pete Alonso, +23.7% WPA, Juan Lagares, +14.7% WPA, Aaron Altherr +10.4% WPA
Big losers: Luis Guillorme, -14.7% WPA, J.D. Davis, -12.2% WPA, Todd Frazier, -11.6% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +40.9% WPA
Total batter WPA: +9.1% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Pete Alonso’s go-ahead RBI single, +28.0% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Amed Rosario grounds into a double play in the fifth, -14.9% WPA