On the final Saturday of the regular season, the Mets, with nothing left to play for, defeated the Braves, blanking them 3-0 at Citi Field. Though there was a big story tonight, the victory was very much a team effort, with a surprising cast of characters responsible for the win in various ways.
Steven Matz looked absolutely dominant in the first inning, striking out both Dansby Swanson and Freddie Freeman on three pitches apiece. Matz’s control, however, would fall apart in the second, as he walked three batters and threw two wild pitches, leading to pitching to his counterpart, Mike Foltynewicz, with the bases loaded and two outs. Luckily, he escaped the jam via his fourth strikeout of the night.
Foltynewicz, like Matz, had electric stuff, but his control was also not dialed in early on. In the second inning, he walked J.D. Davis with one out, with Davis eventually being erased on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Amed Rosario. Rosario himself made the third out of the inning on a failed stolen base attempt. The errant throw from Brian McCann wound up not mattering, as it allowed Ozzie Albies to tag out Rosario well before the base.
The Mets got on the board with a two-run home run off the bat of Rene Rivera, and that was followed up two batters later by Pete Alonso’s 53rd home run. The shot, launched out to center field, was the capstone on what has been a truly phenomenal season for Alonso. The ovation he got, both from fans and his teammates, was something truly inspiring.
It clearly was an emotional rollercoaster for Alonso, who had tears in his eyes for the entirety of the top of the fourth inning. It was a humanizing and wonderful moment from an already beloved player. Mets: extend him now.
Matz settled down and, aside from giving up a lead off single in the top of the fourth, looked solid through his six innings of work. The walks were a problem, with five issues in six innings of play, but Matz was able to limit the damage and keep the Braves from scoring on his watch. The Mets didn’t score after the third inning, in part because Max Fried and Chris Martin provided good relief pitching after Foltynewicz came out after five innings.
The Mets got solid relief pitching as well, with Jeurys Familia, Brad Brach, and Edwin Diaz all delivering scoreless innings in relief. Yes, both Familia and Diaz had scoreless innings, yet another reminder that with an even regularly bad bullpen, the Mets would likely be in the playoff picture, instead of playing their final game of the year tomorrow.
Speaking of that final game, the Mets will send Noah Syndergaard out for game 162, facing Mike Soroka. The Mets are looking to sweep the final series of the season, which would be a nice, meaningless way to close out 2019.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Steven Matz, +26.4% WPA, Rene Rivera, +15.3% WPA
Big losers: None!
Total pitcher WPA: +36.3% WPA
Total batter WPA: +13.7% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Rene Rivera’s two-run home run, +16.0% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Adam Duvall’s triple, -8.1% WPA