The news around baseball before the game started stood as a sobering reminder that baseball is attempting to play during a pandemic that is still hitting many states hard around the country. While Rob Manfred seems to think that baseball will continue, the season feels like it is teetering over a precipice, and no amount of precautions can pull it back.
It is with that backdrop the Mets took the field at 7:30 in Fenway Park, with empty stands and trying their best to put the day’s unsettling news behind them. They also had to forget about the previous night’s 14-1 loss to the Braves, the last game in a series where the offense sputtered.
The game got off to a wacky start when Amed Rosario reached on an error. Then with one out, Jeff McNeil smoked one that bounced off Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers then fielded. Perhaps trying to jump start the offense, Rosario got aggressive on the basepaths, saw third uncovered, and took off. He was chased down, tagged out, and a promising rally ended quickly. Despite his early aggressiveness, Rosario quietly had a good game batting leadoff and has been one of the few Mets hitting early in this season.
The Mets did get on the board one inning later when after a J,D, Davis walk, Michael Conforto absolutely crushed an offering from opener Josh Osich to give the Mets the early lead. With Boston bullpenning they turned to reliever Jeffrey Springs in the third. With one out and one on, Pete Alonso did what Pete Alonso does and sent a ball hurtling at 116 mph over the Green Monster. Springs’s luck didn’t change much in the fourth when this time it was Dominic Smith who took him deep. That was good for another three runs to give the Mets a 7-0 lead.
Rick Porcello’s debut was a disaster to say the least so Michael Wacha was hoping for a better fate when he took to the mound. Staked to the early lead he did a good job making in stand up. He had an effective changeup working and worked out of a few jams without incurring any damage. His only blemish in five innings of work was a very long solo home run off the bat of Mitch Moreland.
Chasen Shreve relieved Wacha and looked solid. The Red Sox helped him a bit with attempted bunts, but he was his own best friend and fielded his position well to keep runners off the basepaths. He too was tagged for a home run, this time by Bogaerts, but overall not a terrible outing.
Despite the score reading 7-2 in the eighth, manager Luis Rojas turned to Jeurys Familia who did not have it. He gave up two runs and got only two outs before yielding to Seth Lugo who finished off the inning. There is still some debate over whether or not Lugo should be in the rotation but he is not helping his cause by being the best reliever in the Mets bullpen. He further proved his value by easily nailing down the save in the ninth.
Despite some hiccups from the bullpen, it was a good solid win that the team desperately needed even as uncertainty looms.
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Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Michael Wacha +17.9% WPA
Big Mets loser: Jeff McNeil -4.6% WPA
Mets pitchers: +25.1% WPA
Mets hitters: +24.9% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Michael Conforto home run in second, +14.4% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Jose Peraza single in third, -5.3% WPA