After a rough opening series against the Braves, the Mets looked strong against the Red Sox during the first two games of this series in Boston. Despite 15 hits and a bases loaded with no outs situation in the bottom of the ninth, the Mets dropped the third game of this series 6-5. The team did not get back to Queens after last night’s game in Boston until 3:30am this morning, and the team looked it at times.
Jacob deGrom started the game by giving up four straight balls hit to the outfield, but only one, a double from J.D. Martinez, fell in. Uncharacteristically, it took deGrom until the third out of the second inning to notch his first strikeout.
After a Brandon Nimmo pop up to start the bottom of the first, the Mets had three straight first pitch singles from Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, and Michael Conforto to load the bases. Nathan Eovaldi then induced a weak ground ball from Dominic Smith for a fielder’s choice, and McNeil came around to score the first run.
In the second inning, Andres Gimenez collected his first career hit, a line drive through the hole on the left side of the infield. He was picked off of first by Eovaldi shortly thereafter, but it was nice to see both the hit and the sincere expressions of joy, both from Gimenez and his teammates, that followed.
deGrom’s scoreless innings streak was cut at 31 and a third consecutive innings after back to back doubles by Rafael Devers and Mitch Moreland in the top of the fourth inning. Moreland appeared to be struck out looking, but home plate umpire Mike Estabrook disagreed, and deGrom’s streak was ended shortly thereafter. After a rare deGrom wild pitch moved Moreland over to third, he induced a weak ground ball from Christian Vazquez for the second out. But a second wild pitch allowed Moreland to score to go-ahead run. For context, deGrom threw two wild pitches in the entire 2019 season. Both, but especially the second, wild pitches looked like they could have been handled by catcher Rene Rivera.
Rivera did not look very good in his first start of the year, and with the recent signing of Bruce Maxwell, it would not be surprising if the Mets decided that Rivera has played his last game as a Met.
An inning and a half later, Nimmo tied the game with a solo home run. Any further momentum was eliminated when Conforto grounded into a double play, erasing the McNeil walk and Alonso single that preceded it.
Marcus Walden began the sixth inning for the Red Sox, replacing Eovaldi, and retired the first two batters before giving up a soft single to Robinson Cano. Giménez then socked a liner to straight away center field for a triple, scoring Cano and giving the Mets the lead.
The lead would not last for long. deGrom departed after six innings, notching four strikeouts while giving up three hits, two walks, and two earned runs. Seth Lugo, facing his second batter in the top of the seventh inning, gave up a towering home run to Christian Vazquez to tie the game at 3-3.
In tonight’s continued theme of normally dominant pitchers looking vulnerable, Justin Wilson entered for the top of the eighth inning and looked pretty rough. Kevin Pillar led off the inning with a bloop single, before Wilson walked Xander Bogaerts. Benintendi then pushed a sacrifice bunt back to Wilson, whose only play was to first base. An intentional walk to Martinez loaded the bases, and allowed Wilson to buckle down and strike out Devers. With two outs, a swinging bunt, perfectly placed by Moreland, would bring in the go-ahead run. Boston would tack on two more on a Vazquez single. After Wilson walked Alex Verdugo, Dellin Betances would come in to strike out Jose Peraza to end the misery.
Now down by three, Yoenis Cespedes greeted new pitcher Matthew Barnes with a laser beam of a solo home run to left field, bringing the score to 6-4. After a clean Jeurys Familia top of the ninth, the Mets entered the ninth against Boston’s Brandon Workman.
Workman seemed destined to cough up the lead, walking Brandon Nimmo and Jeff McNeil to start the inning. Pete Alonso blooped a ball down the right field line for a single, loading the bases with no outs. Michael Conforto struck out, leaving the bases loaded. J.D. Davis, who came in the game for Dominic Smith a few innings earlier, struck an infield hit slowly in the 6-5 gap, Nimmo scored, and everyone was safe.
Cespedes fouled off a couple of pitches that would’ve been in the stands in 2015, and eventually went down to a nasty Workman curveball. Cano was their final hope, and he blooped a ball that, given an extra ten feet, would have fallen in for a game-tying single, but instead landed in Peraza’s glove for the final out of the game.
Tomorrow, the Mets hope to take the series against Martin Perez, with Steven Matz on the mount for the Mets. Sadly, the game is on FOX and not SNY.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Pete Alonso, +37.3% WPA
Big Mets loser: Justin Wilson, -44.2% WPA
Mets pitchers: -46.9% WPA
Mets hitters: -3.1% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: J.D. Davis’s infield single in the bottom of the ninth, +20.9% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Mitch Moreland’s bloop single in the eighth inning, +23.9% WPA