Coming off back-to-back losses to the Nationals, one frustratingly lopsided and the other frustratingly close, the Mets didn’t announce which of their pitchers would start the third game of the four-game series until a few hours before first pitch. Robert Gsellman wound up getting the nod, and you’d be forgiven if the towering three-run home run he served up to Juan Soto in the top of the first inning had you wondering whether or not the game would be worth watching.
The Mets’ lineup, though, was having none of that, and it answered with four runs in the bottom of the first to quickly take the lead. Brandon Nimmo led off with a home run, and later in the inning, Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith each drove in a run with a double before Andrés Giménez singled in another with a great piece of hitting.
From there, Gsellman threw a scoreless second inning before Chasen Shreve took over and threw a scoreless third. Wilson Ramos tacked on a run on a single in the third, and Jeurys Familia was outstanding in pitching two scoreless innings—the fourth and fifth—with four strikeouts and one walk on 38 pitches.
Juan Soto struck again in the sixth, this time with a relatively modest 403-foot solo shot off of Justin Wilson, bringing the Nationals within one. But the Mets really blew the game open in the bottom of that inning. Luis Guillorme drew a leadoff walk, and Brandon Nimmo reached on a very well placed bunt single to beat the shift that was in place against him. While Nationals reliever Ryne Harper struck out J.D. Davis and got Jeff McNeil to fly out, his inning was far from over.
Michael Conforto doubled to score Guillorme and Nimmo. Pete Alonso followed that up with a two-run home run, and Dominic Smith followed Alonso with a solo shot of his own. In a span of minutes, the Mets had turned a 5-4 lead into a 10-4 lead.
Things were relatively easy the rest of the way. Dellin Betances looked about as good as he’s looked in an appearance this year in his scoreless seventh, and the Nationals got one run each against Drew Smith in the eighth and Brad Brach in the ninth. The Mets scored one more run themselves on a ground out by Dom Smith in the eighth, which helped maintain that comfortable cushion they had established earlier.
With that, the Mets have a chance to split the series this afternoon at Citi Field. They’ll have David Peterson on the mound for his fourth major league start.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Pete Alonso, +17.7% WPA
Big Mets loser: Robert Gsellman, -19.9% WPA
Mets pitchers: -6.4% WPA
Mets hitters: +56.4% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Michael Conforto hits a two-run double in the sixth, +16.6% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Juan Soto hits a three-run home run in the first, -22.6% WPA