One night after they struggled against a rookie pitcher making his major league debut, the Mets got a second chance, this time against Miami starter Daniel Castano who was also making his debut. This game had a much different ending and the offense came through in a big way in the 8-4 victory.
It was J.D. Davis who lead the offense and ended up with the biggest night of any Met in the lineup. He went 2-for-4 at the plate and drove in four, with three runs coming with one swing of the bat late. He will get many of the accolades since he had the biggest blow of the evening, but scoring quickly after Miami scored in the first was a refreshing change, especially after the offensive failures that have plagued this team all season long.
Michael Conforto continued his good hitting against southpaws and handed the Mets the lead in the second with a two-run blast to right. Not to be outdone, Pete Alonso scorched a ball 116 mph over the left field wall for another two runs to give the Mets a 4-1 lead.
Starter David Peterson made it stand up despite losing the strike zone twice during his outing. He was not at his best against Miami but still looks like a capable back end starter. He did get helped out a bit in the fifth by Jonathan Villar who drove Keith Hernandez nuts all night long. After giving up a home run to Logan Forsythe, Peterson walked Monte Harrison on four pitches, and fell behind Villar 3-0. Villar then swung 3-0 and popped up to center. That decision helped the big lefty settle in and end his night without any more damage.
Villar would inexplicably swing 3-0 again when the Marlins had a rally in the sixth against Jeurys Familia. Familia was in trouble right away when he walked Corey Dickerson and gave up a single to Brian Anderson. He nearly got out of it when he induced a double play off the bat of Francisco Cervelli, but the final out proved to be elusive. After back-to-back walks to Matt Joyce and Forsythe, Familia’s night was done. Drew Smith entered into a mess, and despite making a good pitch to Monte Harrison, he squeezed a ball through the infield to score two and draw Miami within one. Next up was the overeager Villar who struck out after getting up 3-0 in the count and then swinging and missing on the next three pitches to end the inning.
With Miami now uncomfortably close on the scoreboard, the Mets were in desperate need of some insurance runs and J.D. Davis delivered in the seventh. With two runners on and one out, Just Dingers Davis went to the opposite field and gave the Mets’ bullpen a cushion to work with.
It turned out that the bullpen wouldn’t need the help since they were impressive for the rest of the night. The combination of Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, and Justin Wilson allowed only two hits and struck out five in three innings. Gsellman looked fantastic in his return to the mound in nearly a year and Justin Wilson closed the door in the ninth despite allowing two runners to reach base with two outs.
There were a lot of positives to be had in this game with quite a few Mets looking much better at the plate. Alonso ended the longest home run drought of his career, Conforto continues to hit southpaws, and Davis remains steady no matter where he is in the lineup. Those are three key pieces to the Mets offense and with Jeff McNeil and Amed Rosario both picking up hits, hopefully it is a portent of things to come for this team before it gets late early.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Pete Alonso +21.2% WPA
Big Mets loser: Jeurys Familia -9.1% WPA
Mets pitchers: +5.3 % WPA
Mets hitters: +44.7% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Michael Conforto home run in second
Teh sux0rest play: Monte Harrison RBI single in in sixth