The Mets absolutely, positively, undoubtedly, needed to win this game in order to keep playoff hopes alive that, in all honestly, probably were not going to come true to begin with.
So naturally, they lost, and lost rather convincingly, despite the 8-5 final.
Michael Wacha took the bump for the Mets tonight, and started well, putting up a zero in the first. The Mets gracefully matched the Rays zero with one of their own, as Tyler Glasnow stranded Brandon Nimmo and Jeff McNeil to keep the Mets from striking early.
The second inning was more exciting than the first, as the Rays got on the board with a two-out solo shot from the batting gloves-less Joey Wendle. Andres Gimenez decided to do his best Joey Wendle impression, hitting a two-out solo shot of his own, knotting the game up at one piece going into the third.
The Rays answered back quickly, scoring one in the fourth, on a fielder’s choice that probably should have been an out. The ball, slowly hit to Pete Alonso, was fielded cleanly and he made a solid throw home. Wilson Ramos, for some reason, went the opposite direction he was supposed to in order to make the tag, and the tag was late. It was a bizarre play by Ramos and probably cost the Mets a run.
The bottom of the third and top of the fourth were solid innings for both starters, though Glasnow made his second mistake pitch in the bottom of the 4th. He hung one of his signature curveballs to Dom Smith who absolutely crushed it, putting into the upper deck of the
Pepsi Porch Coca Cola Corner to tie it at two.
The fifth went by with nary a peep, as Wacha and Glasnow continued their (kinda sorta) pitchers duel into the sixth. That is where things began to get, well, not good for our beloved Mets.
Brandon Lowe hit a one out single off of Wacha, and Randy Arozarena took the very next pitch out to right center field, putting the Rays up 4-2 — a lead Tampa would hold en route to a AL East division title.
Wacha got out of the inning, and ended his night — an okay outing, but one with a very sour and costly final inning.
The seventh, as a whole, went scoreless. Miguel Castro, who seemingly pitches in every Mets game at this point, saw the mound in the top of the frame, surrendering a double and nothing else. The Rays also got into their bullpen, and Pete Fairbanks pitched a clean inning outside of a single by Tom River’s own Todd Frazier.
The 8th inning is the one to circle in a big old red marker if you’re the Mets, because this is where the game ended. Chasen Shreve came in and continued his late season careening back down to Earth, putting in three poor at bats to start the inning. He walked Yoshi Tsutsugo, gave up a two-run home run to Brandon Lowe, a single to Randy Arozarena, got an out, and promptly exited the game, completing his transformation back into a pumpkin.
Jeurys Familia came in and also struggled after getting the first batter he faced out. An intentional walk to Joey Wendle got Willy Adames up, who promptly hit an RBI single to make the game 7-2.
The Mets answered all those Rays runs with a big fat zero in the bottom of the 8th, and Steven Matz came in to replace Familia in the 9th for some garbage time pitching. Matz continued his no good, very bad, kill it with fire season, giving up a homer to Arozarena, making it 8-2.
The Mets bats remembered how to hit a little in the 9th, facing off against funky righty Oliver Drake. McNeil led off with a walk, Pete hit a rocket of a double, and Robinson Cano forced a run home with a groundout to make it 8-3. Frazier hit a garbage time home run with two outs in the 9th to make it 8-5, and make it kinda interesting (reader: it was not really interesting). Nick Anderson came in for Gimenez, promptly struck him out on three pitches, and got the Mets one day closer to the end of the Wilpons tenure as Mets owners, and clinched the division for the Rays.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Dominic Smith, +6.0% WPA
Big Mets loser: Michael Wacha, -24.1% WPA
Mets pitchers: -32.0% WPA
Mets hitters: -18.0%WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Dominic Smith’s solo home run, bottom 4, +14.5% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Randy Arozarena’s two-run home run, -27.4% WPA