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Mets eke out victory over Nats as Peterson shines

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David Peterson ended his season on a high note as the Mets beat the Nationals 3-2.

MLB: New York Mets at Washington Nationals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Facing elimination with a loss and a win by the Marlins or Giants, the Mets had to win to stay alive last night, and that’s exactly what they did, defeating the lowly Nationals by a score of 3-2. It was, interestingly enough, the first game of a series with faint playoff implications in the final weekend, but also one that is a battle for last place in the NL East. 2020, man.

David Peterson toed the rubber and had one of the best outings he’s had as a major leaguer in what was his final start of the season. Peterson scattered four hits over seven innings, allowing just a run with four strikeouts and a walk. He only had to deal with runners in scoring position twice all night. The first time was in the fourth, when Juan Soto walked and advanced to second on a groundout, which set up Mets Killer Josh Harrison to drive him in on an RBI single to give the Nats a 1-0 lead at the time. The second was when Soto knocked a one-out double in the sixth inning, but Peterson stranded him there that time.

Peterson finishes his rookie season with a 3.44 ERA over nine starts, allowing only five homers and racking up 40 strikeouts in 49 innings at the big league level. His walk rate is a little high, but that can be lived with. Overall, it’s not a bad debut for a guy who was not even supposed to pitch a whole lot at the big league level this year. The 25-year-old looks like a surefire rotation piece for 2021.

On offense, the Mets had their chances, but blew most of them. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but the Mets left 12 runners on base and went 2-for-13 with RISP. Thankfully, this time they at least had Robinson Chirinos to pick up the slack. Chirinos had his best game in a Mets uniform, hitting an opposite-field, two-run homer in the fifth to put the Mets out in front, 2-1. Chirinos came to the rescue again later with a two-out RBI infield single that made it 3-1. The play only resulted in a hit because the first baseman was shifted too far to cover first base on a ground ball to second, which almost caused Keith Hernandez to jump out of the booth.

Other Mets standout performers on offense are Dom Smith, who banged out three more hits and two doubles, bringing his season wRC+ to 169. J.D. Davis broke out of his slump with two hits of his own, as well.

Justin Wilson tossed a scoreless eighth to set it up for Edwin Diaz in the ninth. Diaz ran in to some trouble, allowing a one-out double to Andrew Stevenson and then a two-out RBI single to Yadiel Hernandez, but eventually got out of it, stranding the tying run on second. It was Diaz’s sixth save of the year, and the Mets’ 26th of the season.

Since the Marlins also won, the Mets now have to win out over the last three games while hoping that a 29-31 record could somehow land them the 8th seed.

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What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: David Peterson, +33.3% WPA

Big Mets loser: Jeff McNeil -12.3% WPA

Mets pitchers: -39.8% WPA

Mets hitters: -10.2%WPA

Teh aw3s0mest play: Robinson Chirinos hits a two-run homer in the fifth inning, +21.4% WPA

Teh sux0rest play: Josh Harrison hits an RBI single in the fourth inning, +11.4% WPA