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The Mets actually won a game that they (temporarily) blew in the ninth inning

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Don’t let the blowing and unblowing of the ninth inning distract you from the fact that the Mets had 17 hits.

MLB: New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

To say that Sunday night’s Mets-Phillies game wasn’t a complete avalanche of anger, frustration, devastation, complications, and a few more -ation words that I don’t even know would be a massive lie. The Mets looked two different kinds of ugly on either end of their six-run eighth inning that gave them the lead they needed in an 8-7 win over Philadelphia.

Since they were the first issues to happen during the game, as long as you’re not counting the broadcast booth, it only makes sense to start from the beginning. You may not believe it by just looking at the 8-7 final score, but this game only saw two runs cross the plate in the first five innings and only six in total after the conclusion of the seventh.

To start things off, Jeff McNeil and Francisco Lindor were the first two batters to step in against Zach Eflin, who the ESPN crew really wanted to make sure you knew came from the Jimmy Rollins trade, and they flied out and struck out, respectively. Michael Conforto did manage a single, the first of his three total hits on the night, but a Pete Alonso grounder ended the inning.

If David Peterson’s first inning told the poor viewers at home anything, it’s that it was going to be a long night. Ultimately, the night was long, but not due to the actions of Peterson. Andrew McCutchen was the first batter Peterson faced and on the first pitch he swung at, he deposited a sinker over all the seats in center field and gave the Phillies the earliest 1-0 lead they could possibly ask for. After Rhys Hoskins immediately walked and Bryce Harper singled to put men on first and second with none out, Jeremy Hefner came out for a mound visit, while at the same time, many of the fans watching at home began wondering whether watching nine innings of the Mets getting their faces kicked in on Sunday Night Baseball would be a good decision to make. Following a JT Realmuto strikeout, shocking every fan who watched an inning of this god forsaken team’s defense between 2012 and 2020, Jeff McNeil snagged an Alec Bohm liner, flipped it to a spinning Lindor who launched it over to Alonso, getting two outs and David Peterson out of the potential blow up inning.

With Dominic Smith leading off the Mets’ half of the second with a double, you’d be forgiven for thinking that maybe the momentum had shifted. With Kevin Pillar following up with a single to Roman Quinn in center, you would also be forgiven for thinking Smith might just come around and score. Unfortunately, he did come around, but the scoring wasn’t a great success as he slid into Realmuto like an air hockey puck into the wall, getting tagged out before he could touch everyone’s favorite pentagonal plate. Naturally, the next two men went down without much resistance.

For David Peterson, his night never got close to the lows that the first inning would have you believe he faced. Starting in the second and carrying into the third inning, Peterson struck out five straight Phillies before a single from Hoskins, a walk to Harper, and Realmuto flying out broke the streak. A Nick Maton single in the fourth was the only blemish of the inning, and ultimately, his final blemish of the outing. With two more strikeouts in the fifth and a grounder to Lindor ending the inning, Peterson’s night was done without a win, but also without the loss.

Now, the Mets half of the sixth inning? That’s where things get absolutely wacky. Dominic Smith’s double to lead off the inning wasn’t very wacky, I’ll give you that. Okay, okay, neither was Kevin Pillar’s single, you got me. If you’re a certain kind of sick, Jonathan Villar putting up what might be the worst three-pitch at bat of all time could count as wacky, but we’re setting our sights on something bigger, something with more zaniness to it. Most people watching didn’t expect James McCann to get a hit to drive in the run, and if you want to be technical, he didn’t! He thwacked a ball to Zach Eflin on the mound who bobbled it and immediately entered a panicked state of “OH GOD AHHH GET IT OUT OF MY HAND”, before throwing it wide of second base, allowing Smith to score, Pillar to get to second base, and McCann to end up at first safely. Although the Mets ended the inning without another run, there was more zane coming down the pike.

Miguel Castro entered the game in the sixth, tasked with getting through the best of the Phillies order and protecting the slim 2-1 lead. Castro had his own fit of “AHH OH GOD HURRY” and allowed Harper to reach base on an error. Harper then stole second base and after Alec Bohm singled one batter later, Didi Gregorius send a three-run homer to right field, eliminating the Mets’ 2-1 lead and creating a 4-2 lead in Philly’s favor. I will do you a favor and gloss over the dull six-up-six-down seventh inning and go right to the juicy eighth.

With longtime punching bag Brandon Kintzler in the game, Kevin Pillar led off the inning with a homer, bringing the Mets within one. With one out in the inning and Jonathan Villar on first, Jose Peraza making his Mets debut laced a single just past a diving Hoskins at first base, sending Villar to third and putting men on the corners...or at least that’s what you’d think. Noticing that the Phillies weren’t exactly speeding around out there, Villar took the chance to sprint home and tie the game at four apiece. Old Friend Jose Alvarado came in, only able to appear in the game due to his suspension being appealed, and immediately gave up a single to Jeff McNeil before walking Lindor to load the bases, and then walking Michael Conforto too, pushing Peraza home and giving the Mets a 5-4 advantage. See, I told you it would get wacky eventually. Alvarado was pulled from the game and David Hale took his place, but when it Hales it pours as Pete Alonso immediately send a double to the wall in center field, bringing home all three runs, giving the Mets an 8-4 lead, and giving the fellas a potentially suggestive hand gesture. Two lineouts ended the inning and Trevor May blew past the Phillies in the bottom of the inning, leaving only the dreaded ninth. Two outs and two singles coming between the first four batters, one single being McNeil’s fourth on the night, put two men on for Lindor, but he grounded out to second base, leaving the Mets with three outs to get for an 8-4 win.

Edwin Diaz entered the game for uh...reasons, tasked with taking on the bottom of the Phillies’ lineup. He immediately walked Gregorius on four pitches which wasn’t optimal, but after getting Maton to pop out, Roman Quinn was the next in line to get tooted by Mr. Narco. It wasn’t meant to be as Quinn sent a triple into the gap right-center field, scoring one run and setting himself up 90 feet away from being another. Odubel Herrera struck out and Matt Joyce worked a seven-pitch walk, bringing up Rhys Hoskins with the Phillies down three runs, having one out to spare. On a 100.3 MPH fastball, Hoskins sent the ball over the wall in right field, plonking the fence and bouncing back onto the field as he rounded the bases on a three-run game-tying home run, an absolute backbreaker. [A mysterious man in a black suit and an earpiece hands me a note] Oh...are you sure? Well uh, okay then. It has been brought to my attention that at Citizens Bank Park, the fence above the wall in right field is actually in play, meaning that when Hoskins’ ball came back, he only had himself a double, driving in two runs to make it an 8-7 game, but falling just short of that 8-8 tie. While the review was taking place, Edwin Diaz left the game with a tight back, leaving Jeurys Familia as the man who needed to get the last man out: Bryce Harper. In six pitches, Familia did just that, striking out Harper and securing the most precarious win in recent, if not all memory.

The Mets are back in action tomorrow night as a Pitcher To Be Named Later takes on Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals at 7:45 pm EDT.

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What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: Michael Conforto, +26% WPA

Big Mets loser: Miguel Castro, -43.6% WPA

Mets pitchers: -20.8% WPA

Mets hitters: 70.8% WPA

Teh aw3s0mest play: Jose Peraza’s RBI single in the 8th inning, +24.8% WPA

Teh sux0rest play: Didi Gregorious’ three-run homer in the sixth, -33.1% WPA