The Mets shut out the Blue Jays 3-0 to open their first homestand of the second half. Steven Matz made his return to Citi Field, greeted warmly by a tribute video and a nice ovation from the fans. He was greeted less warmly by Pete Alonso, who hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning off Matz following a walk by Brandon Nimmo. Those were the only runs Matz would give up over 5 2⁄3 innings of work.
But Matz was out-dueled by Tylor Megill, who finally earned his first major league win in his sixth start as a Met. Megill completely silenced a very potent Blue Jays offense over six shutout innings, surrendering just two hits and one walk and striking out five. Not only that, but Megill also laced a single in the fifth inning for his first big league hit.
Megill was backed up by some sparkling defense from the Mets, particularly in the fifth and sixth innings. To lead off the fifth, J.D. Davis made a fantastic play on a bouncer in the hole off the bat of Randal Grichuk, ranging to his left to grab it and spinning around to make the throw and nab Grichuk at first base. The following inning, Michael Conforto made a highlight-worthy diving play on a shallow fly ball from Bo Bichette that prompted Gary Cohen to exclaim, “I didn’t know the Olympic diving competition had begun yet!”
Megill exited the game after just 78 pitches following a four-pitch sixth inning; it was clear the Mets did not want to push him the third time through the order. But the Mets’ strong effort on the defensive side of the ball did not end with Megill’s departure from the game. With Grichuk having reached base on a single with two out and Seth Lugo on the mound in the seventh inning, Cavan Biggio hit a sharp grounder that got through Pete Alonso at first base, but it was backed up expertly by Luis Guillorme and the Mets were able to nab Biggio at first to complete a scoreless inning for Lugo.
Trevor May followed Lugo by setting the Blue Jays down in order in the eighth inning, complete with a strikeout. In the bottom of the frame, Pete Alonso struck again, providing an insurance run in the form of an absolutely towering solo shot to left-center field off Ryan Borucki. Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. made some hard contact off Edwin Díaz in the ninth, but both balls resulted in lineouts. Díaz capped off his 1-2-3 inning with a strikeout of George Springer to secure his 20th save of the year and an all-around good team victory for the Mets.
Oh, and it’s also worth mentioning that there was a stuffed horse in the dugout. It’s the home run horse. Don’t ask me to explain it. Simply watch the video.
Anyway, Taijuan Walker will take the mound for the Mets against Hyun Jin Ryu—perhaps the first matchup between two guys wearing number 99 in MLB history (don’t fact check me)—as the Mets try to take this weekend series from the Blue Jays at Citi Field.
*illar of the game
Jonathan Villar went 0-for-3 with a strikeout and Kevin Pillar was retired in his pinch hitting appearance, so neither -illar earns top honors today.
Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Tylor Megill, +31.2% WPA
Big Mets loser: Michael Conforto, -4.9% WPA
Mets pitchers: +47.2% WPA
Mets hitters: +2.8% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Pete Alonso’s first-inning home run, +16.4% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Tylor Megill walks Bo Bichette with one out in the top of the first, -2.4% WPA