The Mets almost stretched their win streak to four games on a hot Friday night in Queens, putting together a heck of a fight off the Dodgers bullpen but, alas, moral victories are still losses in the loss column.
The Mets did not start this game off well. Tylor Megill, who has shown cracks in his armor since his hot start to his major league career. He got hit hard in the first, allowing a double to Max Muncy and an RBI double to Corey Seager.
The Mets offense, as was a trend through the first six innings, looked horrible in the bottom of the first. The lineup featured some, um, questionable decisions going into it, with Albert Almora Jr. (.130/.149/.196, -6 wRC+) and Kevin Pillar (.211/.247/.366, 68 wRC+) occuping the corner outfield spots for some reason. Brandon Drury also played in Jeff McNeil’s place.
While the Mets bats got shutout through six innings, notching just three singles over that span, the Dodgers consistently chipped away at a rather ineffective Megill. They added sacrifice flies in the third, fourth, and sixth innings, pushing their lead to 4-0, and constantly had traffic on the basepaths. It was a wonder Megill escaped through five innings without surrendering more runs.
The Mets’ bats finally woke up in the seventh, with the rally beginning with a two-out double my a pinch hitting Michael Conforto. Dominic Smith chased him home with a single, making it 4-1, and — stop of you heard this before — Brandon Nimmo walked. A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third, but opened up first base for a Pete Alonso walk. Jeff McNeil made them pay, however, dunking a single in front of Cody Bellinger, making it 4-3. A horrific passed ball by Will Smith allowed Alonso to rumble home, and tie the game. It was a wonderful two out rally.
Unfortunately, that’s is the last wonderful thing to happen for the Mets on the night.
The Mets and Dodgers traded scoreless eighth innings, with Miguel Castro continuing to get his season back on track with a scoreless frame, working around a single. The Mets’ half of the inning was similar, with Travis Blankenhorn notching a single, but they could not do anything with it (Blankenhorn also inexplicably got picked off first after his single, which you uh, cannot do in that scenario).
The ninth inning was also scoreless, but folks, it was eventful. Former Mets Legend Billy McKinney worked a walk against Edwin Díaz to lead off the inning, and then backup catcher Austin Barnes came in to pinch hit and attempt to bunt McKinney over to second. He popped it up, and Díaz made an excellent play to snag it for the out. After that, on the next pitch, while waiting for the sign from James McCann, Díaz flinched on the mound and balked, moving McKinney to second anyway. Then, an inside fastball to former NL East foe turned California Guy Trea Turner appeared to hit him, putting Díaz in some very hot water.
BUT READER, WAIT!
Upon review the ball clearly hit the bat and not the speedy Turner, who collected his Academy Award and got back into the box. Díaz quickly struck him out. Díaz quickly got two strikes on Muncy, but this inning decided to get even weirder, and Muncy began barking about something to the home plate ump. The game was delayed, and everyone was mostly confused, until the television broadcast revealed that someone from the stands literally pointed a laser pointer at him while he was hitting. It was a first, for me personally, during a game, and something completely unacceptable. The umpires decided it was fine to continue the game after some warmup pitches from Díaz, and he got the third strike. It was probably the most eventful scoreless inning you’ll see in a while.
The Mets went scoreless in the bottom of the ninth, though it was much more boring. Kenley Jansen was good and Smith, Alonso, and Nimmo all got dispatched with relative ease.
The 10th inning was eventful, but in a bad way (for Mets fans). Rojas, continuing to make bad decisions on this Friday the 13th, went to Jeurys Familia for the third day in a row. Predictably, it did not work and he surrendered a lead off two run home run (still a ridiculous sentence to type) to Will Smith. He clearly did not have it, but was able to navigate the inning, getting to the bottom of the 10th with a 6-4 deficit.
Jeff McNeil took a truly horrible at bat to lead off the tenth, swinging at the first pitch and neatly flying out. JD Davis walked, putting the winning run at the plate. Jonathan Villar tapped a grounder to third, making it 6-5, and James McCann was intentionally walked for Tomas Nido. Nido, following in McNeil’s footsteps of “let’s take a horrible, backbreaking at bat” swung at ball one to fly out and lose the game.
*illar of the game
Kevin Pillar went 0-3 before he was pinch hit for. Jonathan Villar went 0-5 with an RBI. So I guess Villar wins? But it feels like neither? Anyway, I miss the old *illars.
Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Edwin Díaz, +12.8 % WPA
Big Mets loser: Jonathan Villar, -19.9% WPA
Mets pitchers: -7.5% WPA
Mets hitters: -42.5% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Pete Alonso scoring on a passed ball, +21.7% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Will Smith’s 10th inning home run, -26.1% WPA