After a five-game stretch as brutal as any in recent Met history, Kevin Pillar snapped the Mets’ losing streak in a 6-2 extra inning win over the Giants. J.D. Davis and Michael Conforto also played big roles, tying the game late and driving in a key extra inning run to keep the game going long enough for Pillar to get ahold of one. Perhaps even more impressive was Tylor Megill’s and Edwin Diaz’s pitching performances on the mound, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
This game started off much like most recent games. An HBP and a single put two runners on with one out in the first, but they failed to score. There seemed to be an opening when Anthony DeSclafani departed in the second inning with an injury, but the Mets did basically nothing against the Giants’ bullpen for eight innings. Indeed, they managed only three hits and didn’t get a single runner into scoring position from the second til the eighth.
Meanwhile, Tylor Megill was excellent. Aside from a brief hickup in the third - three straight hits that lead to the lone run Megill gave up - the rookie right hander cruised, striking out six Giants in six innings and allowing only five hits and a pair of walks. He even got some defensive help from both Dominic Smith - a nice sliding catch in LF - and Jeff McNeil - smothing a hard hit ball in the shift. Overall, it was a great bounceback outing, as Megill continues to establish himself as a legitimate back-end starter.
Miguel Castro and Trevor May continued the strong pitching, but the offense remained comatose heading into the ninth. Giants’ closer Jake McGee entered and immediately gave the Mets the best opportunity to score since the first, with an HBP and a single putting runners on the corners with no outs. J.D. Davis followed with a game-tying sacrifice fly, and the game was tied. Shortly thereafter, once Edwin Diaz made quick work of the Giants in the bottom half, the game headed to extras.
It wouldn’t be a Met game without some truly horrible managing, and this was no exception. With Jonathan Villar on second as the free runner, Luis Rojas decided to have Patrick Mazeika bunt. Unsurprisingly, he didn’t get a good bunt down, and VIllar was thrown out at third (not that it would have been a good idea to bunt even if it had worked). Frustratingly, a Brandon Nimmo single two batters later would surely have scored a run had there still been someone on second base. Instead, the Mets got nothing and headed to the bottom of the tenth with the game still tied.
That left things in the hands of Edwin Diaz which has been an at-best shaky proposition in recent times. Diaz was on his game today however, and he danced around the extra runner and a HBP to keep the Giants off the board. Truly impressive work to keep the game alive. Michael Conforto tried to reward him with a win, driving in a run in the top of the eleventh with a double, but Jeurys Familia immediately gave that run back as well, and the game went to the twelfth still tied.
Finally, the Mets had a breakthrough. A strikeout and an infield single put runners on the corners with one out for Kevin Pillar, who lofted a ball into the left field seats for a three-run home run. Three batters later, a Chance Sisco double drove home another run to stretch the lead to four. With the Giants’ bench empty and the pitcher due up, Jake Reed made short work of San Francisco, setting three Giants down in order to secure the first win for the Mets since last Thursday.
At 60-60, the Mets remain on the fringes of the playoff hunt. This was a vital win in terms of morale or “momentum” if you believe in that sort of thing, but the team still has a ton of work to do if they want to get back in the race in earnest. Worse yet, they still have seven games with the Dodgers and Giants coming up. Hopefully the last half of this brutal stretch of the schedule will go better than the first.
-illar of the day
Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Edwin Diaz, +78.3% WPA
Big Mets loser: Dom Smith, -42.5% WPA
Mets pitchers: +115.5% WPA
Mets hitters: -65.5% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Michael Conforto singles in the top of the ninth, +27.9% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Tommy La Stella ties the game in the eleventh with an RBI single, -27.2% WPA