The Mets pulled out a narrow 6-5 extra-inning victory over the Diamondbacks in the series opener in Arizona. David Peterson put forth a fantastic pitching performance—perhaps his best of the young season so far—but the Mets bullpen melted down in the late innings, necessitating an extra-inning affair. Believe it or not, it was a pitcher’s duel in this one early, as a Pavin Smith double off Peterson in the bottom of the third represented the first baserunner for either team. In that frame, the Diamondbacks managed to scratch out a run to get on the board first, as the rookie catcher Jose Herrera legged out an infield hit on a chopper and Cooper Hummel drove in Smith on an RBI groundout. This snapped Peterson’s streak of 10 1⁄3 scoreless innings to begin the season, but he limited the damage and held the fort after that, tossing 5 2⁄3 strong innings. He only struck out three batters, but induced soft contact all night to the tune of ten ground ball outs.
The Mets meanwhile were stymied by Zac Gallen again, who retired the first nine Mets he faced in order and struck out the side in the second inning. But the offense finally broke through against Gallen in the fourth and scratched out a run on a Starling Marte walk and a Pete Alonso doink single that tied the game. Most importantly, the Mets made Gallen work that inning, racking up his pitch count, which is still limited due to Gallen’s late start to the season. As a result, Gallen only went five innings, despite giving up just the one run and striking out seven batters.
The Mets rallied to take the lead in the sixth against the Diamondbacks bullpen, getting things started against old friend Oliver Perez. Brandon Nimmo led off the inning with an opposite field single and then aggressively advanced to third base on a Starling Marte single. The Mets then made two productive outs; Francisco Lindor hit a sacrifice fly to give the Mets a 2-1 lead that was also deep enough to allow Marte to tag up and advance to third base. And then against J.B. Wendelken Pete Alonso got his second soft-hit RBI of the night by grounding a slow roller up the first base line that allowed Marte to come home and give the Mets a two-run lead.
James McCann added some insurance runs in a big way in the seventh with a long two-run homer—his first long ball of the season—that put the Mets up 5-1. That should’ve been enough to cruise to a victory, but the Diamondbacks clawed back a run on two singles and a sac fly in the bottom of the frame against Chasen Shreve and things got really dicey for the Mets in the eighth when Trevor May surrendered a two-run homer to Christian Walker that brought the Diamondbacks within a run. Then with two outs in just his second save opportunity of the season, Edwin Díaz surrendered a no-doubter to Daulton Varsho to tie the game and send it to extra innings.
Jeff McNeil started the tenth inning on second base and the Mets managed to get him home against Diamondbacks closer Mark Melancon. A grounder by Brandon Nimmo advanced McNeil to third and then Starling Marte hit a bouncer to the third base line that necessitated a long throw across the diamond by Matt Davidson. Marte was initially called out at first on the field, but the call was overturned on replay review and McNeil scored to put the Mets ahead by a skinny run.
Seth Lugo came in the game to protect the one-run lead and struck out the first two batters he faced. He then issued a walk to Matt Davidson but got would-be hero Christian Walker to fly out to shallow right to put an end to this near-disaster in the desert.
Full recap to follow.