Baseball is a long game.
The season is months and months. Even the games themselves can be long. Teams go on long winning streaks, and even the best teams struggle, and it can be a roller coaster — just ask the Dodgers about that, at the time of this writing.
Or, ask Patrick Mazeika about it, from the first inning of this game on.
Mazeika and starting pitcher Chris Bassitt, really struggled in that first inning, despite the righty leaving the Mariners on zero going into the bottom of the frame.
The duo could not get on the same page at all, from a game calling standpoint and regarding the signs. Bassitt himself was not sharp after getting the first two batters out, hitting J.P. Crawford and serving up back to back walks to Eugenio Suarez and Noted Mets Villain Jesse Winker, loading the bases with none out. Mazeika had immense trouble disguising the signs with a runner on second, visibly confusing Bassitt at times, and consistently calling pitches Bassitt shook off.
Regardless of that, Bassitt survived the bases loaded, two out jam by picking off Suarez at second to end the inning.
The Mets got off to a hot start in the bottom of the first, with Starling Marte smashing a one out triple into the right center field gap. Francisco Lindor drove him home with ease, stroking a single through a pulled-in infield (who knows why the Mariners had the infield in in literally the first inning, but I digress).
To both of their credit, Bassitt and Mazeika settled down and figured out a lot of their issues in the first. Bassitt was solid from the second through fifth innings, working around two singles in the third and a walk in the fifth but little else.
The Mets offense was a bit up and down. After getting blanked by New York Native George Kirby (who had what seemed to be his entire family was in attendance) in the second inning, they got back on track in the third. Brandon Nimmo led off the inning getting on base as per usual, this time by way of an error. Marte hit a somewhat fortunate double off the glove of a diving Julio Rodriguez, making it second and third with no outs. Lindor drove in his second run of the game with a long sacrifice fly, which probably should have been a home run if not for the awful baseballs the players are playing with these days. Pete Alonso kept the rally going with a walk (the first of Kirby’s career!), and Jeff McNeil did his best Lindor impression, making it 3-0 with a sacrifice fly that probably should have went into the Coca-Cola Corner, if not for the baseballs.
After getting blanked again in the fourth, they got back into the run column in the fifth. Nimmo led off with a single, and Marte followed it up with a routine fly out to right. Steven Souza, however, simply did not catch the baseball, and dropped it. Nimmo was caught expecting the routine play to be made and was forced out at second, though a faster runner in Marte replaced him at first. It ended up being a positive for our beloved Mets, as Alonso hit a rope into the gap, scoring Marte easily from first. The Mets were rolling.
And then they weren’t. As the roller coaster of baseball goes.
Bassitt’s and Mazeika’s struggles reared their heads again, and the Mariners did not let it go to waste this time. Saurez got hit by a pitch, and a Winker single put the Mariners in scoring position. Mazeika once again struggled with the signs, and Bassitt was clearly running out of gas. Souza redeemed himself a tad by capitalizing on the situation and chasing home Suarez and chasing Bassitt from the game after an interesting 5.2 innings. Seth Lugo got the last out of the sixth to keep the score 4-1, though that would be short lived.
Lugo struggled in his second inning of work, allowing back to back one out singles to get Jesse Winker to the plate as the tying run. Because of course. Buck Showalter went to a lefty in Chasen Shreve. Winker greeted him with a three run homer, knotting the game at four. Because, of course.
Remember the part at the beginning of this recap where I suggested, that you, dear reader, should ask Patrick Mazeika about roller coasters? Well, in the seventh inning of this ballgame, just when the Mariners came roaring back with a Big Blast off the bat of a good ol’ fashioned baseball villain in Jesse Winker, Mazeika snatched the momentum back towards the Mets, this time for good.
Mazeika turned on a high 97 MPH fastball by Andres Muñoz, hitting a frozen rope into the Coca-Cola Corner, ignoring the fact that the baseballs are extremely dead and the weather was decidedly not good in Queens. His solo homer, the second of his Major League career, put the Mets up 5-4, which ended up to be the final.
Adam Ottavino pitched a clean eighth inning, working around a single. Edwin Díaz came in for a signature revenge game, and performed with aplomb. He struck out the side in order, setting down Crawford, Suarez and Winker on 18 pitches to secure the win. Because, of course.
Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Starling Marte, +22.2% WPA
Big Mets loser: Chasen Shreve, - 28.6% WPA
Mets pitchers: +14.0% WPA
Mets hitters: +36.0% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Patrick Mazeika’s solo home run in the seventh inning, +22.5% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Jesse Winker’s three run home run in the seventh inning off of Chasen Shreve, -33.0% WPA