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A Flying Squirrel and Polar Bomb give the Mets a series win

McNeil’s wizardry and Alonso’s heroics seal the season series against the Cardinals

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at New York Mets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets finished up their season series against the Cardinals taking five of seven games from their National League foes, with every game providing mounds of entertainment and tension. The finale was no exception, as the Mets blew leads and rallied twice before a two-run home run from Pete Alonso in the bottom of the tenth inning brought out the dugout for a closing celebration.

Brandon Nimmo did what Brandon Nimmo does in the bottom of the first with a leadoff single through the hole between first and second. Nimmo advanced to second on a Canha groundout and to third on a wild pitch, and after Francisco Lindor walked Pete Alonso drove Nimmo in with a single to right field. Lindor and Alonso executed a successful double-steal with Jeff McNeil at the plate, and McNeil’s weak grounder to Brendan Donovan brought Lindor in despite a competitive throw to home plate. Eduardo Escobar’s line drive to third base induced an inning-ending double play, but the Mets exited the inning with a 2-0 lead.

Juan Yepez immediately cut the lead in half with a home run to start the second inning. A two-out single and stolen base from Harrison Bader ended up fruitless as Lindor made an impressive catch on a pop-up from Andrew Knizer to end the top of the inning, but then Paul Goldschmidt did what Paul Goldschmidt does by tying the game in the top of the third with a two-out home run to left field. Goldschmidt struck again in the fifth with an RBI double to give the Cardinals a 3-2 lead, and Bassitt exited the inning temporarily putting himself in the losing column.

Luis Guillorme led off the bottom of the fifth with a double to left-center field, his second hit of the day, and Tomás Nido advanced him to third with a sacrifice bunt. Albert Pujols got Nimmo out on sharp ground ball directly to first base, but a slightly errant throw to home plate allowed Guillorme to score and tie the game at 3-3. Canha and Lindor then reached on back-to-back singles off Nick Wittgren, Alonso walked, and McNeil drove in Canha and Lindor with a single to center field to give the Mets a 5-3 lead.

Bassitt got into a little bit of trouble in the top of the seventh inning walking Tommy Edman and then allowing a single to Donovan, bringing Goldschmidt as the go-ahead run to the plate. Drew Smith relieved Bassitt and forced a fly ball from Goldschmidt in foul territory to left field that looked like it would fall harmlessly into the netting. McNeil hopped up against the netting, however, to corral the second out, and as Edman tagged to score from third McNeil threw out Donovan attempting to advance to second base, ending the inning. The play induced both managers to contemplate challenges, as the Cardinals wondered whether Donovan reached second safely while the Mets wondered whether Donovan tagged up at all, potentially negating the run at home plate, but both managers receded into their respective dugouts with no complaints.

After Drew Smith escaped the eighth inning unharmed, Edwin Díaz entered the top of the ninth with a 5-4 lead and promptly gave up a single to Bader. Bader then stole second and advanced to third on a Yadier Molina groundout, but then Díaz set himself up nicely by striking out Edman. Four straight balls put the next batter Donovan on base, setting up a two-out showdown with Goldschmidt, the last batter Mets fans wanted to see. Díaz brought Goldschmidt to a 2-2 count before forcing him to roll over a grounder to third base, and though it was unclear whether Eduardo Escobar would have had a play on a runner, the point presented moot as he booted the ball away from him, allowing Bader to score the tying run. Díaz then walked Arenado and struck out Yepez to send the game to the bottom of the ninth, where the top of the Mets order sat down in order.

With Corey Dickerson on second base as the automatic runner and Colin Holderman entering to pitch, Holderman gave up a leadoff single to Dylan Carlson, advancing Dickerson to third base. Pujols drove in Dickerson grounding into a double play, giving the Cardinals a 6-5 lead and the Mets a chance to respond, and boy did they. With Lindor standing on second as the automatic runner, Alonso sent a 1-0 fastball into the second deck to give the Mets the 7-6 win. Before touching home plate, Alonso paused to gather his helmet, shoot a free throw to the invisible basket at home plate, and then stomped on the plate for the game’s winning run.

The Mets will travel to Denver for a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies, where Carlos Carrasco is scheduled to start against Germán Marquez at 8:40 ET.

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What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: Pete Alonso (66.3% WPA)

Big Mets loser: Edwin Díaz (-23.4% WPA)

Mets pitchers: -32.3 WPA

Mets hitters: 82.3 WPA

Teh aw3s0mest play: Alonso walkoff (58.3% WPA)

Teh sux0rest play: Goldschmidt game-tying single (-35.3% WPA)