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Diaz emphatically shuts door as Mets come back to take series from Angels

Mets win rubber game against the Angels to secure a .500 record on a tough West Coast trip.

MLB: New York Mets at Los Angeles Angels Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

The finale of a long, ten-game road trip that was purported to determine if the Mets were “for real”—and which they needed to win for a .500 trip—got off to a rough start, as the team went down pretty quietly against Patrick Sandoval in the top of the first. The Angels on the other hand jumped on Taijuan Walker in the bottom of the first, as Brandon Walsh doubled to deep right and came around on a single by Mike Trout.

Down 1-0 two batters into the game, Walker got a huge double play off the bat of Anthony Rendon, made all the more crucial when the next two batters singled. Walker escaped the four hit inning by getting old friend Juan Lagares to fly out to center.

Walker would settle in, allowing only two more hits over his next five innings while striking out 10 batters over those frames. This would allow the Mets to start to chip away, starting in the top of the third when Brandon Nimmo led off with a single and Starling Marte doubled him home. The next inning, J.D. Davis homered to left center to stake the Mets to a lead they would not surrender.

Another old friend, Aaron Loup, started the top of the seventh and promptly got in trouble by hitting Nimmo with a pitch and walking Marte. Loup seemed to escape trouble by picking Nimmo off and getting Francisco Lindor to line out to left, but they would not allow him to pitch to Pete Alonso, who ground a hit up the middle off of Archie Bradley. Matt Duffy cut the ball off, but the aggressive Marte came around to try and score, and pressing the issue allowed the Mets to add an insurance run when Duffy’s throw home went awry.

Seth Lugo came on for the seventh, getting four big outs before walking Brandon Walsh in front of Mike Trout, bringing the all-world star up as the tying run. Buck Showalter went right to Edwin Diaz, who was up to the task, blowing away Trout on four pitches and Jared Walsh on five pitches around a walk to Rendon to escape the eighth.

Alonso provided the Mets with additional insurance with his 18th home run of the year in the top of the ninth off of Raisel Iglesias, providing a bit more comfort as Diaz completed the five-out save by striking out the side in order in the ninth

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Box scores

Win Probability Added

What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: Taijuan Walker, +25.9% WPA
Big Mets loser: Tomas Nido, -11.6% WPA
Mets pitchers: +45.9% WPA
Mets hitters: +4.1% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Starling Marte RBI double in the top of the third, +14.4% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Mike Trout RBI single in the bottom of the first, -7.2% WPA