The Mets came to San Diego with some great momentum after two strong victories against the Dodgers. They were coming to San Diego to face one of the best rotations in baseball, starting with Blake Snell, who has had an up-and-down season with injury issues. But Snell is always a threat to have a great start, and the Padres have a lineup with some heft, especially Manny Machado who is in the midst of an MVP-caliber season.
In the first inning, the Mets decided to aggravate Snell and the Padres early. They scored three two-out runs, by way of three walks (including one with the bases loaded) and an Eduardo Escobar two-run single. They got Snell to throw over 40 pitches and made the Padres start to warm up their bullpen, in a harbinger of what could be to come for San Diego. In the Padres’ half of the inning, the Padres came up empty despite a Jurickson Profar lead off double.
The Mets second inning was not nearly as eventful as their first. Two strikeouts and a Tomás Nido long flyout made the Padres inning very easy. On the other side, the Padres went down very quickly in the bottom half, a clean inning for Carrasco. The third inning for the Mets was quiet, with the exception of a Lindor single and stolen base. The Padres scored a run off Carrasco by means of a Jorge Alfaro double and a Profar single that turned into an out due to a baserunning gaffe that Nido took advantage of.
The fourth inning provided some much needed action from the Mets. A lead off Escobar double became the Mets fourth run after Brandon Nimmo single to center field. Carrasco had a nice, quick, clean inning, with only 66 pitches through four innings. In the fifth, a Manny Machado error and a Mark Canha double (in the most ridiculous, misplayed way) sent Snell packing. A J.D. Davis sac fly brought Alonso home (where he slid home as gracefully as a three-legged giraffe) but Canha got caught between second and third when the throw home got cut off and the Padres got a double play. Escobar ended the inning by popping out. Carrasco, other than hitting Nomar Mazara with a pitch, had an easy inning. Jeff McNeil attempted to turn a phenomenal double play but was just a bit offline with his throw to first.
In the sixth, a lead off McNeil single turned into nothing when the next three Mets went down in order. But they still held a four run lead in the game, and Carrasco had no plans to relinquish it that fast. The bottom of the inning saw Carrasco have another perfect inning, sending down the top third of the Padres’ order in order while still staying under 90 pitches. In the seventh the Mets put up little resistance and went down in order. Carrasco was still pitching in the bottom of the inning and he hit some turbulence in his final inning. A Ha-Seong Kim single and Mazara double brought in a second run, but Carrasco was able to shut things down and hold it to two runs.
In the eighth, the Mets continued to pour on against the Padres. After a Davis lead off single, Escobar hit a monstrous two-run home run to increase the Mets lead to five runs. The Mets weren’t able to capitalize on their other baserunners but they padded their lead comfortably for the bullpen to come in. In the bottom of the inning, Joely Rodriguez came in to pitch for the Mets. After getting one out Rodríguez allowed two baserunners so he was pulled in favor of Drew Smith. Luke Voit hit a ball that umpires were unsure whether or not it was a home run. After a prolonged review the ball was ruled to be a home run, cutting the Mets’ lead to two runs. But Smith was able to end the inning before more runs scored.
In the ninth the Mets decided to take back all they gave and then some. An Escobar triple not only drove in two runs, but it gave Escobar a cycle, his first and the first in ten years for the Mets. Then McNeil drove him in with a double. Nido then hit a single to drive in McNeil for yet another run. The Mets gave up three then came back with four to give themselves a six run lead with just three outs to go. And Smith was able to keep the Padres in check, allowing not a single hit after his eighth inning homer to Voit and ending the game with a Mets victory.
Starting the series with a win is always a good first step, but it doesn’t get easier for the Mets against the Padres. The next two games the Mets are set to face Yu Darvish and Sean Manaea, both of whom are accomplished, dominant pitchers at their best and can never be underestimated. But with a three game win streak, the Mets have some great momentum for the rest of the series.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Eduardo Escobar, +29.5% WPA
Big Mets loser: Tomás Nido, -5.9% WPA
Mets pitchers: +11.4% WPA
Mets hitters: +38.6% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Eduardo Escobar’s two-run single in the first, +15.4% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Luke Voit’s three-run home run in the eighth, -6.7% WPA