You would have to go all the way back to May 2014 to find out the last time the Mets swept a series from the Yankees. Jacob deGrom was still two days away from making his major league debut against the Yankees at Citi Field (as a relatively unknown and unheralded prospect) when the Mets took two games in the Bronx. That particular streak of futility against their crosstown rivals ended tonight, when the Mets defeated the Yankees 3-2 thanks to Starling Marte’s walkoff single in the ninth inning. Marte’s big hit helped the Mets sweep a two-game set at Citi Field and, more importantly, demonstrated that they can hang with the team with the best record in baseball in a potential World Series preview.
Max Scherzer, who turned 38 years young today and entered with a 1.04 ERA in four starts on his birthday, predictably shoved, giving the Mets everything they could have possibly asked for. Interestingly, he and Tomás Nido were using the pitchcom for the first time this season, and it seemed to work well for the ace right-hander. He pitched an efficient six-pitch first and only needed 47 pitches to get through the first four innings. In those frames, he got 10 of his 12 outs via the fly out, with the other two coming on the strike out. While he wasn’t dominant in the traditional sense of overpowering the opposition, he was still terrific, getting Aaron Judge to strike out with two on and two out in the third inning, a scenario that would play out in similar fashion later in the game.
Meanwhile, the Mets got on the board first, as Pete Alonso sent a laser beam home run off the railing in front of the party deck in left field to put the Mets on top 1-0. They added a run against Domingo Germán in the third, as Francisco Lindor singled to right field to bring home Nido, who doubled to right field to lead off the frame. The Mets threatened in the fourth and fifth but were unable to score. In the fourth, Daniel Vogelbach and Mark Canha singled to lead off, but Jeff McNeil lined out before Eduardo Escobar and Nido struck out. In the fifth, Lindor and Alonso walked, but reliever Lucas Luetge got Vogelbach to ground out to end the inning.
From the fifth inning onward, Scherzer started to labor, but he never faltered. He needed 25 pitches to navigate the fifth but was able to get out of the inning without allowing a run. After a Josh Donaldson double off the center field wall to lead off the inning, and a Kyle Higashioka walk with two outs, DJ LeMahieu lined out to Lindor to end the inning. The Yankees threatened again in the sixth but could not push a run across against the birthday boy. After Scherzer struck out Judge to lead off, he hit Anthony Rizzo with a pitch and allowed a single to Matt Carpenter with two outs, but he got Donaldson to hit a ground ball back to the mound for the third out—it was the first ground ball out he got in the game. Scherzer returned for a scoreless seventh, which concluded with another strikeout of Judge with two runners on base. In his excitement, Scherzer almost broke the hands of everyone he high-fived in the Mets’ dugout after his fantastic outing.
Unfortunately, Buck Showalter made what ended up being a mistake in the eighth, and it cost him. With two lefties up, he turned to left-hander David Peterson, who issued a walk to Rizzo before serving up a two-run homer to Gleyber Torres to kick off the frame. After getting an out, Showalter went to Seth Lugo who, if we’re being real, should have started the inning. Lugo struck out Donaldson and Aaron Hicks to end the eighth, even buckling the former’s knees so badly he fell to his knees when the curveball crossed the plate. Lugo remained out there in the ninth after Clay Holmes pitched a scoreless eighth, and retired Judge on a sharp ground out after LeMahieu singled with two outs.
That set the stage for the Mets to walk it off against Wandy Peralta. Escobar, who was hitting from the much-better right side of the plate, ripped a double to left, and Nido bunted him over to third. After Brandon Nimmo beat out an infield single, Marte lined a single to left to get the party started at Citi Field. With the win, coupled with the Braves’ loss to the Phillies, the Mets opened up a three game lead in the NL East. They will rest tomorrow before heading to Miami to take on the Marlins for three games over the weekend. Chris Bassitt will oppose Sandy Alcántara in the series opener.
Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Max Scherzer, 37.7% WPA
Big Mets loser: David Peterson, -33.8% WPA
Mets pitchers: 21.7% WPA
Mets hitters: 28.3% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Starling Marte walkoff single, 18.3% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Gleyber Torres two-run home run, -31.7% WPA
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