The Mets won a hell of a game at Citi Field tonight by a score of 2-1. It was a tight pitching matchup between the best pitcher in baseball, Jacob deGrom, and Tyler Anderson, who the Dodgers have somehow turned into yet another ace. Runs were sparse, defense was excellent, and the pitching was even better. This was two of the best teams in baseball going at it.
The Mets got to Tyler Anderson first. After allowing just one single the first time through the order, Anderson allowed a 2-out hit to Brandon Nimmo in the third. Starling Marte would follow and crushed a 1-0 pitch over the center field wall to suddenly give the Mets the 2-0 lead. Francisco Lindor followed with another single, his second of the game, as did Pete Alonso, and suddenly the Mets had the previously-cruising Anderson on the ropes. But Darin Ruf popped out, as his struggles with the Mets continue, to end the threat.
On the other side, deGrom was his usual excellent self, striking out 9 in seven spectacular innings. Once again, deGrom got through the first four inning without allowing a hit. The only batter to reach in the first four innings was the second batter of the game, Trea Turner, who reached on a walk. Justin Turner finally broke through with a base hit in the fifth inning to end the no-hit bid.
As has been the case in seemingly all of his starts in 2022 so far, deGrom found rough waters in the sixth inning. With one out, Mookie Betts took him deep to cut the deficit to 2-1. Freddie Freeman would later single and steal second with two outs, but deGrom got Will Smith to fly out to end the threat. Which meant that, for just the second time since he came back, deGrom was allowed to pitch into the seventh.
After striking out Joey Gallo to start the seventh frame, deGrom faced Justin Turner again, who laced a ball to deep center field that appeared ticketed to tie the game, but Nimmo ran to the spot, reached over the fence, made like Endy Chavez, and pulled it back. Nimmo pumped his fist, deGrom put his fists in the air, and Citi Field went nuts for the best and most dramatic defensive play of the Mets’ season so far. deGrom got through the inning by striking out Gavin Lux, and the Mets still had the lead.
The Mets offense didn’t get much going the rest of the night. After that third inning, the Mets would only get two more runners to second base all night, both on two-out doubles—one by Eduardo Escobar in the fourth, and one by Tomás Nido in the seventh—but neither run scored.
Anderson, for his part, went seven strong innings even though he only struck out two. The Mets were flailing at his changeup all night and did not appear to be taking very comfortable at bats. Anderson’s tricky delivery seemed to confuse the Mets, as it has many teams this year, as he induced a lot of soft contact.
Adam Ottavino handled a perfect 8th inning against 8-9-1 in the Dodgers order, and after Jake Reed once again shut the Mets down in the 8th inning, it was Edwin Díaz’s turn, with Timmy Trumpet on hand to play him to the mound. In one of the coolest moments you’ll ever see in a baseball stadium, Citi Field rose as one as the Trumpets blared, Timmy Trumpet danced, and Diaz sauntered to the mound. After the WrestleMania-like entrance, Díaz backed it up with his pitching, by tearing through the heart of the Dodgers’ vaunted lineup, striking out Trea Turner and getting Freeman and Smith to ground out to end the game.
It was an emotional and much-needed win for the Mets tonight. Taking at least one game of this series was pivotal for them to keep pace in the division. The Braves also won tonight, beating the Rockies by a score of 3-2, to keep the Mets’ division lead at 3.0 games. What a night at Citi Field.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winner: Jacob deGrom +29.5% WPA
Big loser: Darin Ruf -6.3% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +55.3% WPA
Total batter WPA: -5.3% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Starling Marte hits a two-run homer in the third inning, +23.4% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Mookie Betts hits a solo homer in the sixth inning, -11.7% WPA