Panic and concern was abound after the Mets’ ugly three-game sweep at the hands of the lowly Cubs this week. It wasn’t entirely unwarranted; the Mets’ offense in particular looked inept against the Cubs’ poor pitching staff after a few weeks of putting forth inconsistent offensive performances. However, there were signs of hope—every Mets hitter aside from Darin Ruf and Daniel Vogelbach had a wRC+ over 100 for the month of September, and Alonso and Lindor in particular were starting to hit for more power.
Tonight, it all finally came together once again. The Mets put up seven runs—five in the first three innings of Pirates’ starter JT Brubaker—and Carlos Carrasco backed it up with one of his most impressive starts as a Met, and the Mets walked away with a comfortable 7-1 win to get back on track and snap their 3-game losing streak.
After Brubaker retired the first two Mets hitters, it was looking like just another frustrating inning in a long line of them this week for the Mets offense. However, Jeff McNeil and Pete Alonso both got aboard with two-out singles, setting it up for Vogelbach, who broke out of his slump in a big way, doubling both of them home to give the Mets the early 2-0 lead.
Carrasco gave one back in the second inning on an RBI double by Michael Chavis, but he was pretty darn good otherwise. That would be the only run Carrasco or any Mets pitcher allowed all night long. Carrasco struck out a season-high 11 Pirates across six innings, allowing only 4 hits and 2 walks. The Pirates did foul a ton of pitches off and work some deep counts, pushing Carrasco’s pitch count up over 100. But Carrasco got out of trouble when necessary to and gave the Mets exactly what they needed.
Speaking of exactly what they needed, the Mets offense came alive in the third inning. A Brandon Nimmo walk preceded the biggest moment of the night, a two-run moonshot by Lindor into the Coca-Cola Corner, a fitting keynote by the Puerto Rican native on Roberto Clemente night.
It was a 4-1 Mets lead at that point, but they weren’t done there. McNeil followed with a double, Alonso singled him over to third, and Vogelbach followed with yet another RBI hit, this time a single, to make it 5-1.
The Mets left the bases loaded in the inning, but the damage was done. They added another in the fourth on Mark Vientos’ first major league hit to make it 6-1. They added one more in the eighth on an Alonso HBP to make it 7-1.
After Carrasco fired his six spectacular innings, the Mets bullpen did not allow a single baserunner in their three innings of work. Seth Lugo struck out the side in the seventh, and Joely Rodriguez struck out two across his two innings of work to close out the cathartic win for the Mets. The three pitchers combined to punch out 16 Pirates on the night.
With the Braves idle tonight, the Mets’ 90th win of the season gives them a full 1.0 game lead on the NL East. There are 17 games remaining in the season.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winner: Daniel Vogelbach, +21.4% WPA
Big loser: Eduardo Escobar, -3.9% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +13.3% WPA
Total batter WPA: +36.7% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Daniel Vogelbach hits a two-run double in the first inning, +19.3% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Michael Chavis hits an RBI double in the first inning, -12.1% WPA