A day after comfortably cruising past the Pirates, the Mets won a second straight game in much tighter fashion, topping Pittsburgh 4-3. The offense had just enough sequencing luck, the defense made just enough great plays, and the ballpark was just big enough to secure the win. More stressful than it should’ve been, but you’ll take a win anyway you can get it this time of year.
The Pirates didn’t have a hit til the fourth, as Walker cruised through a rather thing Pirates roster. He ran into some misfortune in the fifth though, with a couple soft hits and an error leading to a Pittsburgh run. No matter, the Met offense managed to score a run in each of the third (RBI hit-and-run single by Tomas Nido), fourth (Daniel Vogelbach home run), sixth (Pete Alonso sacrifice fly), and seventh (bloop RBI single by Brandon Nimmo). They did leave a good handful of runners on base, but thanks to that offensive output, plus an incredible defensive play from Jeff McNeil, the Mets seemed to have things in hand going to the final two innings.
Not so fast, since nothing comes easy for the Mets these days. Buck Showalter left Waker for an inning too long, and Oneil Cruz made him pay with a two-run home run that cut the lead to one. Edwin Diaz came in for the five out save and made short work of the Pirates in the eighth, but things got interesting in the ninth. Diaz walked the first batter of the inning, and pinch runner Greg Allen seemed to have second based swiped. Deserving-Gold-Glove-Candidate Luis Guillorme had other plans, however, blocking the bag and making an excellent tag to catch the runner on review. Diaz proceeded to strike out the next batter, then watch as the ballpark was just deep enough to hold Cal Mitchell’s deep fly ball to right to close out the game.
With the win, the Mets are now 91-55 on the season, and will finish the day at least a game clear of the Braves in the NL East. What’s more, they have two more games with the Pirates this weekend, while Atlanta has to deal with the much more formidable Phillies. Hopefully this is an opportunity to re-establish a small cushion in the division race.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winner: Edwin Diaz, +20.6% WPA
Big loser: None
Total pitcher WPA: +37.1% WPA
Total batter WPA: +12.9% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Tomas Nido singles to drive in Eduardo Escobar in the third, +12.7% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Cal Mitchell single in the top of the fifth, -12.5% WPA