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Pitching, McNeil, and Lindor push Mets past Padres

The Mets shutout the Padres while Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil drove in four Mets runs.

MLB: San Diego Padres at New York Mets Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

In a rematch of the 2022 Wild Card series, the Mets topped the Padres 5-0 at Citi Field. Max Scherzer took the mound at home for the first time this season, and though he pitched five scoreless innings, none of it came easy for Mad Max.

Facing a lineup that gave him trouble in the postseason last fall, Scherzer dealt with five full counts in his first time through the order. This, along with three walks, meant Scherzer had a pitch count that was very high. Because of that, Scherzer only pitched 5 innings, working around trouble the entire time he was on the mound. While inefficient, the 5 innings Scherzer did pitch were very effective, as he allowed just one hit while striking out six batters and not allowing a run.

Facing Yu Darvish, the Mets’ offense was able to do what they did best last season, put the ball in play, and let good things follow. In the third inning, after a Brandon Nimmo single and Francisco Lindor HBP with two outs, Jeff McNeil came to the plate and roped a double down the right field line to give the Mets a 2-0 lead.

In the seventh inning, the Mets were able to break the game open. Following a Mark Canha double and Luis Guillorme bunt single (that just barley stayed fair up the third base line), Eduardo Escobar flied out to left field to plate Canha, making it 3-0 Mets. The next batter was Tomás Nido, who hit a little dribbler right where Guillorme had just bunted. This ball, just like Guillorme’s, stopped moving up the line, and just barley stayed fair, putting two runners on for the Mets and forcing Yu Darvish out of the game. After a Brandon Nimmo fielder’s choice, Francisco Lindor delivered a two-run double to make it 5-0 Mets, putting the game out of reach from the Padres.

In relief of Max Scherzer, the Mets’ bullpen was terrific, pitching four shutout innings, allowing just one hit to secure the victory.

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Win Probability Added

What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: Max Scherzer, +25% WPA
Big Mets loser: Pete Alonso, -6% WPA
Mets pitchers: +39% WPA
Mets hitters: +11% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jeff McNeil’s two-run double in the third inning, +23.2% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Rougned Odor’s walk in the top of the third, -4.2% WPA