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Mets salvage Scherzer’s gem on Guillorme walkoff

Guillorme’s walkoff double gives the Mets a much-needed win

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at New York Mets Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets’ offense looked unserious in its first two games against the Dodgers, and things didn’t look much better today. But after Scherzer’s best start of 2023 and Guillorme’s extra-inning RBI, the Mets could at least claim a 2-1 victory over the Dodgers Sunday night at Citi Field.

Mets’ starter Max Scherzer cruised through the first three innings and faced his first obstacle in the fourth after walking Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman with no one out. His prospects looked grim with the heart of the Dodgers’ order up to bat, but a strikeout from Max Muncy and consecutive popouts from J.D. Martinez and David Peralta kept the game scoreless. It turned out to be his only challenge of the game.

The Mets found their first real scoring opportunity an inning later, loading the bases with one out after a Starling Marte single, a Mark Canha hit-by-pitch, and an Omar Narváez walk. Brandon Nimmo, who was robbed of an extra-base-hit to center field in the third inning, drove in the first run of the game on a fielder’s choice off Dodgers’ starter Bobby Miller’s glove.

Miller left the game immediately after, and Brusdar Graterol cleaned up the mess by inducing a first-pitch ground ball out from Francisco Lindor. The Mets left the inning falling short of what they hoped to score, but considering their anemic offensive performance in the first two games, a 1-0 lead felt like a blowout.

Scherzer maintained the lead by setting down the top of the order in the sixth, and the Mets’ order went down just as easily in the bottom of the inning. Scherzer went out again for the seventh with 90 pitches already thrown, and he rewarded the decision by recording three outs in just seven pitches. It was Scherzer’s best start of the season by game score (78) with seven scoreless innings and just one hit allowed, and it also marked sweet relief for a bullpen that had given up six runs in its previous two showings.

But the relief didn’t last, as Trevor Gott allowed the first two runners on in the top of the eighth via a James Outman walk and a Miguel Rojas single. A Will Smith pinch-hit sacrifice fly moved Outman to third, and a single from Betts tied the game at 1-1. Brooks Raley finished the inning by setting down Freeman and Muncy, but not before the bullpen spoiled Scherzer’s gem and forced the offense to actually do something. Unsurprisingly, that did not happen in the bottom of the eighth, nor the bottom of the ninth, as it turned out.

After David Robertson held the tie in the ninth, he came back out in the tenth with the same intentions. A Miguel Rojas sacrifice fly sent the zombie runner to third base with Smith up to bat, but Smith’s hot shot found Lindor’s glove and Betts flew out to Marte to end the frame without scoring. Luis Guillorme ended the game three pitches later with a pinch-hit double down the right field line, scoring Baty from second and preventing a series sweep.

The Mets do not play baseball tomorrow and will resume on Tuesday night hosting the Chicago White Sox, with Carlos Carrasco scheduled to pitch against Lucas Giolito.

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What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: Max Scherzer, +43% WPA

Big Mets loser: Trevor Gott, -34% WPA

Mets pitchers: +51% WPA

Mets hitters: -1% WPA

Teh aw3s0mest play: Luis Guillorme walkoff double, +37.6% WPA

Teh sux0rest play: Miguel Rojas sac fly in the tenth, -18.0% WPA