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The Mets take an extra innings thriller to keep their streak alive

The Mets have now won six games in a row.

New York Mets v San Diego Padres Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Coming into the start of their series in San Diego, the Mets and Padres had a lot of similarities. Both teams had large payrolls and underwhelming results thus far. Both teams had just ripped off multi-game win streaks including a previous series sweep. Both teams were starting their highly-paid ace in the first game, with Justin Verlander getting the start for the Mets and Yu Darvish for the Padres. So it looked to be the start of an interesting and meaningful series for both teams.

The game started out right where the Mets left off on Thursday, with a Brandon Nimmo walk, Tommy Pham walk, and Pete Alonso being hit by a pitch loading the bases with a single out. Daniel Vogelbach got a rare infield single to drive in a run, and had Starling Marte not hit into a double play, more runs could’ve been scored for the Mets early. But the Padres lineup is punchy, and they responded with two runs of their own, one of which was gifted by Luis Guillorme booting the ball to allow Manny Machado a chance to score.

The Padres scored again (thanks to an RBI double from Padres Wild Card series hero/Mets Wild Card series villain Trent Grisham) in the second to put the Padres up two runs early. The Mets went down quietly in the second inning, but in the third Francisco Lindor hit a wall-scraping home run to shrink the lead to a single run. Both Darvish and Verlander had traffic-filled third innings, but Verlander was able to escape trouble at just three runs.

The fourth inning was quiet for both teams, but the Mets drew even in the fifth inning. Lindor walked, stole second, and Vogelbach drove him in to tie the game at three runs apiece. Darvish was driven from the game after the fifth, and Verlander after the sixth, turning the last third of the game into a battle of the bullpens, and marking the end of the back-to-back games where Mets starters went 8 innings.

The Mets had a lot going on on base in the top of the sixth, but couldn’t get anyone in once the Padres switched from Adrián Morejón to Luis García. And after two quiet half innings, the Padres got back-to-back doubles from Ha-Seong Kim and Juan Soto off Brooks Raley, yet Soto didn’t drive Kim in as he attempted to stretch his double to a triple and got thrown out by Tommy Pham in left field. Adam Ottavino came in and got Fernando Tatís Jr. out to wriggle out of trouble and keep the game tied.

Both teams got a baserunner and nothing much to show for it in the eighth inning, creating a growing possibility for extra innings. In the ninth the Mets found themselves in prime position to open the game wide open. Lindor got a one-out single and Alonso and Vogelbach drew back-to-back walks, loading the bases with one out. But Marte swung at the first pitch he saw and grounded into a double play to end the inning without driving in a single run, keeping the game tied. Drew Smith, with the exception of a two-out single, kept the Padres at bay to get the Mets to extra-innings.

The Mets wasted no time in the tenth inning, with McNeil hitting the first pitch he saw for an RBI double to put the Mets ahead. Two pitches later, Alvarez singled and drove McNeil in for a very important insurance run. Tommy Pham got hit by a pitch, and after a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third, Lindor drove them in with a single to put the Mets up four runs. They ended up getting out of the inning after that, but the Mets had a four run advantage with just three outs to get. In the bottom of the tenth, David Robertson got a quick first out from Tatís, but Machado hit a home run to bring the Padres within two runs. But it was for naught, as Robertson locked down the rest of the inning and secured the sixth win in a row for the Mets.

What a difference a week makes. Since the calendar turned to July, the Mets have not lost a game, creating incredible momentum for, if not a division run, a Wild Card run. Six games in a row has changed the narrative of this season, and while they don’t look perfect, they look better than they did in the doldrums of the early season. And if Lindor turns it on like this for the rest of the season, and Verlander keeps giving the Mets quality starts, the ripple effects will be massive.

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What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: Daniel Vogelbach, +35.6%
Big Mets loser: Starling Marte, -51.9% WPA
Mets pitchers: +31.5% WPA
Mets hitters: +18.5% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jeff McNeil RBI double in the tenth, +39.2% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Starling Marte’s inning ending double play in the ninth, -34.7% WPA