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Mets 6, Rangers 5—Hey Mr. DJ!

DJ Stewart adds two home runs, a game winning RBI and flashes some leather in an improbable Mets victory.

MLB: Texas Rangers at New York Mets Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets recalled Denyi Reyes from Syracuse Wednesday afternoon to make a spot start and provide extra rest for Kodai Senga, and got all they could hope for and more. Reyes provided a solid 5.1 innings, departing with his team ahead 3-1 and in line for his first career MLB victory. Of course, “departing” entailed turning the game over to the Mets’ beleaguered bullpen, leaving the outcome far from certain.

For the third straight game in the series, the Mets bullpen was unable to back up a solid Mets starter. New York’s 3-1 lead was built up thanks to a second inning that featured back-to-back home runs from Daniel Vogelbach and DJ Stewart, followed by a Brandon Nimmo double that plated Mark Vientos.

The Rangers got one back in the fourth on a Corey Seager bomb to dead center. In the top of the sixth, Reyes allowed a leadoff single to Leody Tavares but got Marcus Semien to pop out to complete his night. This brought in Sean Reid-Foley, and the slog through the Mets bullpen began.

Reid-Foley went to a full count on four out of five batters in the inning, walking three to bring in a run, then striking out the last two to barely escape the inning with a 3-2 lead. Travel Gott threw a perfect seventh, but then Brooks Raley and Adam Ottavino combined to surrender a three run eighth inning. After Raley allowed all three batters he faced to reach, Ottavino came in and promptly plunked Adolis Garcia to tie the game. A 1-2-3 double play almost bailed the Mets out, but Jonah Heim delivered a clutch two-run single to put Texas ahead 5-3.

It felt like the Mets would be dead in the water, but Stewart had other ideas, following a Pete Alonso single with his second home run of the game to tie the game right back up. Not known for his glove, Stewart continued his almost single-handed efforts to keep the Mets in the game with a great catch against the wall on a Semien drive with the speedy Tavares on first in the top of the ninth to help preserve the tie.

After using Stewart’s defensive help to navigate the ninth, Brigham somehow danced around the ghost runner and a bases loaded, none out situation to escape with a scoreless tenth, aided by more fantastic defense, this time from his infield—first by Jonathan Arauz to save a double, and then by Pete Alonso, Omar Narvaez, and Jeff McNeil to complete a 3-2-4 double play to end the inning.

The Rangers intentionally walked Pete Alonso to lead off the bottom of the frame, then Aroldis Chapman unintentionally walked Francisco Alvarez to load the bases with none out, bringing up the man of the hour. Perhaps afraid of surrendering a walk off grand slam, Chapman hit Stewart with his first pitch, ending the game and sending the Mets to an unlikely, exciting victory.

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Win Probability Added

What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: DJ Steward, +56.1% WPA
Big Mets loser: Brooks Raley, -39.0% WPA
Mets pitchers: -15.0% WPA
Mets hitters: +65.0% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: DJ Stewart two-run home run in the eighth, +39.9% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Jonah Heim hits a go-ahead, two-run single in the eighth, -36.9% WPA