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José Butto, wasted gem

José Butto threw the best game of his career, but Trevor Gott and Phil Bickford could not keep the lead for him, as the Mets fall in DC.

New York Mets v Washington Nationals Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

José Butto’s final line with read 6.1 innings, six hits, two runs, one walk, and six strikeouts, but he earned a very hard luck no-decision in this one. Through the first six innings, he allowed just two Washington Nationals to reach scoring position, and one of which was after a CJ Abrams steal of second — which is hardly his fault, especially in 2023 baseball.

Buck Showalter, rightfully, allowed him to start the seventh, but it ended up backfiring. Singles by old friend Dominic Smith and Jake Alu put runners on first and third with one out, ending Butto’s excellent day on a sour note. Regardless of how it ended, however, it was his best start in the big leagues, and may have earned him another turn through the rotation as the Mets play out the string in September.

Trevor Gott came in and immediately surrendered the lead, surrendering RBI singles to Ildemaro Vargas and Abrams, which tied the game at two before you could blink. Which has been largely indicative of Gott’s time in Queens thus far.

Offensively, the Mets scored both of their runs early(ish). A first pitch Brandon Nimmo double and second pitch single by Francisco Lindor made it 1-0 right away, and a fifth inning RBI single by Mark Vientos made it 2-0. The offense would threaten on more than one occasion, amassing eight hits and four walks on the night, but they could not get the big hit after the fifth inning.

Brooks Raley came in to the game in the eighth and kept it tied, bringing it to the ninth, where Phil Bickford had a tough go of it, to say the very least. He led off the inning with a Carter Kieboom walk, and hit Alu on an 0-2 pitch (which frankly is akin to a kiss of death). A Vargas bunt put runners on second and third with no outs, and the Mets in an precarious position.

They would not be saved from said position, as a Jacob Young single up the middle would put the Mets back in the loss column, handing them a loss very in tune with their 2023 campaign: a frustrating one.

Box scores

ESPN
MLB

Win Probability Added

FanGraphs.com

What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: José Butto, +26.1% WPA
Big Mets loser: Phil Bickford, -36.2% WPA
Mets pitchers: -16.5% WPA
Mets hitters: -33.5% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Mark Vientos fifth inning RBI single, +11.6%
Teh sux0rest play: CJ Abram’s seventh inning RBI single, -24.1% WPA