I picked this win because of the jolt it gave the team at the time. The Mets, who had been teetering on the brink of mediocrity since their hot April, were coming off an embarrassingly miserable sweep in Washington that left them six games back, with a record of 40-37. They were mired in a stretch that had dropped them to third place and pessimism was in the air as the major league best Cubs came into town for a four game series. It seemed the cliff dangling would continue for most of the game until their best hitter, their young catcher, a rookie and the imported veteran got things flipped rightside up. The Mets proceeded to sweep the Cubs that weekend and provide a much needed morale boost.
It all started when Ben Zobrist, who rejected the Mets in the winter, led off the game with a single vs. LHP Steven Matz. Kris Bryant then proceeded to hit a two-run home run, and six pitches into the game, the Cubs had a 2-0 lead. RHP John Lackey shut the Mets down until the sixth…but we’ll get to that in a moment.
Matz wasn’t at his most efficient and defintely made a couple mistakes, but limited the damage overall. He gave up a solo shot to Javier Baez to lead off the top of the sixth, but that’s all the Cubs would get.
Lackey was absolutely cruising. The ballpark was quiet, and Neil Walker led off the bottom half with a popup to foul first base. Then Yoenis Cespedes stepped up to the plate and channeled his inner home run derby.
I’ve been paying attention pretty religiously to Mets games for over a decade, and I can safely say I don’t think anyone has ever hit the third deck during a game. It took the bleakness out of the air, and though the Mets weren’t able to continue the attack in the frame, it pumped a little air back into the balloon.
RHP Erik Goeddel pitched a clean seventh inning after having replaced Matz in the sixth, and after a Wilmer Flores flyball, Travis d’Arnaud got a single. Pinch-hitter Alejandro deAza took a walk on an excellent eight-pitch at bat. Up walked Brandon Nimmo, who had collected his first major league hit during the Washington series. On the ninth pitch…
Up stepped Neil Walker, who the Mets retrieved after Zobrist went to where the wind is.
With a little help from Baez, the game turned the Mets way. Though RHP Addison Reed had a bit of trouble in the eighth giving up a single and a walk, LHP Jerry Blevins entered with two out, and got Jason Heyward to ground out.
With unfortunately no insurance runs collected in the bottom of the eighth, RHP Jeurys Familia entered the game looking to add to the twenty-six Mets wins he had already locked down. It didn’t go so well right away. After a walk to Miguel Montero, with RHP Travis Wood running, and a double to Zobrist sending Wood to third, Familia struck out Kris Bryant swinging on six pitches. They intentionally walked Anthony Rizzo to bring up rookie Wilson Contreras, who also struck out swinging. Then finally, to seal the deal…
The Mets had broken a four-game losing streak, and stood at 41-37.
Brandon Nimmo, who played the role of leadoff hitter on this evening. Though Travis d’Arnaud was the only one in the lineup to have multiple hits, Brandon worked a ridiculously good at bat to collect his first RBI in the majors and put the Mets in position to take the lead the proceeding at bat with Neil Walker’s chopper to Baez. He went 1-4 with a run scored, one RBI and a strikeout.
Steven Matz and Eric Goeddel. As stated earlier, Matz only made a couple mistakes this evening and kept the Mets within striking distance even though his control was a bit off. He wasn’t able to complete the sixth, but Goeddel picked his teammate up, going one-and-two-thirds innings giving up no runs on zero hits and zero walks with two strikeouts to earn the win. Matz went five-and-one-third innings giving up three runs on seven hits and three walks with 6 strikeouts.
Mets Defensive Gems
Keep an eye out for # 5 on our Top 10 Mets wins of 2016 countdown!