Major League Baseball
2022 MLB Playoffs: Mets, Jacob deGrom force Game 3 vs. Padres
Major League Baseball

2022 MLB Playoffs: Mets, Jacob deGrom force Game 3 vs. Padres

Updated Oct. 9, 2022 2:04 a.m. ET

By Deesha Thosar
FOX Sports MLB Writer

NEW YORK — In an elimination game, it was the New York Mets’ stars who came to play and forced a Game 3.

The Mets turned to Jacob deGrom to save their season, and he responded with a gutsy performance. Barreling down without his best stuff, deGrom lasted long enough to allow just two earned runs on five hits and record eight strikeouts across six innings and 99 pitches. It was hardly his best outing of the year, but it was clear that deGrom was determined to give his team the best shot to survive another day.

"I wanted to go out there and give us a chance, and we were able to win a game," deGrom said afterward.


One day after the top of the Mets lineup was lifeless against Yu Darvish, Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso woke up against southpaw Blake Snell. The Mets beat the San Diego Padres 7-3 in Game 2 of the Wild-Card Series on Saturday at Citi Field. In Game 3, the Mets will have right-hander Chris Bassitt on the mound against Padres righty Joe Musgrove.

"We were really, really good tonight," Alonso said.

"It was a very Mets-like game," Lindor said. "Everybody played very well, and we stayed within ourselves."

Lindor put the Mets on the board in the first inning, giving them their first lead of the series with his sixth career postseason home run. Alonso, who led the majors with 35 go-ahead RBIs in the regular season, repeated his clutch capability and broke a tied game in the fifth with his first career playoff home run. The solo shot traveled 402 feet to left field, and the sold-out crowd of 42,156 erupted. 

By then, Snell had long been knocked out of the game. The Mets chased the left-hander after just 3⅓ innings. Snell gave up two earned runs on four hits and walked six batters across 19 pitches. On the other side, deGrom fared better and went deeper, allowing manager Buck Showalter to use just two bullpen arms after the Mets ace exited.

"Jake, he set the tone right from the start,"  Alonso said of the ace’s outing. "He poured his heart out there for us."

In a curious seventh-inning move, Showalter called for closer Edwin Diaz to be the first man out of the bullpen. It was earlier than anyone was expecting, given that San Diego’s 8-9-1 hitters were due up, and certainly the crowd was not yet ready for the trumpets to blare.

With a 3-2 lead at the time, Showalter was clearly asking his trusted right-hander for two frames, but in that seventh inning, Diaz worked harder than his typically effortless 2022 outings. He got leadoff hitter Trent Grisham to ground out to first base, followed by a single to Austin Nola, before inducing groundouts to Jurickson Profar and Juan Soto to end the inning having thrown 19 pitches.

Then the Mets rallied for four runs in the bottom of the seventh, and they took their time doing it. They grinded, worked the count and collected a couple of walks before Jeff McNeil delivered the big blow to break the game open. His two-run double to center field extended the Mets lead to 5-2. Then Eduardo Escobar tacked on with an RBI single, and Daniel Vogelbach notched a sacrifice fly. It was a throwback to the team's regular-season batting approach, which led to the Mets scoring the fifth-most runs in MLB.

"How the game unfolded yesterday, they took advantage of every little opportunity, and today we flipped the script," Alonso said.

Things got weird, though, when Diaz came back out for the eighth after a 45-minute sit on the bench. Never mind that the Mets had just given him a five-run lead and more than enough breathing room. It seemed that no matter what, Showalter was determined for Diaz to face Manny Machado and Josh Bell in the eighth. That decision, after a long layoff on a 49-degree night, puts Diaz's availability for Sunday’s win-or-go-home game into question. The closer ended up using 29 pitches Saturday and is expected to be available Sunday, but it was a huge risk.

"We'll think about tomorrow tomorrow," Showalter said in defending his decision to remain with Diaz. "We needed to get this one under our belt."

MLB Playoffs: Jacob deGrom & Co. force a Game 3

Ben Verlander and Alex Curry break down the Mets-Padres series. The Padres got to Max Scherzer in Game 1, but Jacob deGrom and the Mets were able to take Game 2. Who do you have winning the series?

Mets right-handed reliever Adam Ottavino then got the ball from Diaz with two outs in the eighth. Ottavino was tasked with recording the final four outs, but he could complete only three. Seth Lugo finally put a bow on the 4-hour, 14-minute game by retiring Bell for the final out.

The Mets celebrated their first postseason win of 2022 with fireworks shooting off the center-field jumbotron and high-fives on the field. Afterward, Diaz said he would be available for more than three outs — if that's what the Mets ask of him — on Sunday.

They live to play another day. 

Deesha Thosar is an MLB writer for FOX Sports. She previously covered the Mets for the New York Daily News. Follow her on Twitter at @DeeshaThosar.


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