Mets passed their biggest test yet in 2022, and displayed their dangerous postseason formula against LA
Great starting pitching, clutch hits, and consistently taking advantage of the opposition's mistakes show New York is built for October
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾
The Mets won the rubber game of their tantalizing three game set with the Dodgers, edging LA 5-3 on Thursday afternoon at Citi Field (Box)
Chris Bassitt fired six strong innings and earned his 12th win of the year, matching his career-high set in 2021
The Mets drew three first inning walks against all-time great Clayton Kershaw and took an early 1-0 lead when he walked Mark Canha with the bases loaded. It was the first time Kershaw walked in a run since 2015
Francisco Lindor delivered a clutch RBI double in the 6th that tied the game at two, and later stole third to help set up the go ahead run and change the entire complexion of the game
Darin Ruf -who has struggled miserably since coming to New York at the deadline - was able to come through with a sac fly to score Lindor and put the Mets ahead for good in the sixth inning
New Mets baserunning extraordinaire Terrance Gore entered as a pinch-runner in the eighth and immediately stole second base
Adam Ottavino earned his second save this week with a perfect 9th
Starling Marte was on base three times with two hits and a walk
Trevor May worked around a leadoff walk to put up a much needed zero in the seventh
The Mets are now 45-21 at home, 30-8-3 in series, 15-3-2 in series at home, 32-22 in 1 or 2 run games, 73-0 when leading after 8, 19-14 vs the NL West, 61-5 when scoring 5 or more runs, and earned their 27th comeback win of the year.
Roster Moves 📰
RHP Adonis Medina and INF Devin Marrero were added to the active rosters as the Mets September call-ups
RHP Connor Grey was designated for assignment
Injury Updates 🏥
RHP Tylor Megill (right shoulder strain) began a rehab assignment with Double-A Binghamton and struck out the side in a scoreless 6th
Francisco Álvarez (loose bodies in ankle) will receive an injection and not have surgery at this time. He hopes to resume baseball activities in 3-4 days
Who’s Hot 🔥
Chris Bassitt has pitched to a 1.83 ERA in his last six starts—he’s earned the win in five of those
Adam Ottavino has allowed only two runs in his last 21 innings - he has earned the save in three of his last four outings after not earning a save in his first 50 appearances
Starling Marte is hitting .351/.422/.667 with 12 RBI over his last 15 games
The Pennant Race 🏁
Magic Number to win the NL East: 2️⃣8️⃣
NL East lead: 3️⃣ games
On-pace: 1️⃣0️⃣3️⃣ wins
Playoff odds (FanGraphs):
Make the playoffs: 100 percent ↔️
Win the National League East: 85.3 percent ⬆️
Clinch a first round bye: 85.1 percent ⬆️
Win the World Series: 17.6 percent ⬆️
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (84-48) vs. Nationals (45-86)
Where: Citi Field — Flushing, New York
Starters: LHP David Peterson (7-3, 3.21 ERA) vs. RHP Josiah Gray (7-8, 4.67 ERA)
When: 7:10 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
The Mets postseason formula was on full display against LA📝
This week’s Mets/Dodgers series at Citi Field came with increased publicity and attention both locally and nationally. The two titans on opposite coasts have been the best two teams in the National League all season long, and it’s certainly possible—if not probable—that they’ll meet again in October in the NLCS.
Perhaps for both teams, the road to the National League Pennant will pass through both New York and Los Angeles in 2022.
Round one of this heavyweight fight came almost three months ago when the two teams split four games in a whirlwind series in southern California. The rematch served as the final chance for the Mets and Dodgers to size the other up ahead of a potential winner take all round three.
Los Angeles is a not insignificant seven games ahead of the Mets for home field advantage throughout the National League playoffs, but the Mets are confident they have what it takes in order to close that gap in a short playoff series.
And this week the Mets displayed a pretty fool proof formula that will make them difficult for anybody to beat in October, with the last two days in particular will serve as the blueprint the Mets hope to reenact over and over again.
On Wednesday night, Jacob deGrom showed the league yet again that when it comes to starting pitchers, he’s in a class of his own. New York’s ace righty scattered only three hits and struck out nine Dodgers across seven dominant innings. The Mets got a huge two run homer from Starling Marte that had them ahead by a skinny 2-1 margin in the later innings. Adam Ottavino who has quietly had a brilliant season as Edwin Díaz’ primary setup man came in and pitched a perfect eighth. Next up was Diaz, who entered with the Citi Field crowd in a frenzy thanks to Timmy Trumpet playing his trademark entrance music in person. The Mets’ all-world closer swiftly slammed the door on the Dodgers, setting down the heart of their order easily and securing a Mets win.
Thursday afternoon brought more of the same.
This time it was Chris Bassitt’s turn, and outside of a two-run second inning he kept the Dodgers off the board entirely. Bassitt carefully navigated six terrific innings, although when he finished his outing New York was still trailing by a 2-1 margin.
But not for long.
Starling Marte led off the home 6th with a slow roller to second base, but with Gavin Lux misjudging his speed and playing the ground ball too lackadaisically, Marte was able to beat it out. And one batter later, this game was tied when Francisco Lindor ripped a line drive up the right center field gap. Moments later, Lindor turned the tables on the Dodgers entirely, stealing third and scored on a sac fly from Darin Ruf, putting Bassitt on the long end of a 3-2 lead.
After Trevor May danced around traffic in the seventh, the Mets showcased another trademark of their 2022 squad: Taking advantage of the opposition’s mistakes.
After James McCann lined one over Chris Taylor’s head in left for a two out double, Brandon Nimmo lofted a weak fly ball into shallow right that should’ve ended the inning. But Lux and right fielder Mookie Betts never seemed to communicate who was going to catch the ball, and it ultimately fell in between them, allowing the fourth Mets run to cross the plate. Marte then immediately followed with an RBI hit of his own—capping a two run inning for the Amazins’ then should have been a zero.
It’s not often the Dodgers make two game-changing mistakes in one game, and they certainly learned they’re not going to get away with that kind of play against a team like the Mets.
After that it was again Diaz and Ottavino—this time in that order—that put the finishing touches on the series victory, and one that should leave the Mets and their fans confident they can take out anybody in their way when the lights really come on in about six weeks.
All-told, this is the formula for the Mets to have wind in their sails come October. They’re going to need to win low-scoring, tight ballgames, do the little things well and at times simply out-play the opposition. In large measure, the Mets did that this week with some phenomenal starting pitching, mostly solid work out of the bullpen, and executing a little thing (which was really a big thing on Thursday with Lindor’s steal of third in the seventh inning) which will likely be the difference between winning a series, and going home.
Down on the Farm 🌾
Jose Mena (C/DH, Single-A): 4-for-4, 2 2B, 2 R
Jaylen Palmer (CF, Single-A): 2-for-4, RBI, 3B, 2 R
Omar De Los Santos (CF, Low-A): 1-for-4, Walk-off two run homer
Around the League 🚩
The Braves got homers from Michael Harris and Austin Riley, while Spencer Strider struck out a career-high 16 as they shutout the Rockies 3-0
Cedric Mullins crushed a leadoff homer against Shane Bieber and the Guardians and that proved to be the game winning RBI as Cleveland never scored
Young Mariners righty Logan Gilbert fired six scoreless innings and allowed only three baserunners in Seattle’s 7-0 win over the Tigers
Joey Meneses hit a walk-off three run homer to get the Nationals a 7-5 win over Oakland
Andrew Vaughn and AJ Pollock both homered to help lead the White Sox to a much needed win over Kansas City