Mets sneak by Padres thanks to four-run 10th inning, push winning streak to six
The Mets improved to 42-46, sit 6.5 games behind for the third wild card
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets defeated the Padres 7-5 in 10 innings in San Diego on Saturday ( Box)
The Mets and Padres played a tight 3-3 game until the 10th inning when the Mets rallied for four runs - they got RBI doubles from Jeff McNeil and Francisco Álvarez to plate two runs, and a two-run single from Francisco Lindor
Justin Verlander started for the Mets and got off to a rocky start thanks in part to an early error from Luis Guillorme on a routine ground ball to third - he allowed three runs (two earned) over the first two innings but gave the Mets six quality innings overall
David Robertson allowed a two-run home run to Manny Machado in the 10th inning, but settled down to close the game out for the Mets
In addition to his big two-run single in the 10th inning, Lindor hit an opposite field home run in the third inning
Álvarez had another big night, going 4-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored
The Mets now have 23 comeback wins in 2023, nine wins in their last at-bat, are 5-1 in extra innings, improved to 27-15 when scoring five or more runs in a game, 27-4 when the starter goes at least six innings, 14-9 against the NL West, are 22-27 on the road and a perfect 6-0 in July
Who’s Hot 🔥
Francisco Lindor is 8-for-10 over his last two games with two triples, two home runs and four RBI. Over his last 29 games, Lindor is hitting .300/.402/.660 with five doubles, two triples, nine home runs and 20 RBI
Francisco Álvarez has a four-game hitting streak - he’s hitting .563/.588/1.125 (9-for-16) with three home runs and seven RBI and raising his season line from .215/.272/.471 to .241/.297/.512 during that span
Justin Verlander has a 2.70 ERA over his last seven starts, pitching at least six innings in five of the seven
Injury Updates 🏥
Brett Baty (sore hamstring) did not start on Friday, but entered the game as a defensive replacement late in the game. He is day-to-day
José Quintana (rib surgery) will make another rehab start for Triple-A Syracuse today followed by a simulated game at Citi Field on Thursday. His status will be determined after that
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (42-46) vs. Padres (41-47)
Where: PETCO Park – San Diego, CA
Starters: LHP David Peterson (2-6, 6.61 ERA) vs. LHP Blake Snell (5-7, 3.03 ERA)
When: 10:10 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY, MLB Network
Notes: Rollercoaster win, Justin Verlander’s adjustment, All-Star snubs, and keeping the train going ✍️
The Mets certainly have had their share of uneasy wins during this winning streak, haven’t they?
The Mets extended their winning streak to six games in what was really a rollercoaster affair against the Padres. They were up early, fell behind, tied the game back up and then surged passed the Padres and their bullpen to nail it all down.
In between were some early mistakes, a rocky beginning but a solid ending for Justin Verlander, and yet another bullpen adventure in the end.
But as we’ve said during this winning streak which hasn’t been the most fluid of streaks for the Mets, wins are wins and right now, that’s the only thing that matters if the Mets are going to get themselves back within range of a playoff spot.
Rollercoaster in San Diego
Things looked a little more familiar early on in this game when Luis Guillorme booted what was really a routine ground ball, costing Verlander an out and in-turn a run in the second inning. The Mets were down 3-1 early thanks in part to that mistake but also Verlander’s inability to settle in and throw quality strikes with his breaking ball.
The Mets though really changed the tone of this game almost immediately after that rocky second inning.
Francisco Lindor continued his torrid stretch and gave the Mets an opposite field solo home run to get the Mets back to within a run.
I thought that homer served as a big spark for the Mets in this game, as it seemed like this was going to be one of those typical 2023 games for the Mets where mistakes and poor pitching were the story. But that homer helped and Verlander and the Mets really cleaned it up from there. They ended up tying the game thanks to the suddenly resurgent Daniel Vogelbach, who singled in Lindor in the fifth inning, and held things down long enough for the Mets to find a crack in the 10th inning when they exploded for a four-run barrage.
Nothing again until the tenth inning when they exploded for four runs thanks to three runs on two doubles from Jeff McNeil and Francisco Álvarez and a run scoring single from the white hot Lindor.
But you didn’t think it was going to be that easy, right? These are the 2023 Mets we are talking about here.
David Robertson came on in a non-save situation and of course made it interesting when he allowed a two-run homer to Manny Machado to get San Diego back to within two runs. But it was just a small bullpen fire that Robertson promptly extinguished, securing the win in the process.
Another course-correction for Verlander
As for Verlander, he adjusted and went with a fastball-heavy approach to get him through six innings on Friday. As I said before, his breaking ball really didn’t serve him well early on and it set him up for trouble over the first two innings of the game. He wasn’t helped by his defense of course but they were hitting him pretty hard out of the gate before he made his adjustment. In contrast, he went with a slider-centric approach against the Giants last weekend, so it’s clear Verlander is getting craftier as the season rolls along for him and needs to adjust almost inning by inning. But that strategy is working for him even though he really isn’t striking out a lot of batters right now.
Lindor and Álvarez are All-Star Game snubs?
Then there’s Francisco Lindor, who couldn’t hit his way out of a paper bag for the first two months of the season and nobody can get out right now. He has surged his way to the top of the leaderboards among all qualified shortstops in home runs, RBI and runs scored, is second with a .483 SLG and third with a 3.0 fWAR and an .805 OPS.
Oh, and a defensive whizz at shortstop with 7 defensive runs saved.
Yet, Lindor is not an All-Star at the moment. Yes, his batting average and OBP are both pretty low overall but he unquestionably deserves a spot on the NL’s roster. Perhaps something will happen over the next 36 hours and he can find his way up to Seattle for the All-Star Game on Tuesday.
There’s also an argument to send Francisco Álvarez to the All-Star Game as well. He doesn’t currently officially qualify on the leaderboards but he and Sean Murphy have the most home runs among all catchers with 16, he has a 120 OPS+, is an elite defender (3 defensive runs saved) and at this point, one of baseball’s bright future stars who is performing at an All-Star level right now, and MLB should really be showcasing these kinds of players in their season’s marquee event.
But, I don’t make the rules here.
Keep the train going
Anyway, it bears repeating - in order for the Mets to even be worthy of a playoff conversation on the other side of the All-Star Game, they really have to win out or lose no more than one game on this road trip. So far, they’ve held up that end of the bargain, winning all four games so far on this trip and six in a row overall. They were 10 games under .500 a week ago, now they’re four. They were 10 games out of a wild card spot a week ago, now they’re six.
Winning is the cure all.
The question of course is whether or not this is just a short-term correction or if the light has finally gone on with this team. Again, it hasn’t been the prettiest of winning streaks overall as there have been a lot of mistakes and more bullpen leaks. They unquestionably will need fortification if they can stay hot and get back to within realistic striking distance of a playoff spot (they can forget the NL East at this point).
The key though is staying hot, winning this series and keeping the momentum going after the break.
Around the League 🚩
The Braves needed just a Sean Murphy two-run home run in the fourth inning to edge the Rays 2-1 at Tropicana Field - Charlie Morton allowed only a run over 6.1 IP for the win
Carlos Rodón finally made his Yankee debut on Friday, allowing two runs over 5.1 IP to the Cubs. But former Yankee Jameson Taillon threw eight shutout innings to lead Chicago to a 3-0 win over New York in the Bronx
Cristian Pache hit a ninth inning, three-run home run to to flip the tables on the Marlins and help the Phillies to their 13th straight win on the road with a 4-3 victory
The Mariners got back over the .500 mark with a 10-1 drubbing of the Astros - Mike Ford homered and drove in four runs and both Julio Rodriguez and Colton Wong drove in two runs a piece