The bullpen stumbled, but Pete Alonso walks-off the Rockies in a rollercoaster win for the Mets
Alonso set a franchise mark with his 25th game winning RBI on Friday night
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾
The Mets walked off the Rockies with a thrilling 7-6 win at Citi Field on Friday night (Box)
The Mets blew a 3-0 lead in the sixth and then a 4-3 lead in the seventh, falling behind 6-4 thanks to a three-run double by Elias Díaz
Mark Canha hit a game-tying double in the eighth inning - he now has three game-tying hits and two go-ahead hits in his last seven games, and Pete Alonso won it in the ninth for the Mets with a single to left field to plate Brandon Nimmo
Alonso set a franchise mark with his 25th game-winning RBI of the year - his walk-off single was his sixth career walk-off RBI and second this season
Brett Baty hit his first Citi Field home run with a solo blast in the first inning
The Mets are now 42-19 at home, 48-31 at night, 17-9 in August, 64-12 when scoring first, 18-13 in one-run games, earned their 26th comeback win, their 15th win in their last at-bat, their sixth walk-off win, 70-3 when leading after seven innings (even though they blew a lead in the eighth inning), and 16-12 against the National League West
Roster Moves 📰
RHP Tommy Hunter (lower back tightness) activated from the injured list
C Michael Pérez optioned to Triple-A Syracuse
Injury Updates 🏥
INF Eduardo Escobar (side tightness) went 0-for-3 as the designated hitter for Single-A Brooklyn on Friday - he could be activated in time for tonight’s game against the Rockies
RHP Carlos Carrasco (oblique strain) could be back the first week of September as he is ahead of schedule in his recovery
Who’s Hot 🔥
Jeff McNeil is hitting .423/.446/.654 with 44 hits, 14 of which are doubles and three are home runs with 13 RBI and 16 runs scored in his last 27 games
Mark Canha is hitting .412/.474/.882 with seven doubles, three home runs and 12 RBI over his last 11 games and has 16 RBI in his last 17 games
Playoff Odds Tracker 🎲
The Mets are 81-46 and lead the Braves by two games in the National League East with 35 games to go. They are on-pace for 103 wins, which would be the second-highest mark in franchise history (108 in 1986)
The Mets have the easiest schedule down the stretch of the season (.445 opposing winning percentage, per Tankathon)
Playoff odds (FanGraphs):
Make the playoffs: 100 percent ↔️
Win the National League East: 77.1 percent ⬇️
Clinch a first round bye: 77.1 percent ⬇️
Win the World Series: 16.7 percent ⬇️
Today’s Games 🗓
Old Timers Day
Match-up: Amazins vs. Miracles
Where: Citi Field - Flushing, New York
Starters: RHP Dwight Gooden (157-85, 3.10 ERA with the Mets) vs RHP Bartolo Colón (44-34, 3.90 ERA with the Mets)
When: 4:30 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
The actual game
Match-up: Rockies (54-73) vs. Mets (81-46)
Where: Citi Field - Flushing, New York
Starters: LHP David Peterson (6-3, 3.44 ERA) vs. LHP Kyle Freeland (7-8, 4.93 ERA)
When: 7:10 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
Yes the Mets won, but the concerns in the bullpen are only mounting… 📝
Nothing seems to be coming easy for the Mets these days, does it?
Friday night was no different as the Mets had to fight their way through another ineffective performance from the bullpen and overcome a late-game deficit against the Rockies. It was a great, spirited win for the Mets who were staring at a 6-4 Rockies lead and what would have been a disheartening loss against a team the Mets are supposed to beat.
The Mets were more or less cruising through the first part of this game although it seemed like the Mets had wasted a few opportunities early against Rockies RHP Chad Kuhl. Still, it was 3-0 through five innings and Chris Bassitt was navigating a night he didn’t have his best breaking pitches and was pitching to a lot of early contact as a result. But something woke the Rockies bats up in the sixth when both Brendan Rodgers and CJ Cron connected on run scoring hits to tie the game up and stun the Mets a little bit in the process.
Of course, the Mets immediately responded as they have done so many times this season. And as it has been so many times as of late, it was Mark Canha who delivered the go-ahead hit for the Mets in the sixth inning, allowing the Mets to catch their breath a little bit.
But not for long.
Bassitt pitched into the eighth inning and left after 88 pitches and a one-out single to Charlie Blackmon. The Mets had a one-run lead but Bassitt was still only at 88 pitches - it might’ve seemed sensible to give him one more batter considering the options available, even if it was a power threat in CJ Cron. Instead, Buck gave the ball to Mychal Givens who being asked for two outs and to start getting his Mets tenure on-track.
It was not to be on Friday night, however.
Givens was ineffective in his outing, allowing a single to Cron, then he hit José Iglesias. It seemed as though Givens had found a path out of the fire but he gave up a bone crushing three-run double to Elias Díaz.
The lead was gone and now the Mets were facing an uphill battle in a game they just had to win, or put another way, couldn’t lose.
There really haven’t been a lot of moments like that this season for the Mets. When the Mets have a lead after seven innings, its been more or less lights out for the opposition - coming into play last night the Mets were 69-3 when leading after seven innings despite their inconsistencies in the bullpen. As such, it was really hard to digest what had happened at the time. It’s not often the Mets get knocked on their ass.
But as they always seem to do and had done already once in the game, they got up off the mat, took advantage of a mistake by Ryan McMahon (with two outs and nobody on in the eighth, mind you), Canha delivered another big hit to tie the game, and Pete Alonso won it for the Mets in the ninth with his second walk-off RBI of the year.
All’s well that ended well, thankfully.
As for Givens, it’s hard to really understand this level of ineffectiveness from him. Sure, trades can disrupt players and make them uncomfortable, but here are the numbers for Givens since joining the Mets:
9.1 IP, 16 H, 3 HR, 11 ER, 10 K
In other words, Givens is throwing batting practice right now and is not an effective option for the Mets to turn to in a game close and late. The problem is, he was acquired to be just that and off-load the stress from Adam Ottavino.
The good news for now at least is Seth Lugo appears to have found a groove - he has allowed just three earned runs in his last 16 outings dating back to July 16 with 17 strikeouts over 16 IP. And his curveball has been a reliable weapon for him again, which is perhaps the greatest takeaway from those 16 outings. But there is still the issue of usage with Lugo and maintaining the stamina in his elbow - he can’t be used back-to-back games very often and more usage could make him less effective.
Anyway, back to the rest of the bullpen.
The Mets have to figure out how to bridge their starters to Ottavino and Edwin Díaz at this point. The Mets have played well in August - they are 17-9 in 26 games so far this month. But the bullpen has a 4.55 ERA this month which is the ninth worst mark in the major leagues during that span - that simply won’t cut it in a pennant race.
They didn’t properly address their bullpen deficiency after the lockout, and when given another chance to do that at the trade deadline, they came up only with Givens who didn’t adequately address their needs. That he’s been ineffective only makes matters worse for them.
Now, assuming Carlos Carrasco can be brought back into the rotation over the next week or so and everyone else in the rotation can stay healthy, they could move David Peterson into the bullpen to give them another look from the left side. He lacks experience in that role, but they simply may not have another choice since Joely Rodriguez has been an adventure at best from the left side and there’s nobody else anyway.
They also have Tylor Megill coming back at some point in September who would seem like an ideal candidate to be that swing-and-miss arm the Mets need down there to setup Díaz. Then there’s Joey Lucchesi who is still recovering from Tommy John Surgery but is on rehab assignment with St. Lucie. Perhaps he can fit into the puzzle at some point down the stretch.
Still, while last night was a great, inspired and necessary win for the Mets, their problems in the bullpen are real, don’t appear to be going away and at some point are going to come back and bite them if they don’t come up with other alternatives and fast.
Down on the Farm 🌾
JT Riddle (SS, Triple-A): 2-for-3, 3 RBI
Alex Valerde (RHP, Double-A): 5.2 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, W
Jaylen Palmer (INF, Single-A): 1-for-3, BB, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R
Around the League 🚩
The Braves won again - they defeated the Cardinals 11-4 thanks in part to a four-hit night from William Contreras
The Phillies won their fifth straight game with a 7-4 win over the Pirates in Bryce Harper’s return to action - Harper went 1-for-4 with two RBI
The Mariners and star rookie Julio Rodriguez agreed to a massive contract extension which guarantees he will earn $210 million through the 2034 season and could run through the 2039 season
The Yankees rolled to their fifth straight win, holding off the A’s 3-2 as Aaron Judge hit his 49th home run of the season
Mike Trout scored the 1,025th run of his career, setting an Angels club record as they blew out the Blue Jays 12-0 in Toronto
The Orioles kept pace in the American League Wild Card race with a 2-0 shutout of the Astros - they’re 2.5 games behind the Mariners for the third wild card spot, who also pocketed a win on a walk-off against the Guardians in Seattle