It was the bottom of the 4th. There were two outs, and the Nationals had just scored their second run of the game on an error by Francisco Lindor with the infield in. Tylor Megill had struck out Luis Garcia to end the inning, but the pitch hit the ground so Francisco Alvarez had to throw to first to complate the play. Alvarez threw a lollipop to Alonso, who had to jump for it, and subsequently dive for the bag to get the runner to (barely) end the inning.
I had been holding off on breaking out the hard iced teas up until that point, but when Alvarez almost turned the third out of the inning into the next government shutdown, I had decided that this night was going to need alcohol. After all, the Mets had forced MacKenzie Gore to throw 96 pitches in four innings, but somehow score zero runs. That was followed by the error, and the Alvarez play. This was looking like another long night against a mediocre team. (At 15-15 in their previous 30, yes … the Nats had graduated to mediocre for the time being.) So down 2-0, I went to the Arizon Hard Iced Tea (with peach.)
But then in the 6th, Starling Marte singled and Mark Canha doubled down the line to put runners on second and third with nobody out. But Brett Baty grounded into a fielders choice to get the runner at home, and Alvarez grounded out to return runners to second and third, but this time with two outs. Davey Martinez then brought in Carl Edwards Jr., who walked Brandon Nimmo on five fastballs (How does a Carl Jr. not throw sliders?) before facing Lindor with the bases loaded. It was looking like more small villages were going to be left on the bases.
But then Lindor delivered the Pete Rose Special: the three run single.
(Yes, that was John Franco at the end … on the Reds.)
FRANCISCO LINDOR CLEARS THE BASES! pic.twitter.com/hTkGZDOYFq
— SNY (@SNYtv) May 13, 2023
After that it was up to the bullpen … the unsung heroes of this season so far who go back and forth between the toast of the town to the edge of the cliff. Jeff Brigham shut the Nats down in the 6th right after Lindor’s three RBI … always a key on a struggling team to shut down the other team after you score. Then Adam Ottavino got a 1-2-3 7th before Buck did something curious: He went to David Robertson for a six out save. Buck has been liberal with the six out saves for Robertson, as this is the second time he has asked him to do it. The first time went swimmingly. This time, Robertson got a little tired in the 9th as he walked two guys, and struck out Alex Call with the help of Paul Emmel’s generous strikes on the wings.
So Buck shifted course and went to Drew Smith for the final out, and he struck out current and future pain in the ass Lane Thomas to end it for Smith’s first career save. I can’t decide whether this is proof that Buck doesn’t trust Smith because he was willing to use Robertson for two innings, or that he does trust Smith because he gave him the most important out: the 27th. I’m sure Buck would tell you the latter, and I’m sure I would believe him if he did. But either way, this was a big win for the Mets … mainly because at 19-20 in May, they’re all big. And Buck managed tonight that way. Tomorrow, there will most assuredly be no David Robertson. But tomorrow only exists to creep in its petty pace. Tonight, which is the only night that counts, the Mets have won.
Tomorrow may have to involve more alcohol. It might be with peach. We’ll see. Tonight though, raise a glass.
Today’s Hate List
Because Ron Darling said that Alu’s batting stance reminded him of Shane Victorino.