By no means did everything go right, even though it sure as hell seemed that way after the Mets swept a doublehead from Atlanta, putting the Mets up 5 and 1/2 games in the N.L. East. But that’s really the whole point. The Mets can sweep a doubleheader against their closest rival … the defending world champions … without everything going right. The Mets have built a team that can withstand storms. Billy Eppler had access to Steve Cohen’s stone and brick walls while the Wilpons tried to get by on plywood and paper mache, and you saw it tonight.
David Peterson’s outing in the matinee will probably be overlooked, but his 5 and 1/3 innings of shutout baseball was a godsend in the first half of the sweep. With Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom looming in the next two, Peterson’s start was the pivot point between which team the pressure was going to lie. Pressure was already going to be on Max, but Peterson navigating the Braves lineup (escaping the first inning with the bases loaded in the first inning was huge) put the pressure squarely on Atlanta for Game 2. The offense was productive up and down the lineup, highlighted by Francisco Lindor’s three RBI, including a double off the top of the wall in the 6th to give the Mets a 5-0 lead, sending them to a big 8-2 lead going into the 9th.
The Mets were in a great spot, but Yoan Lopez gave up four straight hits with one out, forcing Buck Showalter’s hand to bring in Edwin Diaz to save the game, because there isn’t any way the Mets could blow that game getting cute and saving Diaz for the nightcap. The good news was that Diaz was his old self after going two innings in the win on Thrusday, and I hae to admit that I was a little worried that the two innings that Diaz threw would have some lingering effects the rest of the season. Nonsense … Diaz was Diaz and he took care of the Braves with the slightly more conventional two out save. The bad news was that all the major players in the bullpen (Diaz, Adam Ottavino, Seth Lugo) were now burned for the second game, with only Trevor May left out of the major players to get the Mets home in the nightcap.
But also available to get the Mets home in the nightcap:
I had a discussion about whether to pitch Max in the matinee or the nightcap. The side that I erred on was based on this tweet:
Scherzer and Peterson for tomorrow's DH. Showalter won't say what order but historically, they've had the vet go second so he can deal with whatever bullpen situation Game 1 brings.
— Laura Albanese (@AlbaneseLaura) August 5, 2022
The bullpen situation wasn’t ideal, but they had the right guy to deal with it, and to put the hammer down. Seven innings, 11 strikeouts, zero walks, zero runs. I hope that people appreciate what the hell he’s doing for us. Tom Glavine came to the Mets after reaching the heights of his career with a division rival at the exact same point in his career that Scherzer did. And Glavine pitched that first season like he was a spy. Max? He’s all in for us and we should appreciate it and enjoy it every day he takes the mound.
Outside of Max, the game came down to two plays at the plate, both measured by millimeters, and both involving Travis d’Arnaud. Unlike most plays at the plate that occurred when d’Arnaud was a Met, both went our way. First, the top of the fifth with the Mets already up 3-0 … on a ground ball to Luis Guillorme with d’Arnaud on third and Guillorme playing at normal depth.
LUIS GUILLORME! pic.twitter.com/omMxBucjXB
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 7, 2022
Guillorme said after the game that he noticed d’Arnaud hesitate a little bit, hence he made the throw. That’s the Travis d’Arnaud I know and love from Queens.
The second play was actually inches from being one of the most fantastic plays a catcher has ever made, which is hysterical because again, if he was wearing a Mets uniform he would have disintegrated into fine dust before somehow twisting his ankle.
Pete Alonso was called out after this play by Travis d'Arnaud at the plate, but it was overturned 👀
(via @BravesOnBally) pic.twitter.com/ZwZAdNiaJ1
— SI MLB (@si_mlb) August 7, 2022
In all seriousness, that’s a hell of a play by d’Arnaud, and if it wasn’t for Pete’s spike, that’s an out and maybe … maybe, the game takes a turn. But the call was overturned from out to safe (which surprised the hell out of me, honestly), and the Mets had a 4-0 lead at that point. It also spawned one of the most hilarious tweets I’ve seen this year:
What a god damn joke. The New York Mets lead the MLB in replay challenges won, determined by people in New York. The Mets had an 80% success rate on challenges this season, prior to today. Alonso never touched home, was originally called out and New York overturned the call 😂
— Kevin Keneely (@KevinKeneely1) August 7, 2022
Yeah, we have the replay center in our hip pockets. I mean, don’t you think if the Mets could have used the location of the replay center to their advantage that they could have gotten a few calls their way down the stretch in 2008 when it could have really helped them?
They give “Tin Foil Hat Making 101” at the U. of Georgia?
Once Max was done, Mychal Givens came in and gave up a run to make it 4-1. I really hope that Givens can have some success here. I’m just afraid for him because it hasn’t been strawberries and cream for him to start with and also, he seems to throw a lot of changeups so when Givens gets hit, he’s going to get hit hard. Fans aren’t going to be pleased with him if that changeup isn’t super fine and super sharp. But the Mets got a couple of insurance runs thanks to a Tyler Naquin RBI single and a sac bunt by Tomas Nido (okay, I’m willing to admit that Nido is good at bunting) to make it 6-1, so when Trevor May came in and gave up a two run HR to William Contreras to the right field corner (f*** Chase Utley), nobody lost their shit. Besides, May looked really good otherwise in the 9th, which is a great sign for the rest of the season.
The Mets are now 5.5 games up on the Braves with some guy named Jacob deGrom looming tomorrow. Gare said at the end of the game that (loose quote) “the Mets have sent a strong message to that Braves dugout.” That message was this: You can’t play the Nationals 162 times a year.
Today’s Hate List
The Citi Field parking lot strategy.
How do you ascertain that the answer to how to get cars out of the parking lot after the first game and into the parking lot before the second game was to close all of the entrances and exits except two???????