The Mets followed Tuesday’s dramatic 8-7 walk-off win over the Tampa Bay Rays with a 3-2 win on Thursday afternoon at Citi Field, taking the series from the best team in baseball.
Here are some key takeaways…
– Mark Vientos and Francisco Alvarez both homered on Wednesday night, but they were both out of the lineup on Thursday. Buck Showalter explained that Alvarez is a little “dinged up,” so Michael Perez got the start behind the plate. Brett Baty started at third base, and instead of DHing Vientos, Showalter elected to have the left-handed bat of Daniel Vogelbach in the lineup at DH.
– The intriguing lineup choices factored into the game right away. With two outs and runners on second and third in the first inning, Tommy Pham, who started in left, went down on a check-swing, squandering a chance for the Mets to take an early lead, leaving the score tied 1-1.
Pham came up in another big spot in the seventh. With the game tied at 2-2 and runners on the corners with one out, this time he came through with an infield single up the third base line that gave the Mets a 3-2 lead.
Pham ended up with a pair of hits on the afternoon, including the game-winning single.
– Tylor Megill found himself in trouble right away. A leadoff double from Josh Lowe and a Randy Arozarena excuse-me-swing infield single put runners at the corners with nobody out. But the right-hander escaped the inning with just one run allowed, and he settled in nicely from there.
Megill was locked in on the mound during the middle innings, allowing just one base-runner (who reached on a Baty throwing error) over his next four innings after the first. The Rays finally got to him in the sixth, though, as Lowe tagged a two-out solo homer to center to tie the game. The Rays put two men on after the homer, but Perez picked off Harold Ramirez at first base to end the inning.
The tall right-hander’s outing ended there, as Megill finished his day with two earned runs allowed on four hits and one walk while striking out four over six innings (79 pitches), recording his second quality start of the season.
– Pete Alonso followed up his walk-off heroics on Wednesday with another Herculean blast, this time a solo shot just to the left of the apple in center field. Alonso’s MLB-leading 16th homer of the season, which came off the bat at 113.4 MPH and traveled 446 feet, gave the Mets a 2-1 lead in the fourth. Alonso later flew out to the warning track in right-center, so it doesn’t look like the illness he’s been battling is slowing him down.
– Brooks Raley pitched a clean seventh inning, retiring the side in order with a pair of strikeouts. He came back out to start the eighth, but allowed a single to pinch-hitter Wander Franco. Still, it was a good outing for the lefty after he had some command issues (three walks) in his first outing off the IL on Sunday against Washington.
– Jeff Brigham came on and mopped things up in the eighth, getting a timely 4-3 double-play with Franco running to hold the lead.
David Robertson preserved the one-run lead with his eighth save of the season, capping off a nice day for the Mets’ pen. He allowed a one-out double to Arozarena, but left him stranded to end the game.
The Mets stay home for a three-game weekend series against the Cleveland Guardians, starting on Friday at 7:10 p.m. on SNY.
Carlos Carrasco is scheduled to come off the IL and make the start against his former club, facing righty Cal Quantrill.