Metrospective 7/3/2024: Extra, Extra, Extra, Read All About It (2024)

Metrospective 7/3/2024: Extra, Extra, Extra, Read All About It (1)

In today’s newsletter: A near carbon copy of Monday’s win, a just-what-the-doctor-ordered start from Sean Manaea, and more injury news.

I Didn’t Hear No Bell

Battered and bruised, from a hotel room to a dangerous fence to a stiff cleat, the Mets are dropping like flies but that didn’t stop them from winning 7-2 over the Nationals in 10 innings on Tuesday night for their second-straight extra-inning win (and third-straight extra-inning game overall). Harrison Bader left with an injury, Brandon Nimmo replaced him in his return from injury and New York put together yet another comeback win.

Tuesday’s game followed a similar script to Monday’s 9-7 victory. Sean Manaea pitched well but gave up runs in the 3rd and 5th to put the Mets in a hole they wouldn’t break out of until later in the evening.

Manaea was not helped by his defense as the first run was largely due to a pair of Nationals infield singles, one that Mark Vientos didn’t charge at third base and one that Francisco Lindor was a little slow throwing to first. After the first three batters in the 3rd reached (with one run across), Manaea buckled down and escaped more damage — thanks in part to a nice running catch by Tyrone Taylor in right.

It was a painful inning in more than one way as Bader banged into the chain-link fence in right-center field while trying to catch Jacob Young’s double. He was a bit slow to get up and finished the inning before he was taken out with what was later deemed neck and upper back soreness. Nimmo, who sat on Monday and wasn’t in Tuesday’s starting lineup after falling in his hotel room and gashing his head, stepped in for Bader and contributed big time.

Washington scratched another run across in the 5th when a lead-off walk to Young and fielding error by Pete Alonso gave the Nationals runners on the corners with one out. Harold Ramírez barely beat out a fielder’s choice to Vientos to make it 2-0.

The Mets were totally shut down by DJ Herz until the 6th when Lindor ended the shutout bid with a solo shot to left, his 14th home run of the season. Herz was lifted after giving up a two-out single to Alonso, capping a thoroughly impressive outing. He struck out 10 over 5 2/3 innings and didn’t walk anyone, allowing just the one run. Like when MacKenzie Gore was lifted in the 6th inning on Monday, the Mets were thrilled to see Herz go.

Manaea pushed through the 6th and 7th to keep New York within a run. It wound up being Manaea’s longest start as a Met, a seven-inning, two-run (one earned) gem in which he only walked two. When he throws strikes — which he did yesterday — and doesn’t need to pitch from behind in the count, the big lefty can be really good and he came through with a long outing at the perfect time for a team that, generously speaking, has a bullpen in flux.

He left in line for the loss but was quickly absolved in the 7th as the Mets struck against Hunter Harvey for the second night in a row. Lindor doubled to left and scored on a Nimmo RBI single as the outfielder wasted no time showing that he was all recovered from his own health scare.

José Buttó, called up from Syracuse to serve as a multi-inning reliever, used a nifty double play from Lindor and José Iglesias to escape the 8th unscathed. After the Mets went down in order in the top of the 9th, Buttó worked around a walk and an error by Lindor — with help from Francisco Álvarez, who threw out James Wood trying to steal — to push this game to extras where New York got right to work.

Iglesias led off against Robert Garcia with a line drive double hugging the right-field line that plated Taylor as the free runner and gave the Mets a 3-2 lead. The prospect of insurance runs looked iffy as Jeff McNeil popped out on a bunt attempt and Lindor grounded out to short, failing to advance the runner. Nimmo saved the day, though, lacing a double just out of the reach of Wood in left to score Iglesias and scoring on a Vientos single.

That brought up Alonso who, as Gary Cohen so aptly described on the SNY broadcast, brought the hammer down with a long two-run blast to left, giving the Mets an even five runs in the 10th after they scored six runs in the 10th on Monday. Per MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, it was the first time in at least 50 years that the Mets scored 5+ runs in extra innings in back-to-back games and, per the Elias Sports Bureau via MLB’s Sarah Langs, the Mets are just the fifth team ever to score 5+ runs in any extra inning in consecutive games.

And, thankfully, on Tuesday there was no Nationals comeback in the works. Dedniel Nuñez relieved Buttó and retired the side in order to secure the 7-2 win.

What To Note

  • Well, well, well, how the turn tables. The Mets have been a disaster in extra innings all season but, based on how this series has gone, they might be changing the narrative. Their relentlessness with runners in scoring position, especially against the opposing team’s bullpen, has been on full display and every night has a new group of heroes. On Monday, it was Martinez, Álvarez and Iglesias and on Tuesday it was Iglesias (again), Nimmo, Vientos and Alonso. There is no letting up.

  • It’s a good thing Lindor had a really nice day at the plate because he had one of his worst defensive games of the season on Tuesday. There were three routine groundballs he misplayed in some shape or form, including his error. The Mets gave the Nationals a ton of extra outs in this one — the Vientos and Alonso plays stick out — and are very lucky the pitching was good enough to turn those mistakes into moot points.

  • How about Nimmo missing Monday’s game and starting on the bench Tuesday only to be pressed into action and drive in two huge runs for his team-leading 51st and 52nd RBIs of the year? He just keeps getting it done.

  • The pitching staff needed that performance from Manaea going seven to Buttó shoving in an unfamiliar bullpen role to Nuñez slamming the door shut. Only three more days until the Edwin Díaz suspension is up and help will be on the way.

  • Martinez was a late scratch yesterday with a sore left ankle. The severity is unclear but he told the media after the game that he thinks the soreness was from a new cleat he wore on Monday. Luis Torrens DH’d in his place.

  • More bad reliever injury news as Sean Reid-Foley’s recovery from a right shoulder impingement is taking longer than expected. Carlos Mendoza said he won’t return until after the All-Star break even though he’s eligible to come off the injured list in a few days. It’s not what you want.

  • After struggling mightily on Monday night, Tyler Jay was optioned to Syracuse and Buttó was called up in his stead. The Syracuse Shuttle continues apace as the Mets try to find guys who can get outs at the MLB level.

  • Despite their improved farm system, the Mets will only have one representative at this year’s Futures Game, held right before the All-Star Game in Arlington in a week and a half: Starting pitcher Brandon Sproat. Sproat has been close to unhittable at both Brooklyn and Binghamton this year in his first minor league season after the Mets drafted him in the 2nd round out of the University of Florida in 2023.

Looking Ahead

The Mets look to clinch a series win on Wednesday night with Christian Scott on the mound for his first start in the Majors since May 30th. He’ll face off with another impressive rookie, Mitchell Parker, who has a 3.32 ERA in his first 14 MLB starts. First pitch is at 6:45 p.m. again and SNY has the broadcast.

Nimmo should be good to go after he looked like himself filling in for Bader. After the game, Bader said he felt fine but the Mets likely will play things safe against the righty Parker so we could see DJ Stewart or Ben Gamel (or even McNeil again) in the outfield. Also, with Martinez potentially out, it’s possible that Stewart or Álvarez is at DH with Torrens maybe behind the dish.

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Metrospective 7/3/2024: Extra, Extra, Extra, Read All About It (2024)

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