The Mets won the first round of their 4-game series with the Diamondbacks at Citi Field on Monday night, beating Arizona 5-4 in 13 innings.
Shaun Marcum got off to a poor start, hitting a batter and giving up a 2-run shot to Paul Goldschmidt in the first. However, after giving up another run via an Aaron Hill RBI single in the 2nd, Marcum settled in and put up a few zeroes before departing after the sixth.
The Mets’ offense continued to struggle early in this matchup. They were stifled by Arizona’s Wade Miley, and went scoreless until David Wright drove in Eric Young with a 7th-inning single to make it 3-1.
A scary play in the 8th led to another run for the Mets. Gerardo Parra dived for an Omar Quintanilla shot into the gap, but was unable to hold onto the ball. Parra hit the ground hard and was on the field for several minutes before being taken out of the game. Quintanilla reached third on the play and scored on Young’s 2-out double. However, Daniel Murphy stranded Young at third by popping up to left with 2 out.
The Mets rallied in the 9th against their former pitcher JJ Putz. Josh Satin drove in Marlon Byrd (who narrowly missed a game-tying homer) with a one-out single. The Mets could have won the game in the 9th if not for John Buck’s baserunning blunder. The slow-footed catcher tried to take second base on a wild pitch, despite the fact that his run meant nothing. He was gunned down by Miguel Montero.
The Mets had several chances to win the game in extra innings, but repeatedly left the winning run in scoring position, ending up with a woeful 20 men left on base.
The 2 teams traded zeroes in the extra frames until Cody Ross hit a solo shot off of David Aardsma to lead off the 13th. In the bottom half, the Mets staged one final rally. Josh Satin hit a 1-out double, and after a John Buck walk, Matt Harvey was brought in to grace the Mets with his holy abilities. Harvey laid down the finest bunt in all the land, moving the winning run into scoring position. 2 batters later, Andrew Brown ripped a 2-out, 2-strike pitch into the left field gap to win it for New York.
John Buck should feel bad for the thousands of Mets fans who have to watch him struggle like this. Buck struck out three more times on Monday, as he continues to draw closer and closer to the dreaded Mendoza Line. He also made a baserunning mistake that might have cost us the game. He did score the winning run, though. Baby steps.
Eric Young has been fun to watch these last couple of weeks, and I am starting to think he could be a useful piece going forward. Hopefully he can fill the role Angel Pagan used to play: a fast outfielder who plays good defense and puts the ball in play.
Byrd has been great, but he is 35. Sandy should probably start exploring the trade market for Marlon, if he hasn’t done so already.
Daniel Murphy came up short in a few huge situations tonight, and seems to be struggling a bit at the plate of late.
Omar Quintanilla has been hitting the ball much better of late. Even his outs have been hard-hit. Ruben Tejada will have to earn the job if he wants it back.
Josh Satin has made the most of his opportunity to play every day at first base. The man has been raking ever since he was called up. He has earned a long, hard look from the front office, and Ike Davis has his work cut out for him if he wants to return to the lineup soon.
Lastly, the Mets’ bullpen must be acknowledged. It has been stellar of late, aside from the Washington series. The pen kept the D-Backs at bay for 6 innings tonight before giving up Ross’s solo shot in the 13th.
Overall, there were many positive signs to take from tonight’s game. The team showed their resilience, the new guys continued to hit, and the bullpen was solid. And hey, we even got some extra Harvey.
The Mets will attempt to take a 2-0 lead in their series with Arizona Tuesday night at Citi Field. Jeremy Hefner (2-6, 3.72 ERA) will take the hill at 7:10 PM against Patrick Corbin (9-0, 2.22 ERA). Hopefully, the Mets can rough up Corbin’s stats a bit and help Harvey solidify his grasp on the starting pitcher spot for the All-Star Game later this month.