It was déjà vu all over again to start Game 2 of the Mets’ three-game series against the Giants.
The Giants took an early 2-0 off Dillon Gee. This time the Giants scored on an Anthony Recker error trying to catch Brandon Belt stealing that scored Hunter Pence and a poor fielder’s choice by Daniel Murphy that allowed Belt to score.
The Mets had a chance to tack on more in the fifth, but a questionable caught stealing call against Eric Young squashed the rally. Terry Collins went out to argue the play and upon further review it looked like Brandon Crawford’s glove missed Young.
Anthony Recker hit a two-run home run in the sixth to give the Mets a 5-3 lead.
“I think it was a cutter in, maybe a fastball in, that stayed up and I was able to get the good part of the bat on it,” Recker said.
In 2013, Recker has hit five home runs—four of which have given the Mets the lead or tied a game. The Mets are also 10-8 in Recker’s 18 starts this season. They are 6-1 in his last seven starts. I think it’s time to put the Recker project into effect.
Gee almost gave the lead right back after leading off the bottom of the sixth with two walks. An infield hit by Tony Abreu got the Giants within one, but Gee giveth and Gee taketh away. Gregor Blanco smoked a line drive right at Gee who made a slick catch and doubled up Abreu at first to end the inning and maintain a 5-4 lead.
“I mean, I saw it, but that was definitely where the luck went my way for once,” Gee said. “I went back to the dugout after that and everybody said, ‘You deserve that after the all those infield hits.’ If it hadn’t gone right at me, right there in my glove, there’s no way I would have caught it.”
Gee surrendered another leadoff walk in the seventh and it wound up tying the game 5-5 after Pablo Sandoval’s sacrifice fly. Scott Rice came in to get the last out of the seventh and kept the game tied. Gee finished the game at 108 pitches in 6.2 IP with nine hits, five earned runs, five walks and three strike outs. It wasn’t very dominant, but it did keep them in the game.
Murphy gave the Mets a 6-5 lead in the eighth on a sacrifice fly, but the big at-bat came from Marlon Byrd who launched a grand slam into deep left field to make it 10-5.
“Dan Murphy’s at-bat, he’s down in the count and Affeldt’s awfully tough on lefties and I thought Dan had a good at-bat to give us a run.” Collins said. “Marlon just goes up and does what he does. He’s dangerous and he just got a hanging slider and made a big difference.”
It was the seventh grand slam of Byrd’s career. The last one was back in 2009. In 2009 with Texas, Byrd tallied a season-high 20 home runs. So far this year, he has 14. Byrd has been a great asset for the Mets. It will be interesting to see what they do with him come the trade deadline.
“You don’t always come through, but it’s just one of those things where, when you do, it just feels good,” Byrd said. “I’ve had seven good swings with the bases loaded, but I’ve also had some strike outs. Tonight was on of those one’s where I put a good swing on it.”
Carlos Torres finished the game for the Mets after giving up a run and they took Game 2 10-6.
Maybe a forgotten play in the game was the picture-perfect relay from Brown to Quintanilla to Recker that saved an early run in the first inning. It didn’t wind up factoring in this one, but it’s a microcosm of the cohesion this team is starting to show.