Daniel Murphy started a ninth inning rally for the Nationals, but destiny was on the barrel of rookie T.J. Rivera’s bat, as he launched a tie breaking solo shot in the top of the 10th to keep the Mets in sole possession of the second wild card spot.
The native New Yorker accounted for three of the Mets four runs and since being summoned from Sin City, the Pacific Coast League Batting Champion is hitting a team high .333.
Noah Syndergaard, sporting an impressive 1.06 in his last five starts, got robbed of his 14th win when Jeurys Familia unraveled in the bottom of the ninth. Murphy, the bane of Terry Collins’ ball club, beat out a sharp single to Asdrubal Cabrera, scoring on a base hit by Anthony Rendon.
After Jose Reyes botched a throw on Bryce Harper’s ground ball, Familia failed to corral a Wilson Ramos comebacker, which brought Rendon home with the tying run. Pinch hitter Clint Robinson then laced a hard liner to Rivera at second base, allowing the Mets to double up Ramos at first to send the game into overtime.
In the top of the 10th, Fernando Salas recorded the first two outs before surrendering a bloop single to Jayson Werth, forcing Collins to make an emergency call to the bullpen. Jerry Blevins, facing Daniel Murphy, ran the count to 3-2, then fittingly, struck him out on a wicked breaking pitch.
It’s a shame that Syndergaard didn’t secure the well-deserved victory after seven solid innings of one-run four-hit ball. But his 10 strikeouts brought him to 205 for the season, making him the fifth Mets pitcher to surpass 200 by the age of 24 or younger. Not too bad of a consolation prize to become a member of a club that includes Jon Matlack, Sid Fernandez, Dwight Gooden and Tom “Terrific” Seaver.
The Mets have won eight of their last 10 and are 17-6 over their last 23 games. All in all, the Mets seized a much needed win (they’re all much needed wins now, right?) and stood their ground in the wild card standings despite a St. Louis Cardinals victory.