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Mets Led by deGrom, Cabrera, and Lobaton (Yes, Lobaton) in Win

With the Mets having lost three straight series, the last thing they needed was a West Coast trip.  They needed to play in Petco Park even less.  It’s not just that it’s a suddenly woeful Mets offense was going to one of, if not the, most extreme pitcher’s park in the league.  No, it was the Mets all-time record at Petco Park entering this game was 18-32.

Fortunately for the Mets, they had their best weapon out there tonight – Jacob deGrom.

Once again, deGrom was brilliant.  His final line on the night was 7.1 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, and 8 K.

This is the third straight game he would strike out at least eight, and he now has the longest stretch in the National League of pitching at least 5.1 innings.  Basically, deGrom is pitching about as well as anyone, and really, he’s been better than almost everyone.

Given how he’s pitched of late, the offense, and his luck, the questions were whether he was going to get run support and whether the bullpen could hold things down.

Well, deGrom would get his run support before he even stepped foot on the mound.  After Doug Eddings, who had a wildly inconsistent strike zone all game long, ruled a 3-1 pitch was a strike and not a ball, Asdrubal Cabrera hit a lead-off double off Clayton Richard.  After moving to third on a Yoenis Cespedes fly out to deep right, Cabrera scored on a two out Todd Frazier RBI single.

The score stayed that way until the seventh because the Mets could not get anything going against Richard, Michael Conforto made a couple of nice plays in the field, and the Padres were afraid to challenge Yoenis Cespedes‘ arm.

At that point, it was time for Cabrera to once again leave his mark not just on the game but on the early part of the season.

Juan Lagares led off the inning with an infield single just beating Carlos Asuaje throw.  Jose Lobaton, who easily had his best game as a Met, singled to set up runners at the corners with no outs.  With Richard faltering, it seemed like this is where the Mets would blow the game open.  It almost . . . ALMOST didn’t happen.

First, there was the Lagares base running mistake.  Instead of following Christian Villanueva down the line on the deGrom sacrifice bunt/safety squeeze, he immediately dashed back to third.  If he followed Villanueva down the line, it’s quite possible he scores.  Instead he stayed, and when Amed Rosario hit a sharp grounder to Asuaje, the Mets had runners at second and third with no runs and two outs.

With the Padres going into a strong bullpen, it seemed as if they were going to get out of the jam. That perception was absolutely wrong as Cabrera hit a Craig Stammen mistake for a three run homer to effectively end the game.

In the eighth, the Mets would expand their lead with a two out rally.  After recording two quick outs, Kazuhisa Makita hit Lagares with a 1-2 pitch, and Lagares would score on the ensuing Lobaton RBI double.

Again, Lobaton easily had his best game as a Met.  He caught deGrom, who had a great game.  He threw out Franchy Cordero, who was the only Padre to attempt a stolen base.  On the play, it was a perfect throw and a perfect tag by Cabrera.  Finally, and perhaps most surprisingly, Lobaton was 2-4 with a run, a double, and an RBI.

With the 5-0 lead, the only remaining question was whether the bullpen could hold onto the lead or whether there would be another meltdown.

When deGrom parted with one out in the eighth, there was a runner on, and Jerry Blevins came on to face Eric Hosmer.  Conforto needed every bit of that deep right field to corral the long fly Hosmer would send.  Mickey Callaway then went to AJ Ramos who got Villanueva to fly out.

Then, Callaway went with Matt Harvey in the ninth to close the door.  As bad as things have been for Harvey since 2015, no one could have imagined this outing.

No, he didn’t blow the lead, although he did make everyone nervous with Cordero greeting him with a homer, and Harvey walking Jose Pirela.  Given Harvey’s recent history and the recent bullpen meltdowns, this was an ominous sign, and Jeurys Familia was rapidly trying to get loose in the bullpen.

Fortunately for the Mets, Harvey, whose velocity dipped all the way down to 90, yes 90 MPH, got a fly out and a game ending double play.

Yes, there was plenty of reason to be excited for this 5-1 win, but seeing Harvey pitch this way certainly did put a bit of a damper on things.  Hopefully, both Harvey and the Mets can figure something out at this point because this has become sad and painful to watch.

GAME NOTES: Before the game the Mets recalled Jacob Rhame and sent Corey Oswalt back down.  The Mets moved David Wright to the 60 day disabled list to make room for LHP Buddy Baumann, who the team claimed off waivers from the Padres.  Bauman was sent down to Triple-A Vegas.  Despite his good numbers against Richard, Callaway sat Adrian Gonzalez in favor of Wilmer Flores

4 thoughts on “Mets Led by deGrom, Cabrera, and Lobaton (Yes, Lobaton) in Win”

  1. Five Tool Ownership says:

    Thank goodness we had Lobaton in the line up. He did not swing hard on strike two and also unlike another platooner Lobaton did not either swing on the first pitch after three others batters before him all worked their counts.

    Thanks for better weather and last place teams!

    I am sure I speak for most of us, we all get emotional watching Harvey pitch!
    We all so badly want great things for him.

    Go Harvey! More last place teams on the menu coming up…?

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I hope the praise of Lobaton was tongue-in-cheek. He had a good game, but overall, he’s been bad.

  2. Blu2MileHigh says:

    A handful of Mets too often hit grounders, GIDPs, pop ups with men on base yet with Rosario unlike the other GIDPers he seems to try to know where he wants the ball to go on other ABATS opening up more optimistism that when he unfortunately keeps the ball on the ground with men on that his chances of getting the ball thre are greater.
    Cabrera, Bruce, Gonzales, Lagares, Todd Frazier, Cespedes, Conforto also “choke up” take what is given and clearly are not looking to drive the ball all the way during seemingly all of their ABATS. Obviously add Nimmo.
    I saw Wilmer try to go opposite field on Thursday and work the count in a later ABAT last night. It seems so foreign, almost like Harvey coming out of the pen.
    Yoga with Cespedes does sound like a good idea.
    Did he not have back issues in 2015?
    Wilmer, better lefties will avoid your wheelhouse and will pitch high strikes and low and inside strikes. You got to foul them off, get deeper into counts — you will BBs and they will have to many times throw it down the middle on a full count.
    In fact ground ball pitchers where always in and with these uppercut launch angles it will get harder if not you can face a World Series pitching staff like 2015.

    These GIDPs how do they effect you?

    Though early, your LOB/PA is over .500 and your career WAR?

    Evolve young man….

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I didn’t understand what you’re driving at here.

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