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McNeil Shows What Might’ve Been

The Mets had multiple chances this season to call Jeff McNeil up to the majors, and yet, time and again, the Mets opted to go with players like Jose Reyes instead.

Perhaps, the Mets did not give McNeil his chance because they were not sure his incredible season in the minors would translate to MLB success. So far, it has.

In tonight’s game, McNeil was at the center of both Mets rallies with him going a perfect 4-for-4 with two runs, a double, and an RBI.

The first rally started when McNeil hit a leadoff single against Giants starter Chris Stratton. Wilmer Flores would go the opposite way and drive a double to right field.

McNeil scored on a Michael Conforto sacrifice fly, and Flores scored from second on an Austin Jackson RBI single.

Jackson would move to second on Hunter Pence‘s their home, but the Mets could not bring him home.

Still, with the two runs scored, the Mets tied the score and got Steven Matz off the hook.

Initially, things did not look good for Matz. Three batters into the game, he and the Mets were down 2-0 with Evan Longoria hitting a bomb off of him:

Fortunately, Matz would settle in, and he would not allow another hit in his five innings pitched. With this being his second start since coming off the disabled list, Matz was done after five innings and 87 pitches.

Corey Oswalt, who was recently demoted to the bullpen, relieved Matz, and he would pitch three terrific scoreless innings allowing just one hit. Not only would he pitch well, but he would also pick up his third win of the season.

Oswalt got the win because the Mets offense jumped all over Tony Watson starting with a Reyes triple off a ball Pence just could not field.

After Todd Frazier couldn’t hit one deep enough to score Reyes, and Amed Rosario struck out, the game was on McNeil’s bat.

McNeil jumped on the first pitch, and much like Flores did in the previous inning, he hit an opposite field double. The double easily scored Reyes giving the Mets a 3-2 lead.

With the open base, and his historical numbers against left-handed batters, Watson intentionally walked Flores to face Conforto. That was a mistake:

The opposite field three run homer gave the Mets a 6-2 lead.

Seth Lugo pitched the ninth, and he yielded a run after Jose Bautista couldn’t quite get to an Austin Slater liner. Lugo would get the next batter to close the book on the 6-3 win.

In the end, this was a game won because McNeil is a professional hitter who delivered in two big spots. It makes you wonder how different things would have been had the Mets given him a chance when they first needed him.

Game Recap: 2015 NLCS MVP Daniel Murphy was traded by the Nationals to the Cubs as the Nationals have begun selling what they can.

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