Mets Bullpen Somehow Holds On To Beat Twins

With Zack Wheeler landing on the IL, the Mets needed to start Steven Matz a day sooner than the Mets had wanted. The bad news was the Twins were hitting rockets off of him all night. The good news is he would get some help by the outfield defense:

That catch would not be Michael Conforto‘s lone contribution to the game. He was 4-for-4 at the plate with a key RBI.

The Mets initially took a 2-0 lead against Michael Pineda and the Twins due to some terrible defense. Jeff McNeil and Conforto led off the game with back-to-back singles. They then moved up a base on a Jason Castro passed ball.

A Robinson Cano sacrifice fly made it 1-0. A Pineda wild pitch advanced Conforto to third allowing him to score when Jonathan Schoop made a throwing error on a Wilson Ramos ground ball. After the inning, you wondered how the Mets only had two runs after that comedy of errors.

You were also wondering when the Twins were going to get to Matz who was not sharp.

The first run would come off a Schoop third inning lead off homer. The tying run came in the fourth.

After an Eddie Rosario leadoff single, C.J. Cron hit an opposite field double. Even with the Mets leaving second vacant and no one getting a ball thrown to second immediately, Rosario stayed put. He’d score on a Max Kepler RBI groundout.

To his credit, Matz bore down. He fooled Miguel Sano with a changeup to get a strikeout. He’d intentionally walk Schoop to pitch to Castro. On a 1-2 pitch, Schoop broke for second. As noted by Ron Darling, the Mets rarely throw through in those spots. They did tonight, and they got Schoop before Cron could even think about heading home.

Matz, who was limited to 80 pitches due to his temporary move to the bullpen, was done after four. In some ways, he was lucky to leave after allowing just two earned on somehow just five hits. Then again, he did bear down when needed. It nothing else, it was a step forward.

The Mets took the lead in the fifth on a rally started on a one out Amed Rosario double. He’d score on a Conforto two out RBI single.

The Mets would have a chance to build on this lead in the eighth, but they would absolutely squander it. After a Conforto one out single, Pete Alonso walked. This time, it was a Mitch Garver passed ball moving the runners up a base.

Conforto broke on the Cano grounder, and he was dead to rights. He had a half hearted attempt to get into a run down, but there was no use. On the play, Alonso had a TOOBLAN needlessly breaking for third and getting thrown out to end the jam. It was a rare double play where Cano hit a grounder, didn’t run it out, and he was the only one safe on the play.

Fortunately, the Mets inability to add insurance runs didn’t hurt them as their bullpen was good enough.

In the fifth, after Robert Gsellman got himself into a jam, Luis Avilan came on to bail him out. After Avilan walked Sano with two outs in the sixth, Jeurys Familia got Schoop to ground out. Justin Wilson and Seth Lugo pitched back-to-back scoreless innings to put the game in Edwin Diaz‘s hands.

It wasn’t easy.

After he made quick work of Sano, he was 0-2 on Schoop. Schoop hurt himself on a swing, and the pick hitter Luis Arraez had a great at-bat to earn a walk. Garver then ripped a single to left to put the tying run on second.

After a Jorge Polanco fly out, Marwin Gonzalez hit a dribbler to third which Todd Frazier had no option to eat. Diaz’s former teammate Nelson Cruz came up with the bases loaded, and he worked the count full. After a foul ball, Frazier was able to make a play on a foul out.

Suddenly, the Mets bullpen is getting big outs, and the Mets are winning three straight on the road. It’s too early to get excited, but it’s not too early to notice.

Game Notes: Jacob Rhame, who has a two game suspension pending appeal was called up to take Wheeler’s spot on the roster.

0 thoughts on “Mets Bullpen Somehow Holds On To Beat Twins”

  1. Gothamist says:

    I am waiting for the game where three Met pitchers say…. “here is my fastball see if you can hit it”. or something like that…. focusing on success vs focusing on avoiding failure…

    Conforto’s catch was very nice. He did slow up at the end…. very nice on a catch he was supposed to make.

    Conforto’s swing was very controlled if not even less uppercut.
    If he sees himself as that Oregon walk on…. look like, feel like that previous underdog I see a big difference coming our way….

    Please get us a real left fielder – who will drive in sixty runs a year….

    1. Armstrong Welding says:

      On my DVR, I will just scan through these innings for a while.
      When they can win 13 out of 20 games on then I will watch Robert Gsellman, pitch by pitch.
      Honestly, I hope they pull off a RISP hitting star soon.
      Honestly, it may be best they make no trades.
      I am happy for Callaway and the bullpen.
      I guess that Phil Regan has a simple, system wide philosophy :
      If they are not succeeding, take them further back to situations where they can regain their moxie. Familia in the fifth or sixth, fine by me….

    2. metsdaddy says:

      Mets did a lot of that in 2015, and it paid off. I’m not sure why they’ve shoes away from it since.

  2. Blair M. Schirmer says:

    Nice game by Conforto. It may not be a coincidence that this game came after the ASB then an additional day off. The Mets continue to be fools wrt to playing time. They played him in 42 straight games even while he was hurt, until he hit the IL in mid-May. After he came back 10 days later, they played him in 37 straight through July 7th even though his OPS in that time was .729 (.217/.309/.420) and even though in the 11 games right up until the ASB his OPS was a miserable. .371.

    They’re clueless, and they do it with player after player, year after year. It has everything to do with all their other problems with injuries, health, injury management… Why it’s not a bigger story is inexplicable.

    Couldn’t help noticing it took the Mets pitchers a combined 163 pitches to hold the Twins to 2 runs. It took Diaz 33 pitches to get through the 9th, including something like 8 or 9 to lose to Arraez after starting off w an 0-2 count against the 22 yo. Still, great poise and skill from the kid to get on base after replacing Schoop.

    Are the Mets among the leaders in giving out IBB? Without looking I’d bet they are. It’s the kind of things teams that don’t analyze the game do.

    Just noticing all the subpar things Rosario does. Just one play:
    On third w Conforto up, he doesn’t get a good lead. The 3Bman moves towards the SS hole and Rosario barely moves towards the plate. On contact he’s slow to break home, then instead of tearing for the plate and relying on the on deck hitter to tell him to slide, he keeps watching the ball, which slows him down if the 3bman picks it and there’s a play at the plate. It’s a remarkable lot of malfeasance for a guy in his third year in the majors and 7th year in pro ball. It’s just a few of the hundreds of things that go on during a season that overall have a significant cost.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I think the things you pinpoint on Rosario speaks to the poor quality of this coaching staff. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again here. I have no idea why the Mets stick with Disarcina when he’s not helped this team improve.

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