Jerry Blevins

Juanderful Start to the Second Half

In the top of the sixth, Neil Walker hit a three run home run to make it 4-0 Mets. With the way Bartolo Colon was cruising, it seemed like the game was effectively over. 

Colon was perfect for the first 4.1 innings. His pitch count was low, and he was moving quickly through the Phillies lineup. He lost the perfect game in the fifth when Cameron Rupp hit a one out single.  Ultimately, it wasn’t the fifth that would be the issue, it was the sixth. 

After Colon was handed the 4-0 lead, the Phillies rallied. It started with a James Loney throwing error making him the only person able to miss the rather large Colon. The run scored on a Peter Bourjos hit RBI triple. After Maikel Franco and Cody Asche RBI singles, it was 4-3, and Colon was chased from the game with two outs in the fifth. 

Hansel Robles was double switched into the game along with Alejandro De Aza because whenever you have an excuse to bring De Aza into the game, you have to do it. Robles came into the game throwing 99 MPH, and he got Freddy Galvis to pop out to get the Mets out of the inning. 
What was once a magical night saw Colon pitch 5.2 innings allowing four hits, three unearned, and two walks with four strikeouts. Colon would still get the win as Robles, Jerry BlevinsAddison Reed, and Jeurys Familia combined to pitch 3.1 scoreless innings to preserve the 5-3 win. 

The insurance run was scored in the seventh courtesy of Juan Lagares, who had a terrific night starting with his third inning leadoff homer off Jeremy Hellickson. Lagares led off the seventh with a walk, and he would steal second base.  He moved to third off a long fly all out off the bat of De Aza. He then scored off a Jose Reyes fielder’s choice. Lagares got a good break on the ball, and made a terrific slide direct to home plate to just beat the drawn-in shortstop Galvis’ throw. 

On the night Lagares was 1-2 with two runs, one walk, one RBI, and the aforementioned homer. Asdrubal Cabrera would also have a great start to the second half going 3-4 with a run scored. Overall, it was a good night for the Mets who got off to a nice start in their first game after the All Star Break. 

Game Notes: Reyes charged in nicely on a ball and made a bare-handed play in the eighth that was reminiscent of David WrightYoenis Cespedes missed the game with his strained quad.

Mets Do Not Need Bullpen Help

As the trade deadline approaches, every team usually states that they need bullpen help, and those that are true contenders usually add an extra arm or two to the bullpen.  For example, back in 1999, one of the biggest strengths for a Mets team fighting for the NL East and the Wild Card was their bullpen.  Armando Benitez had taken over the closer role much earlier than anticipated.  Turk Wendell and Dennis Cook were having excellent seasons.  Pat Mahomes was a revelation as the long man in the bullpen.  Ex-closer John Franco was expected to return form injury to help with the playoff push.  Greg McMichael was having an off year, but he had previously been a valuable bullpen arm in a pennant race from his days with the Atlanta Braves.  On top of that, the Mets had some young promising arms to go to down the stretch with Jason Isringhausen and Octavio Dotel (even if Bobby Valentine thought they were better suited and belonged in the rotation).  Overall, the point being is the Mets did not need bullpen help.

Even with that being the case, a Mets team that was very active during the trade deadline made sure to acquire another arm for the bullpen by sending McMichael and Isringhausen for Billy Taylor.  It turns out Billy Taylor was washed up, and he would not even be on the postseason roster thereby forcing the Mets to make do with the already good bullpen pieces they had.  The Mets find themselves in a similar position than the 1999 Mets did.

The Mets bullpen is led to Jeurys Familia who is the best closer in the game. When needed, Familia can pitch two innings to get the big save that the Mets need.  The primary eighth inning set-up man has been Addison Reed, who is only sporting a 2.26 ERA and a 0.912 WHIP.  This duo has only lost one lead that has been given to them this year in 32 attempts.  Behind them is Hansel Robles who has done everything the Mets have needed in the bullpen.  He can come out and bail the Mets out of a bases loaded no out jam or pitch 3.2 terrific innings to save a Mets bullpen from a first inning injury to a starting pitcher.  Jerry Blevins has been an extremely effective LOOGY allowing lefties to hit .210/.269/.310.  By the way, he has been even better against righties limiting them to a .107/.188/.214 batting line.

Behind these pitchers are some very solid options.  There is Jim Henderson, who was great before Terry Collins abused his arm.  Henderson is currently in AAA on a rehab assignment.  Seth Lugo has been absolutely terrific out of the bullpen in his two appearances.  However, it is only two appearances, and there still remains a (remote) chance that he may wind up in the starting rotation with the Matt Harvey injury.  There is Erik Goeddel, who even despite one poor performance this season, still has a career 2.75 ERA and a 1.054 WHIP.  There is still Sean Gilmartin, who was an essential part of the Mets bullpen last year.  He is a starter in AAA, but if the Mets are that desperate for major league relief help that they will swing a trade, they should pull up a known quantity to help the team where he is needed.

If the Mets will consider calling up players from the minors, there are some good options in AAA.  Josh Edgin has a 2.45 ERA in the hitter friendly Pacific Coast League.  Paul Sewald has taken over as the closer, and he has recorded nine saves.  There is always the alluring Josh Smoker, who is having a down year but still sports a mid-nineties fastball.

Finally, in addition to all of these players, there is still Antonio Bastardo, who is going nowhere.  It is doubtful a rebuilding team will want to add him into the mix with his high salary and poor production.  The Mets are stuck with him, and they are going to be stuck with him for the full season, regardless of whether they make another move to add a reliever or not.  In essence, Bastardo is the reason why people mistakenly believe the Mets need bullpen help.  With that in mind, the best thing the Mets can do is to find a way to get Bastardo back on track.  That will help the Mets bullpen more than them adding another reliever.

Overall, the Mets bullpen is in fine shape with four outstanding relievers and plenty of good options behind them.  The Mets do not need a reliever.  They need to fix Bastardo since he’s going to be here whether or not the Mets make a trade.  With that in mind, the Mets should leave the bullpen as is and turn their attention to the teams other needs at the trade deadline.

Cespedes Awakens the Mets Offense

It looked like more of the same for the Mets. Steven Matz allowed a first inning two run home run to Kris Bryant and a solo shot to Javier Baez in the sixth. The Mets were down 3-0 and didn’t seem to have a chance. It was the same old dreary Mets offense. In the bottom of the sixth, Yoenis Cespedes woke everyone up:

The 441 foot shot was the longest in Citi Field history and first into the Promemade Level. It was shades of Tommie Agee

The Mets looked like a different team after that. Travis d’Arnaud got it started with a one out single off Cubs starter John Lackey. Then a minor miracle happened when Alejandro De Aza worked out a walk against Cubs reliever Joel Peralta. Then Brandon Nimmo had the at bat of the night. 

Nimmo was quickly down 1-2 in the count. He would foul off three straight pitches, and he would hit an RBI single on the ninth pitch of the at bat. It narrowed the score to 3-2. He alertly moved to second when center fielder Albert Amora tried to get De Aza at third. 

Joe Maddon then went to Pedro Strop to pitch to Neil Walker. Strop quickly went ahead in the count 0-2, and the Cubs pulled the infield in. Walker then hit a hooper at second baseman Baez who had no shot at getting De Aza at home. He tried to get Nimmo at third, but he threw it wild. 

  
Nimmo then scored to make it 4-3. It was a comeback the likes of which the Mets have not made in quite a while. 

In the eighth, MLB history was made when Addison Reed pitched to Addison Russell. Russell won the first ever battle of the Addisons by walking. It set up runners at first and second with two outs. Maddon sent up Jason Heyward to pinch hit, and Terry Collins countered with Jerry Blevins. Blevins got Heyward to tap one back to Blevins to end the inning. 

Jeurys Familia recorded his 27th straight save this year to secure the 4-3 win. This one wasn’t easy. Ben Zobrist hit a double to make it second a third with no outs. Familia struck out Bryant, and then intentionally walked Anthony Rizzo to face rookie catcher Willson Contreras. Familia struck out the overmatched Contreras. Baez popped it up to end what was a tremendous save by Familia and win for the Mets. 

The Mets took the first game of a four game set against the Cubs. By the way, last year’s NLCS was also a four game set. 
Game Notes: Matz showed his frustration out there a few times, most notably when Lackey buzzed him on a sac bunt attempt. He also threw his glove after the Baez homer. Erik Goeddel earned the win after pitching 1.2 scoreless innings. 

Sandy Alderson Had a Poor Offseason

This past offseason Sandy Alderson and the Mets were heralded for building a deep roster that was better built to sustain a slate of injuries like the Mets fared last year.  Here are how all the players Sandy Alderson acquired during the offseason have fared with the Mets this year:

Neil Walker

So far, Walker has had a terrific 2015.  In fact, he is on pace to have the best year of his eight year career.  However, as the Mets offense has tailed off, so has Walker.  Here are his monthly splits:

  • April .307/.337/.625 with 9 homers and 19 RBI
  • May .250/.333/.420 with 4 homers and 6 RBI
  • June .224/.307/.289 with 1 homer and 6 RBI

Each and every month Walker has gone from one a career best year to stats worse than he has had over the course of his career.

Asdrubal Cabrera

Like his double play partner, Cabrera’s stats are masked by a hot April.  In April, Cabrera hit .300/.364/.400.  Since that time, Cabrera is only hitting .247/.307/.409.  Worse yet, despite many raving about his defense, the advanced metrics disagree.  So far, he has a -5 DRS and a -2.1 UZR.

Alejandro De Aza

He was supposed to be a platoon partner with Juan Lagares in center.  Given his .165/.216/.242 batting line, it is a blessing that never came to be.

Yoenis Cespedes

For the second straight year, Cespedes has been terrific for the Mets.  His OBP and slugging are on pace to be the highest in his career.  He’s also on pace for a career high 38 homers.  Even with his poor defense in center field, he has been day in and day out the best player on the Mets.

Rene Rivera

Like every other backup catcher during the Sandy Alderson regime, Rivera has not hit.  Initially, he was supposed to be a minor league depth, but after another Travis d’Arnaud injury, he was called-up to the majors.  He has worked well with Mets pitchers this year, specificially Noah Syndergaard  Mostly due to his defense, and also because of how poorly Kevin Plawecki has played, he has stayed in the majors when d’Arnaud came off the disabled list.

Ty Kelly

He was a minor league free agent that was never supposed to play in the majors.  When he hit .148/.207/.259 in 14 games we found out why.  Of course, he was pressed into action in part because the Mets found it wise to start with Eric Campbell on the 25 man roster instead of Ruben Tejada.

Bartolo Colon

Somewhat surprisingly, at the age of 43, Colon is having his best season with the Mets.  He’s 6-4 with a 2.86 ERA and a 1.170 WHIP.  He also did this:

Jerry Blevins

After he went down last year, the Mets searched high and low for a lefty out of the pen.  They never did quite find one.  Blevins has been healthy this year, and he has been terrific going 2-0 with a 2.49 ERA.  Only recently did he have a 21 appearance and 13 inning scoreless streak snapped.

Antonio Bastardo

He has been the worst reliever in the Mets bullpen with a 5.28 ERA and a 1.565 WHIP.  Terry Collins has shoved him to the back of the bullpen and tries to avoid using him in high leverage situations at all costs.

Jim Henderson

The minor league free agent had a great Spring Training and made the Opening Day roster.  He was having a terrific season until Collins pushed him too far for what he perceived to be a must-win game in April.  His production tailed off, and now he is on the disabled list with an injured shoulder.  This is the same shoulder that caused Henderson to miss all of the 2015 season after having had two surgeries on the joint.

Overall, looking over how these moves have panned out thus far, it does not appear that Sandy Alderson has had as good an offseason as many proclaimed him to have had.  In fact, as the season progresses, it makes Alderson’s season look worse and worse.  In order for the perception of Alderson’s offseason to change again, the underperforming players are going to have to improve.  Time is growing shorter and shorter for that to happen.

Oliver Perez Stops the Mets

The Mets chance was in the top of the sixth. Yusmeiro Petit walked Neil Walker to load the bases with one out. Dusty Baker then summoned Oliver Perez from the bullpen. The very same Oliver Perez Mets fans love to hate. 

After Ollie struck out James Loney and got Wilmer Flores to meekly pop out to center to end the threats hereby earning the win, Mets fans hate him all the more now. In fact, there’s a short list of things Mets fans hate more than him. About the only thing that really comes to mind is the Mets offense, especially after they got shut out tonight. 

If you didn’t expect the Mets to have a low offensive output, you didn’t realize Matt Harvey was starting. In Harvey’s 81 career starts, the Mets have scored two runs or less for him 35 times. That’s 43% of the time. It’s absurd. 

Like the other 34 times, you can’t pin this one on Harvey. He had allowed one earned on four hits with three walks and three strikeouts in 3.2 innings. He was only pulled due to a length rain delay that lasted over an hour and a half. 

After the rain delay, Terry Collins initially went to Erik Goeddel. After Goeddel walked Danny Espinosa, Collins brought Jerry Blevins into the game do face the left-handed pinch hitter Clint Robinson. Naturally, when you have to go deep in your bullpen tonight and have Logan Verrett making a spot start tomorrow, you want to play the match-up game in the fourth inning. 

Blevins would get out of the inning unscathed, but Bryce Harper would launch a two run home run in the fifth to make it a 3-0 game. The Nationals would stretch the lead to a 5-0 game in the seventh when Mets killer Wilson Ramos hit a two run double off of Hansel Robles to make it a 5-0 game.  The Mets intentionally walked Daniel Murphy to get to Ramos. To add insult to injury, Robles would have to leave the game after a Ryan Zimmerman got him on the knee. 

It was a tough night all around. Harvey took the loss dropping him to 4-10 on the season. The Mets also lost another game in the division and remain in third place. 

Game Notes: Alejandro De Aza e texted the game in the fourth as Curtis Granderson had trouble getting loose after the rain delay. De Aza was 0-2. Brandon Nimmo had another good game going 1-4. Nationals rookie Lucas Giolito pitched four scoreless in his major league debut. 

Antonio Bastardo Isn’t Good in Even Numbered Years

The highest paid reliever in the Mets bullpen is Antonio Batardo. Part of that is a function of baseball’s free agency rules. Another part is the fact the Bastardo was coming off a terrific year with the Pirates. He was 4-1 with a 2.98 ERA, 1.134 WHIP, and a 128 ERA+. 

He hasn’t been that player this year. Sunday was another reminder of that. 

Jeurys FamiliaAddison ReedJerry Blevins, and Hansel Robles have received a lot of work lately. Robles especially. With that in mind, Terry Collins really had little choice but to go to Bastardo in the eighth after seven good innings from Bartolo Colon. Given how Collins has used Bastardo all year, you knew that was the last place he wanted to go in a 1-0 game. Bastardo showed us all why Collins distrusts him. 

Without recording one out, the Braves turned a 1-0 game into a 5-0 game. It was capped off with a three run homer from Adonis Garcia who is just the latest in Braves Mets killers. After this game, Bastardo now sports a 5.46 ERA and a 1.62 ERA.  His ERA+ is 88. It makes you question where it had all gone wrong for Bastardo. 

The simple fact is this is who Bastardo is. He pitches well every other year. Here are his ERA and ERA+ figures for his full years in the majors:

  • 2011: 2.64 ERA, 146 ERA+
  • 2012: 4.33 ERA, 94 ERA+
  • 2013: 2.32 ERA, 163 ERA+
  • 2014: 3.94 ERA, 95 ERA+
  • 2015: 2.98 ERA, 128 ERA+

This is a definitive pattern, and Bastardo has been following that pattern so far this year.  This is something the Mets should have anticipated when signing him this offseason (maybe they did when giving him a two year deal). 

To his credit, Collins hasn’t trusted Bastardo from the moment Curtis Granderson stepped up to the plate to begin the 2016 season. Collins has avoided putting Bastardo in high leverage situations, but he had no choice on Sunday.  It didn’t work out. Things typically don’t work out for Bastardo in even numbered years. 

It’s not the reason the Mets lost on Sunday. Bastardo wasn’t the reason the Mets failed to hit again.  Still, he was a big part of the Mets loss as he put the game out of reach. 

It’s Never Easy

This was supposed to be an easy game. The Mets were up 5-0 heading into the top of the fifth. James Loney hit a three run homer to make it 8-0. However, that’s not all that happened in the top of the fifth. Steven Matz was rubbing his pitching elbow in the dugout. Everyone saw him doing this but Terry Collins and Dan Warthen. 

Matz came out in the fifth throwing a slower fastball (from 94 MPH to 92 MPH). The Braves opened the inning with three consecutive doubles. The second double was a can of corn off the bat of Nick Markakis, but Yoenis Cespedes lost it. It’s not really on Cespedes as the outfield lighting at Turner Field is a joke. 

That’s the type of inning it was as Matz allowed six earned on eight hits. The big blow was a Brandon Snyder opposite field pinch hit three run homer.

Matz would eventually get chased after a Freddie Freeman RBI single. Hansel Robles then came in to bail out the Mets and preserve the bullpen again. The latter was very important with Addison Reed and Jerry Blevins unavailable. Robles got out of the inning without allowing another run. He would go 2.2 innings for yet another well earned win. For the week, Robles has pitched 8.1 innings. 

Everything seemed calm down until Cespedes was picked off base in the seventh. Cespedes rolled his ankle stepping on first and had to be helped off the field. Every Mets fan breathed a sigh of relief as Cespedes took the field in the bottom of the seventh. 

Once Cespedes was alright, it was easy to admit that a lot of good things happened tonight:

  • Neil Walker was 3-4 with three runs scored
  • Loney was 2-3 with three runs, three RBI, a double, and a homer
  • Travis d’Arnaud was 1-4 with three RBI

The last two RBI were interesting. For some reason, the Braves walked Michael Conforto to load the bases to face d’Arnaud.  Considering the fact that Conforto has been terrible since May, it was an odd decidion, and d’Arnaud made the Braves pay with a two RBI single. 

It was good to see the Mets offense clicking, and it was great to see Jeurys Familia break Armando Benitez‘s record for consecutive saves to begin the season. 

Familia would have to go four outs for his 25th save. Antonio Bastardo allowed a two out double to Markakis in the eighth, and Terry Collins went to Familia. Familia got Adonis Garcia, last night’s villain, to get out of the inning. However, the ninth wouldn’t be easy. 

Familia allowed the first two on base, and then Chase d’Arnaud, Travis’ brother, was sent up to bunt. Wilmer Flores dove for the bunt, but barely missed it. However, it confused the Braves. Flores ran back to third for the force, and he threw to second to complete the unconventional 5-5-4 double play. Familia struck out the last batter if the game. 

Still, that pitch went to the backstop. It forced d’Arnaud to race to the backstop and make a quick throw to first. It was off-line, but Loney held the bag to end the game.

 It was a fitting end to a strange 8-6 game that was never easy. 

Walker, Conforto, and the Offense Is Back

The Mets unexpectedly had Neil Walker and Michael Conforto return from injuries today.  

Walker would go 2-4 with a run, three RBI, a double, and a homer. Conforto would go 2-4 with a run, an RBI, a homer, and this catch in the first to save a run:

Walker and Conforto would then go back-to-back in the third. However, Walker and Conforto were not the story of the third inning. It was Bartolo Colon who somehow hit a double:

If that wasn’t enough, Colon would score on a Yoenis Cespedes sacrifice fly. This sequence had to be more improbable than Colon’s homerun

The Mets would hit three homeruns on the night including Curtis Granderson‘s leadoff homerun. It was his 17th leadoff homer with the Mets breaking a first place tie with Jose Reyes.  The three lefties homeruns off Pirates starter Juan Nicasio wasn’t shocking:

As we’ve seen, the Mets are practically unbeatable when they hit that many homers in a game. Tonight was no different. 

It did get interesting in the ninth. Addison Reed allowed a leadoff homer to Andrew McCutchen followed by a double to Jung Ho Kang. Terry Collins wasted no time in going to his closer Jeurys Familia. Familia recorded his 22nd save out of 22 save chances preserving a 6-4 win. 

Game Notes: Wilmer Flores left the game after getting hit on the left hand with a pitch. The x-rays were negative. Kelly Johnson replaced him. Colon pitched 7.2 innings allowing seven hits, two earned, and no walks with with strikeouts. 

Mets Bullpen Had One More Escape Act

As Lou Brown said, “Ok, we won a game yesterday. If we win today, it’s called ‘two in a row.’  And if we win again tomorrow, it’s called ‘a winning streak’ . . . .  It has happened before!”  That’s where Matt Harvey . He’s on a streak of good starts. 

On May 30th, he pitched seven innings allowing two hits, no runs, and one walk with six strikeouts. On June 5th, he pitched seven innings allowing four hits, one earned, and no walks with three strikeouts. Tonight, he pitched six innings allowing two hits, one earned, and two walks with eight strikeouts. That’s three straight starts allowing one run or less. That’s vintage Harvey. 

Harvey did get some help in the third when replay overturned a run:

Initially, the umpires ruled Aaron Hill got in under Kevin Plawecki‘s tag. Upon replay, it was ruled Hill was out, and the run was taken off the board. The Brewers would have to wait until the fifth to score. 

Ex-Met Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit a one out triple to right, and he would score on Ramon Flores‘ sacrifice fly to left field. It was going to take a good throw to get Kirk out, but Alejandro De Aza was not up to the task. First, it got caught in his glove. Next, he double clutched. Finally, the throw was up the first base line. It was just one part of a bad game for De Aza. 

In the first, he erased a Curtis Granderson leadoff walk by hitting into a double play. In the fifth Brewers starter, Junior Guerrera, intentionally walked Granderson to load the bases with two outs to face De Aza. De Aza grounded out meekly to second. Overall, he was 0-5. 

Overall, the Mets batters weren’t hitting well. Even when Kelly Johnson hit a double in first at bat back with the Mets, he followed it up with a TOOBLAN.  With no force play, he was slow (somewhat frozen) on a ball hit to the shortstop. He was tagged out, and Harvey was nailed at first ending the inning. 

FINALLY, in the sixth the Mets gave Harvey some run support after not giving him any run support in 15 innings. Yoenis Cespedes did this:

He hit a laser to right center tying the game at 1-1. Unfortunately, that was all the run support Harvey would get as Nieuwenhuis did this to Johnson:

Harvey had a great start and a no decision.  It would become a battle of the bullpens. It was a battle of escape acts. 

Hansel Robles entered the game in the seventh, and it appeared like his struggles were going to continue. It was first and second with no outs with the newly minted Mets killer Nieuwenhuis at the plate. Robles struck him out, and then he got the next two batters to fly out to get out of the jam. Antonio Bastardo followed up with a 1-2-3 eighth. 

Jeremy Jeffres did his Robles’ impersonation in the ninth by getting out of a bases loaded no out jam. First, Plawecki popped up to second. Neil Walker pinch hit for Bastardo and struck out looking. Granderson then meekly grounded out to second. 
It was then Jim Henderson‘s turn for the Houdini act. He issued a one out walk to Jonathan Lucroy, who was pinch run for by Keon Broxton. Broxton would easily steal second, and he would go to third on a comedy of errors. Plawecki would bounce the ball 10 feet short of second, and the ball would go through Johnson’s legs allowing Broxton to go to third. After a walk to Chris Carter, he struck out Nieuwenhuis on three straight pitches, and he got Hill to ground out to end the inning. 

Henderson was then pressed for a second inning out of the pen despite his injury history. The reason was unavailable after pitching three innings in today days, and Logan Verrett will start tomorrow due to the doubleheader. After walking the leadoff hitter Flores, Henderson had to leave the game with what appeared to be a blister. That made it Jerry Blevins turn to get out of the jam. 

After a sac bunt, Blevins had a runner on second with one out, and he threw a pitch in the dirt. Flores took off for third, and he made it safely for a split second. Matt Reynolds, who was double switched into the game when Blevins entered the game, kept the tag on Flores, so when Flores oversold third, he was out. Rally over. 

Wilmer Flores then cleared the Flores’ good surname in the 11th. He ripped a one out double pushing Asdrubal Cabrera to third. After Johnson was intentionally walked, the Mets found themselves in the same situation as they did in the ninth – bases loaded and no outs. Plawecki fouled out, and then all hell broke loose. 

Reynolds hit a sharp liner at Jonathan Villar, who dropped it. He flipped the ball to Scooter Gennett, who stepped on second while Flores was standing there. By Gennett stepping on the bag, Johnson was out, but the Brewers didn’t know it.  They didn’t know it because the second base umpire somehow called him safe. They got Johnson, who was already out, in a rundown. While this was happening Cabrera scored making it 2-1. Keith Hernandez put it best when he said everybody had to do back to school. 

Jeurys Familia then came in and recorded his 21st save in his 21st chance to end all of this tomfoolery. 
Game Notes: Harvey is the all-time leader for winless starts in which he’s allowed one run or less through a pitchers first 78 starts. It gets better:

All Hands Were on Deck

David Wright is gone for who knows how long. Yoenis Cespedes was scratched right before the game with a hip issue. When you don’t have the big bats in your lineup, you’re doing to need everyone to pitch in to try to help secure the victory. 

As usual, Juan Lagares provided Gold Glove defense:

It was an important catch as the game was 3-2, and that hit could’ve put the game out of reach. Instead, the Meys got new life. 

That’s when James Loney made his contribution. Loney led off the inning with a double and moved to third on a passed ball. Loney then scored on an RBI single by surprise starter Michael Conforto. Conforto has been struggling badly of late, but today he was 1-3 with a run scored, a walk, and two RBI. Conforto later scored on an RBI pinch hit single from Matt Reynolds. Reynolds had to pinch hit for Lagares, who left the game with an apparent injury, which may or may not have been related to that amazing catch. 

Seemingly every Met contributed to this 6-4 win. Wilmer Flores was 3-4 with a run and a walk. Neil Walker scored two runs, and Asdrubal Cabrera scored one as well. He also stayed in a game where everyone seemed to get knicked up a bit. Bartolo Colon pitched in and out of trouble allowing only one run over five. Jerry Blevins, with a little help from Lagares, bailed out Hansel Robles in the sixth. Jim Henderson pitched a scoreless 0.1 innings, and Addison Reed pitched a scoreless eighth. Alejandro De Aza had a two out, two run double in the the ninth. Jeurys Familia recorded his 18th save. As you can see, pretty much everyone contributed to this win, save Kevin Plawecki

  
He has an error in the second when he took a throw from Flores and couldn’t find homeplate with his foot or tag the runner. In the top of the third, he hit a double and was immediately picked off second. In the eighth, he couldn’t get down a sacrifice bunt. It was a tough say for him on what was a terrific day for his teammates. 

So long as the Mets role players and lesser starts keep stepping up like this, this is going to be a special season.