Michael Conforto

Conforto Is Back

When looking at the second half of the season, there are amy number of positives. There’s Jacob deGrom looking to become the fourth Met to win a Cy Young. David Wright is going to play one last game.

Perhaps most important is the resurgence of Michael Conforto. Tonight was the latest chapter of the comeback.

The fun part with Conforto now is it doesn’t matter who’s pitching. Left. Right. Conforto is going to get his hits.

He hit an RBI single off Jake Arrieta in the fifth. He hit an RBI double off Tommy Hunter in the seventh. Finally, he had a homer off Austin Davis in the ninth.

Overall, Conforto was 3-for-5 with a run, double, homer, and a career high six RBI. In total, Conforto would drive in six of the Mets nine runs.

In addition to Conforto, Jeff McNeil would have a three game, which is something that is becoming old hat for him. To just put in perspective just how special this is, he’s tied a Wright Mets record:

All that offense was enough to get Zack Wheeler over a fifth inning blip.

In that fifth inning, Wheeler would hit Odubel Herrera with a pitch. J.P. Crawford followed with a bases clearing triple. After a Cesar Hernandez sacrifice fly, the game was tied 4-4.

That inning marred what was an otherwise terrific Wheeler start. In fact, all three of the Phillies hits off Wheeler would come in that inning.

Even with him battling through the fifth, Wheeler’s final line was 7.0 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 K. He’d get the win in this 9-4 Mets victory.

Wheeler’s MLB best 1.32 second half ERA is still a dominant 1.68 ERA. By all indications, his ERA may stay there as Mickey Callaway suggested this could be Wheeler’s final start.

Considering all the time he’s missed the past few years, that would make sense. Fortunately, for the first time in a long time, he’s heathy. Maybe this is why he’s finally pitching like an ace.

Game Notes: Austin Jackson, Amed Rosario, and McNeil would each deliver an RBI.

deGrom Improved Cy Young Case

Heading into the Month of September, Jacob deGrom was probably the favorite to win the Cy Young, but it was still anyone’s game with Aaron Nola and Max Scherzer having great seasons of their own.  So far this month, deGrom has separated himself ever further from the pack.

In Nola’s three September starts, he is 1-2 with a 5.60 ERA.  Scherzer had a decent start to the month until his loss to the Braves on Friday.  In that start, Scherzer allowed six earned in four innings.  Now, he’s 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in the month.

Like Nola and Scherzer, deGrom has seen his ERA rise this month.  Still, deGrom’s 2.70 ERA this month is half of Scherzer’s.  That is also because deGrom had a “bad start” in Boston.

For deGrom, it was the bottom of the third in Boston which derailed what had looked to be a truly special start.

After striking out six of the first seven Red Sox batters he faced, Rafael Devers and Christian Vazquez hit back-to-back singles to put runners at the corners with one out.  Mookie Betts brought home Devers with a sacrifice fly.  This is normally where deGrom would get out of the inning, but he would leave one up to Brock Holt, who hit a two run homer to give the Red Sox a 3-0 lead.

Right then and there, deGrom’s streak of 26 starts not allowing more than three earned and his 21 consecutive quality starts streak was on the line.  From there, there were points where you thought deGrom wasn’t going to reatch the sixth.  In fact, Mickey Callaway had Jerry Blevins warming at one point.  There may have also been points where you thought he would allow another run.

He didn’t.

Instead, deGrom would go seven innings allowing the three earned on five hits with one walk and 12 strikeouts.  The 12 strikeouts were really impressive.  Entering the game, the Red Sox were the second hardest team to strike out (19.7%).  In the game, deGrom would strike out 12 of the 27 batters (44.4%) he faced.

Importantly, the Mets would rally to tie the score and get deGrom off the hook.  In the sixth, Amed Rosario would follow an Austin Jackson single to put runners on second and third with no outs.  Jeff McNeil would not hit a liner deep enough to score a run, but Wilmer Flores would  . . . barely:

 

Unfortunately, Betts would get hurt on the play.  It should shift Jackie Bradley, Jr. to right with Tzu-Wei Lin in center.  Michael Conforto would then hit a double to deep center to tie the game.  It’s debatable if Bradley would’ve gotten to it.  Regardless, the Mets were down a run.

They would tie it in the seventh on a two out RBI single by Rosario.  Brandon Nimmo was 90 feet away from scoring the go-ahead run and giving deGrom the lead, but McNeil couldn’t bring him home.

WIth that, deGrom notced another no decision, and he still remains a game under .500, and yet, he he having an all-time great season.  In fact, with this start, deGrom tied Bob Gibson and Chris Carpenter single season mark for consecutive quality starts.  In the seasons Gibson and Carpenter set their marks, they won the Cy Young.

So should deGrom.

Game Notes: Seth Lugo took the loss after allowing a run in the eighth.

Red Sox No Match For Mets

One of the two teams tonight was the best team in baseball. The other was the Boston Red Sox.

It’s an absurd statement for sure, and yet with the bats going and Noah Syndergaard dealing, the Mets looked like world beaters.

Over seven innings, Syndergaard allowed just three hits and three walks while striking out six. He really kept the Red Sox at bay at the plate but not the basepaths.

There were three stolen bases with the most egregious being an Ian Kinsler stolen base. On the play, Kindler basically walked to second (not an exaggeration). Syndergaard would get his revenge by picking off Kinsler in the sixth.

The stolen bases wouldn’t matter as the Red Sox couldn’t touch Syndergaard. Simultaneously, the Red Sox could not get the Mets out.

Left-handed pitcher William Cuevas would make his first career start, and he wouldn’t last long partially because he couldn’t get left-handed hitters out.

Michael Conforto and Jay Bruce hit back-to-back first inning doubles giving the Mets a 1-0 lead. That grew to 4-0 in the second when Bruce hit a second inning three run homer.

Brian Johnson would come on for the Red Sox and calm things down. Still Jeff McNeil would get to him hitting his third homer of the season. McNeil had yet another multi-hit game, and he had an incredible defensive play to end the seventh:

The Mets offense wasn’t done either. In the eighth inning against Tyler Thornburg, Austin Jackson and Amed Rosario would homer giving the Mets an 8-0 lead. The Rosario homer was a classic majestic shot over the Green Monster. Like McNeil, Rosario had yet another multi-hit game himself.

That left Jerry Blevins and Tyler Bashlor to close up shop. With their two scoreless innings, the Mets shut out the best offensive team in the majors. In fact, the Red Sox have the most runs and RBI with the best team batting average, OBP, SLG, and OPS. They have the second highest wRC+.

For their part, the Mets had Thor. That’s why they won.

Game Notes: It was the sixth time all season the Red Sox were shut out. There was a rat running in the Mets dugout during the game. It was not a Wilpon or Jose Reyes.

Wright’s Playing Days Ending As The Mets Play On

In an emotional press conference, David Wright announced he was playing on Saturday, September 29th and never again. While we’ve already entered into a post-Wright Mets era, this was a crushing confirmation of the news.

With news like this, the last thing on most people’s minds was playing a game. Let alone two. And yet, there was a scheduled doubleheader.

In the first game, we were treated to a terrific performance from Steven Matz.

After allowing back-to-back homers to Peter O’Brien and Isaac Galloway in the second, Matz would hit his first career homer to tie the game.

The game would stay tied 2-2 until the seventh when O’Brien would strike again singling off Drew Smith to drive home Brian Anderson, who led off the inning with a double off Matz.

Overall, Matz pitched 6.1 innings allowing three earned on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts.

It seemed the Marlins were going to win this game 3-2, but that was until Don Mattingly made a mistake. Instead of sticking with Adam Conley, who absolutely owns the Mets, Mattingly went to Kyle Barraclough because Amed Rosario was due up.

Mickey Callaway went to Dominic Smith who grounded out right in front of home plate.

While Smith wouldn’t deliver, Michael Conforto would hitting a game tying homer off Barraclough. It was his fourth homer in five games.

Three pitches later, Todd Frazier would hit a walk-off homer.

With that, the game ended with a homer by Wright’s heir apparent for best homegrown position player followed by a homer by the guy signed to replace Wright. Really, it was quite the fitting ending.

But still, there was more baseball to be played.

Surprisingly, the Mets got a strong start by Jason Vargas with him allowing little more than a two run homer to Miguel Rojas over six innings.

Vargas would get the win for a few reasons. Chief among them was his catcher Tomas Nido, who made a great play in the field

before hitting his first career homer

The Nido solo shot opened the scoring for the Mets in a three run inning capped off by a two out Conforto RBI double.

That 3-2 lead would hold up as Seth Lugo was as dominant as you can be in his two innings. In fact, Lugo would strike out five of the seven batters he faced.

The Mets built a seventh inning rally starting starting with a Jeff McNeil two out single. As the inning progressed, the Mets scored insurance runs on singles by Conforto and Smith.

That 5-2 lead proved to be save for Robert Gsellman to shut the door on a seemingly rare doubleheader sweep.

With the sweep, the Mets are now just 10 games under .500 for the first time since June 21st.

Game Notes:

Wheeler Drowns Marlins

It was supposed to be a doubleheader, but with the rain the best laid plans were washed out. With MLB not looking to schedule a triple-header for the Marlins last series at Citi Field, we waited over five hours for Mets baseball.

Zack Wheeler was worth the wait.

He needed just 35 pitches to get through the first four. With his dominance, he had a chance at The Maddux.

He was in that position partially because he induced Lewis Brinson to hit into an inning ending double play. With that 5-4-3 double play, Wheeler escaped a bases loaded jam.

Astonishingly, with Wheeler only throwing 89 pitches over eight innings, he didn’t get a chance to get the complete game. Paul Sewald would close this one out.

Wheeler’s incredible final line was 8.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K.

Wheeler got the win because the Mets offense exploded.

Dominic Smith started a second inning rally with a leadoff double off Marlins starter Trevor Richards. He’d score on a double by the worst player in the National League.

Brian Anderson made an error on a Tomas Nido grounder to make it 2-0. Nido scored on a Jeff McNeil triple.

It was another big game for McNeil. For the third time over the past week, he had a three hit game. Overall, he was 3-for-4 with a run, triple, and three RBI.

Speaking of hot hitters, Amed Rosario absolutely launched a three run homer in the fourth:

Up 6-0, things would get completely out of hand on the sixth. The Marlins played terrible defense (no errors charged), and the Mets sent 11 batters to the plate.

The two big blows of the inning was a Jay Bruce grand slam and a Dom two run homer. All said and done, it was a seven run inning turning this into a 13-0 route.

It was just a brilliant performance by the Mets all around. It was the kind of performances we saw in April. We’re seeing them again now, and on nights like this, we can believe it’ll happen in 2019.

Game Notes: Michael Conforto‘s streak of three straight games with a homer was snapped leaving Richard Delgado‘s franchise best five game streak in tact.

Mets Fail deGrom Again

Tonight was one of the few important games remaining on the Mets schedule because Jacob deGrom was starting.

Early on, it looked like deGrom had it all going. After issuing a leadoff walk to Rafael Ortega, deGrom struck out the side. In fact, he’d go the first 3.2 innings without allowing a hit.

Brian Anderson then hit a slow roller up that middle Amed Rosario couldn’t get to and Jeff McNeil could not field cleanly. Derek Dietrich singled cleanly to put two on with two out.

deGrom went 0-2 against Lewis Brinson, and he tried to go up in the zone to get out of the inning. He didn’t get it up enough, and Brinson drove it to deep center. Austin Jackson, who is in there for defense despite a -13 DRS, took a bad route and wasn’t nearly quick enough. Instead of being out of the inning, deGrom was down 2-0.

We knew the Mets weren’t getting him off the hook as they were providing deGrom with his typical run support. Really, Michael Conforto was the only one who showed up with his bats.

After being stranded at fourth with a leadoff double, Conforto would make sure he scored in his next at-bat as he homered off Jose Urena.

Overall, the Mets had four hits in the game. Two were by Conforto. The other two were by Dominic Smith and deGrom.

Even if the bats did get going, the bullpen would’ve made it a moot point.

JT Riddle, he of a career .371 SLG, hit a no doubt homer off Anthony Swarzak in the eighth. Robert Gsellman was tasked with keeping at 3-1 in the ninth. He didn’t.

He wasn’t helped out by Brandon Nimmo making an ill advised dive for an Anderson sinking liner. Instead of two on, it was an RBI triple. A Dietrich RBI double made it 5-1.

Overall, deGrom’s final line in the loss was 7.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 9 K. This was his record 25th start in a row allowing three earned or fewer.

As noted by the eminent Jerry Beach, this was the 10th time deGrom allowing two earned or fewer over seven innings and did not get the win. There are only six pitchers to do this in 2018, and it’s only happened 10 times total.

In the end, deGrom is now 8-9 because the Mets two out rally in the ninth, highlighted by a Kevin Plawecki two run homer, sputtered out with a Rosario broken bat ground out.

Mets lost 5-3 in a game they could’ve helped deGrom.

Game Notes: Todd Frazier was ejected for arguing balls and strikes. McNeil moved to third, and Wilmer Flores played second. The Mets had 9/11 patches on their caps. Again, there were no First Responder caps.

Tips For First Mets Games At Citi Field

Yesterday, I had the joy of bringing my youngest to his first ever Mets game.  With this being the second time for me and my family, there are some suggestions I can make to get the most out of the experience:

1. Bring Everything

At Citi Field, you are allowed to bring food and drinks to the game.  The caveat with the drinks is they can only be boxed drinks or plastic bottles, no cans.  They will say you can only have one bottle per person, but I’ve yet to see them enforce it.  In the event they do, it is all the more reason to park close to the ballpark.

Bringing food will limit the chances your child is asking for a hot dog or french fries or ice cream or popcorn . . . .  If you don’t have your child asking for these things, you don’t have to deal with saying no to everything.  At a minimum, it will limit the chances.

More important than the food is the extra clothes.  Make sure you have a change for everything.  The weather changes.  Things get spilled.  Accidents happen.  Instead of having a child too hot or too cold, you can switch to pants and you can throw on a sweatshirt.  This will also limit the need to go to a souvenir stand, overpay for a sweatshirt, and deal with a child wanting everything in the store.

An important note is the Promenade and the back rows of any level have the wind whipping through making it all the chillier than you’d expect.  It’s not quite AT&T Park chilly, but it should give you an idea as to how to prepare.

One other note, get stuff ahead of time.  You can get the Oyo figures ahead of time for cheaper.  You can get the shirseys cheaper before the game.  You can get a whole slew of other stuff as well.  Pack it, and just give it to your child at the game instead of dealing with them running around a team store looking for things to buy.

2.  Avoid the Big Giveaways

When you have a bobblehead day or gnome day, the crowds and lines outside the ballpark are going to be ridiculous.  You’re going to get bumped into, and you’re going to deal with a lot of angry people who are anxious they are not going to get their freebie despite getting to the ballpark hours before the game.  Moreover, you don’t want to create excitement for your child over a big giveaway only to not get it.

3.  Go On A Sunday

When it is not raining, Family Sundays at Citi Field are great.  There is always a giveaway.  There are events outside the stadium.  There is the Mr. Met’s Kids Club in the center field area with fun things like face painting.  While he’s always present before the game at at the second inning, Mr. Met is also a little more prominent in the stands on a Sunday as is Mrs. Met.  You can go get your picture with Mr. and Mrs. Met in this area.

You can also do the dunk tank, hit in the batting cages, play video games, and do the tee ball home run derby in this area.  Of course, this is all dependent upon the weather.  All of these things will be shut down if it is raining. Although, they will let you run around for a bit:

If your child can make it to the end, they also have the opportunity to run the bases after the game.  If aren’t a part of the Kid’s Club, you will want to get out there by around the seventh inning as that line gets real long real quick.

4.  Buy Tickets Last Minute

While it may take some planning to get your whole family together for the event, if at all possible, you should look to do a game like this at the last minute.  Weather is fickle, and kids are all the more so.  In the blink of an eye, the weather or a child getting sick can wipe away days, weeks, or even months of planning.  On another note, if you wait to the last minute, you increase you chances of getting discounted tickets on Stub Hub, especially in a down season like this one.  If at all possible, get your tickets near the bathrooms as this will make the trips to the bathroom for potty or diaper changes less of a walk.

5.  Bring Help

It always helps to have grandparents or an aunt and uncle at the game with you, especially if you have more than one child.  Instead of having two kids in tow everywhere you go, you can divide and conquer.  You can also accomplish this by bringing your spouse as well, but both parents will constantly be running around all game.  It’s nice to have a buffer and a break.

Another possible benefit is they will want to spoil them.  That could be a souvenir or something like ice cream or cotton candy.  Really, any burden you can take off yourself is always good.  Also, aunts, uncles, and grandparents are always looking for these opportunities, and this is a good setting for it.

As an aside, don’t bother with the Family Bathrooms.  I’ve been doing to games with my oldest for four years now, and I’ve yet to see one of those be accessible.

6. Get There Early

For some children, the biggest issue for baseball games may be the crowds.  Getting there early allows you get there and get acclimated before there are too many people at the ballpark.  As an aside, it also allows you to get a great parking spot near the ballpark to minimize the walking you have to do with the little ones.

7.  Stop at Fan Assistance Immediately

Enter through the Jackie Robinson Rotunda.  If you enter through the Rotunda, there are areas for family photos like by the giant 42.  Entering through there also makes it easier to stop by Fan Assistance as they are just left of the escalators.  At Fan Assistance, you can get passes to the Mamava pods, if you are breastfeeding your child.

At Fan Assistance, you can also sign up for a certificate to commemorate your child’s first game at Citi Field.  You can pick them up at the seventh inning, or you can have them mailed home.  It will be easier to get them mailed home as it is one less thing to have to worry about on your way out of the ballpark.  It’s also one less thing you need to carry.

Fan Assistance also has bags you can get to help you carry things like the giveaways.  Really, if you need any help, they can help you.

8.  Good Family Photo Spots

As noted earlier, you can stop behind center field to get a family photo with Mr. Met.  Admittedly, this can be dicey for a few reasons.  First, Mr. Met may not be there if there is rain. You also may have to wait in line, and you may have to deal with your child being afraid of a giant baseball head.  With that, you may want to look for other key spots.

Now, many people like to stop at the Shea Bridge.  Don’t.  There’s far too much traffic, and you run the risk of getting bumped into or getting your photos photo bombed.

Instead, just off to the side is the M&M seats.  There you have the red and yellow M&Ms holding up Lets Go Mets signs and wearing “foam” fingers.  It’s cute and fun, and it is never crowded allowing you to get that great and easy family photo you wanted.

Another spot worth your time is the Nikon photo booth.  There they have a giant glove for you to sit in with props like bats and foam fingers.  The bonus with the spot is they will email you the photos.  Double and triple check they have the correct email address, otherwise, you will be like me without that great photo you wanted so much.

Also, the Home Run Apple outside the stadium is a good spot, but you’re going to have to deal with some form of a line and with people just blatantly ignoring your taking a picture.

9.  Know Where To Get Your Free Stuff

To do this, it is easiest to head through the Rotunda, go up the escalator, and proceed left to hit all of the spots.  As already mentioned, there is the Fan Assistance area with the certificate, and the Nikon photos are atop the escalator.  After those spots, hit up the Designated Drive booth.

When you sign up, they give you a voucher for a free drink, which may come in handy on a hot day.  Now, they put a bracelet on your wrist to indicate you are not drinking.  Of course, you can get around that if you really want a drink by taking it off.

As you proceed further down, around Section 121 by the ramps leading out of the ballpark, there is usually a wheel.  You and your child can spin the wheel for past promotion items like t-shirts and caps.  They will also have Mets baseball cards and signs.  Usually in the walk up and just past this, you have those booths where you get free stuff just for signing up for some dumb mailing list or contest. (They’re supposed to check your license to ensure it’s you, but really when you have a couple of kids and a bag on your shoulder, they usually let you go unchecked).

Also as noted prior, you can get face painting and the like in the center field area.  One other note is if you take the elevators, the attendant always has Mr. Met stickers on them.

Overall, if you work your way around the ballpark, you will have some free stuff and souvenirs ensuring your child has something to take home with them without you so much as having to reach into your pocket.

10.  Just Have Fun

Ultimately, you are there because you are a Mets fan, and you want your children to be one as well.  If they need to leave early, leave early.  If they want to walk around, walk around.  If they need you to plop them on your lap and explain everything to them, do it.  Honestly, this is part of the memories and how your child becomes a Mets fan just like you (which may not be a good thing).

Really, there will come a time where you child wants to stay the whole game and they don’t want to do anything but watch the game – just like you.  I’m sure when that happens, you will miss the times watching them try to launch homers at the tee-ball field or their wanting to make sure they don’t miss Mr. Met.

For my part, I can tell you when I came home from the game last night, my oldest was all excited to tell all of his friends he got to go to the game, see his favorite player Todd Frazier, and he saw Michael Conforto jump into the stands and hit a homer.  We even had to do wash late last night so he could wear his shirt to school.

Things Can Never Just Be Good With The Mets

Last night, the Mets were absolutely rolling knocking Zach Eflin out after three and Jerad Eickhoff, who was making his first appearance of the year, out after one.

Tomas Nido, who was catching either because Kevin Plawecki was hit with another pitch or because Noah Syndergaard likes having a personal catcher, cleared the bases with an RBI double to give the Mets a 3-0 second inning lead.

Todd Frazier hit a three inning homer in the third giving the Mets a 6-0 lead leaving you to wonder how long before Gabe Kapler started going to the position players.

Jeff McNeil was great going 3-for-5 with two runs, and a triple. Michael Conforto surpassed Asdrubal Cabrera for the team lead in RBI. Not too long ago, Conforto also surpassed Cabrera for the team lead in homers. Jay Bruce looked good again at the plate going 2-for-2 with two runs, an RBI, and two walks.

However, this is the Mets, so nothing can be this easy. Not even in a 10-5 win that they led 7-0 heading into the sixth and 9-2 after six.

Dominic Smith followed a good game by going 0-for-2 with a walk before leaving the game with a groin injury. He was replaced by Jack Reinheimer for reasons only Mickey Callaway knows.

Speaking of Reinheimer, you’d be hard pressed to explain why he’s here and Luis Guillorme isn’t.

That wasn’t the worst of it. No, that was Cesar Hernandez hitting a hard liner that went off Syndergaard’s ribs. It may have chased him from the game, but he was able to laugh about it later:

Syndergaard’s final line was 6.2 innings, 12 hits, four runs, four earned, five walks, and four strikeouts. The low strikeouts are alarming, but not as much as the walks or the career high in hits allowed.

Still, this was mostly a fun game with some terrific signs for the Mets going forward. Here’s hoping the Mets didn’t burn through all their offense for this series with Jacob deGrom going Sunday.

Game Notes: Bobby Wahl was placed on the 60 day DL to make room for Jose Lobaton on the roster.

Wheeler Great Again

Here’s how good Zack Wheeler has been pitching in the second half of the season.  Last night, he allowed three runs on three hits while walking two and striking out nine.  For him, that now qualifies as a poor start.

The Dodgers were able to score the three runs off of him because they hit two homers.  It should come as no surprise one of those homers was by Cody Bellinger, who absolutely owns Wheeler.  In fact, Bellinger is 4-for-8 against Wheeler with four homers and nine RBI.

The other homer was in the fourth inning.  After Justin Turner hit a comebacker which hit Wheeler in the ribs, Max Muncy would hit a two run homer off of Wheeler.  Given how Wheeler was still dealing with the shot to the ribs, you could put a bit of a mental asterisk next to that one, especially when you consider Wheeler would retire eight of the next nine batters he faced.

Even with those homers, the Dodgers could not pull ahead of the Mets.

In the fourth, the Mets finally broke through against Hyun-Jin RyuAmed Rosario singled and Jeff McNeil doubled to put runners at second and third with no outs.  From that point forward, the Mets would BABIP the heck out of Ryu.

Wilmer Flores would hit one back which hit Ryu that allowed him to reach safely and would allow Rosario to score.  McNeil would challenge Joc Pederson‘s arm on a Michael Conforto flyball, and he would score because Yasmani Grandal could not hold onto the ball.  In an odd official scorer position, Conforto was not given the RBI as it was ruled an error on Grandal.

Part of the key to that play was Flores going to third, which would allow him to score from third on the two out RBI single from Austin Jackson.  That was important as Jackson was nailed at second trying to challenge Alex Verdugo‘s arm.  Had Flores been at third, it’s very likely he does not score on the play.

Kevin Plawecki led off the fifth with a double, and he moved to third on a Brandon Nimmo bloop hit.  After Wheeler struck out, Rosario singled home Plawecki.  Later that inning, Flores brought home Nimmo on a ball Enrique Hernandez was not quite tall enough to get.  With that, the Mets had a 5-2 lead, and they were in control of the game.

That became a stranglehold with Conforto delivering a seventh inning RBI single, and Ryan Madson throwing a wild pitch to allow McNeil to come home from third.

After 105 pitches, Wheeler was done after seven, and Mickey Callaway brought on Seth Lugo to close out the final two innings.  He did just that allowing no hits and striking out a batter.  With the win, the Mets have now won consecutive West Coast series, and the team is playing much better baseball of late.  They are two games over .500 in the second half.

Game Notes: In his final at-bat ever against the Mets, Chase Utley lined out to Nimmo.  So in the end, the dirtiest player alive lined out to the nicest and most genuine player in the majors.

The Complete Thor

When he was struggling earlier in the year, Noah Syndergaard was saying he was struggling now, but he’ll dominate in September. With how he had struggled in his last few starts, this seemed like a punchline waiting to happen. As it turns out, Syndergaard was right.

Yesterday, he was simply brilliant in his first ever complete game. If not for a Jay Bruce throwing error, on a ball he should not have pursued and probably not thrown, the Giants would not have had a base runner since the fourth inning.

If not for the Alen Hanson third inning triple, the Giants probably never score a run.

All told, Syndergaard allowed one run on just two hits while walking just one and striking out 11.

He’d get his 10th win of the season as the Mets gave Syndergaard run support starting with Michael Conforto‘s 20th homer of the season:

https://mobile.twitter.com/mets/status/1036353184292331520

Syndergaard got more run support in the eighth as he helped himself a bit.

After a Tomas Nido leadoff single, Syndergaard bunted it just right enough of the pitcher to get Nido, who got a great jump, to second.

Amed Rosario singled to set up runners at the corners, and he’d then take the double play out of the equation by stealing second. Jeff McNeil brought him and Nido home with a two RBI single giving the Mets a 4-1 lead.

With that three run lead and Syndergaard still at 99 on the gun, Mickey Callaway had every excuse he needed to keep Syndergaard in the game.

The end result was a 114 pitch masterpiece and finally a return to the Thor we had been awaiting all season long.

Game Notes: Syndergaard’s 10 wins leads the team. With the win, Syndergaard became the first Met to beat the Giants two times in a year since Steve Trachsel did it in 2003.