Michael Conforto

Mets Need Francisco Lindor

The Mets need to learn their lesson from last offseason. The attitude was let Mookie Betts play out his contract, and then have the Mets sign him as a free agent once Steve Cohen takes over.

The problem with that line of thinking is you risk a player signing an extension, which is exactly what Betts did. We went to a team in the Dodgers who were happy to hand him a blank check.

If you’re a team who does not go out and get Francisco Lindor, you’re assuming the very same risk. The Mets should not be assuming that risk.

The counter-argument is the Mets don’t need Lindor. After all, Andres Gimenez had an impressive rookie season. Amed Rosario, while being lost at the plate this year, was significantly improved defensively. This is all true while also missing the point.

In 2020, the Mets finished in last place with a 26-34 record. During the course of the year, one thing which should have been made abundantly clear was this Mets team isn’t good enough to win right now. In fact, if the last two years are any gauge, they’re not all that close.

What they Mets need is better players across the diamond. It’s not just a catcher, center field, and pitching issue. Really, aside from the first base glut with Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith and the two corner outfield spots, the Mets seem desperate for upgrades and shifting of players to new positions.

Yes, the Mets could use an upgrade at shortstop when Lindor is the player available.

Since his MLB debut in 2015, Lindor has been a top three player in the sport. He’s been the best infielder, and he’s the best middle infielder by a healthy margin. He is literally everything you want in a baseball player.

By DRS, he’s been the fourth best defensive SS in the game since 2015. By wRC+, he’s the seventh best hitter. Overall, there’s no one better at short than him.

That includes Gimenez and Rosario, and it’s a wide margin between him and those two. By obtaining Lindor, you’re making a significant push towards closing the talent gap in the NL East.

Let’s look at it another way. Since his breakout season in 2017, Lindor has been a .276/.341/.503 hitter. In the three previous seasons, he’s averaged 42 doubles, three triples, and 34 homers.

No shortstop in the history of the New York Mets have ever put up these kinds of numbers. They’ve never done it on a one year career year, and they’ve certainly never come close putting up these numbers on an annual basis. When you think about it, over the 58 year history of the Mets, it’s takes their shortstops 2-3 years to put up the extra base hits Lindor can do in one year.

Here’s another way to examine it. Lindor has a 118 wRC+ since 2017. Over that time frame, only Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, and Brandon Nimmo (Alonso didn’t qualify) have a better offensive production.

Over that time frame, Mets shortstops Gabe a 90 wRC+. Getting Lindor would make the Mets lineup deeper and more dangerous. They’ll also be doing that while having a Gold Glove caliber player at the position.

There is no doubt Lindor makes the Mets a significantly improved team. There also should be no doubt he’ll come at a high price. If he’s willing to sign an extension, nearly any price would be worth it. He’s that good.

Anytime you can get a future Hall of Famer in his prime, you have to do it. It is a game changer for the organization, and it can bring your team to another level.

The Mets are certainly familiar with that concept. Gary Carter helped them win a World Series. Mike Piazza took them to back-to-back postseasons. Carlos Beltran helped lead the Mets to one at-bat from a World Series. Hall of Fame talent significantly improves your team and your postseason chances.

The Piazza and Beltran examples are especially illustrative. With Piazza, the Mets already had Todd Hundley. With Beltran, the Mets already had Mike Cameron. Rather than be happy with the status quo for a team not good enough to win, the Mets improved on a strength, and it led to a better future.

That’s Lindor right now. Yes, the Mets may very well be served to go forward with either Gimenez or Rosario. However, with all due respect to both, neither of them are Lindor, nor are they close.

If the Mets want to truly win now, they should be making every reasonable effort to get Lindor in a New York Mets uniform.

Important Mets Countdowns

Days remaining for Mets to extend Michael Conforto and Noah Syndergaard: ~401

Days remaining to extend Marcus Stroman: ~33

Years until Sandy Alderson can bring Jarred Kelenic back to the Mets: ~ 7

Games remaining in Brodie Van Wagenen Era: 3

Time we need to waste worrying about the Wilpons: 0

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Rays of Hope Gone

No, the Mets have not been eliminated from the postseason . . . yet. Sadly, even with some things breaking their way, they couldn’t take advantage:

1. People can anoint Trevor Bauer the Cy Young all they want, but Jacob deGrom still has a start remaining to establish once again he’s the best pitcher in baseball.

2. Again, putting deGrom up against pitchers not pitching in the NL or AL East is absurd as NL Central and West pitchers face completely different competition.

3. On that note, the level of competition the two pitchers have faced is completely different with Bauer dominating some of the absolute worst offensive teams in the game.

4. You do have to wonder how different things would be with deGrom’s campaign and really this entire Mets season of Wilson Ramos was capable of tagging a guy at home plate.

5. Edwin Diaz finally has more saves than blown saves this year.

6. Mets continue to be the Mets first announcing Michael Conforto was getting a day off for a must win game and then finally admitting he had a hamstring issue.

7. Conforto’s chances of signing an extension increased not just with Steve Cohen buying the Mets, but also with Sandy Alderson returning to the organization.

8. Should Conforto sign an extension, he’s going to knock David Wright off the top of the Mets all-time leaderboards.

9. It’s a shame Conforto broke down and Dominic Smith went in a slump for the final last ditch push. It’s a downright shame no one was really able to pick them up like they picked up the team this season.

10. Between J.D. Davis batting second or third despite his not hitting and Michael Wacha making starts despite his having no business pitching another inning for this team, it’s clear Brodie Van Wagenen decided to make this season about showcasing his acquisitions in the hopes of getting a new job.

11. Steven Matz went from breaking out in the second half last year to a great Spring Training to maybe pitching his way to a non-tender.

12. Matz is a clear example of a guy Jeff Wilpon would instruct dropped from his team with him being shocked the player succeeded away from the team. For some reason, despite this having happened continuously, there is still a contingent of Mets fans who still defend the team on this type of dumb decisions.

13. Ultimately, the juiced ball last year and the abbreviated 60 game season have made it near impossible to have a real evaluation and analysis of players.

14. Speaking of which, it was great to see Pete Alonso remind us how great he can be. The question is if he can be that over a 162 game season without the juiced ball. There are many indicators which suggest he can, but we still don’t know.

15. The Rays showed the Mets all the things this organization has flat out ignored with defense and good base running actually matter, and the end game isn’t to collect a bunch of bats to plug and play regardless of fit.

16. Again, we see in this series Seth Lugo can be a starter. However, the bullpen is a flat out mess without him.

17. Fortunately, the Mets have the deep pockets of Steve Cohen, and the beginnings of the right front office to address not only the bullpen, but also catcher, third, center, and the rotation.

18. It looks like Alderson is going to get his chance to do what he wanted to do when he took over the Mets. Essentially, that’s exactly what the Dodgers did.

19. After these last four games, it’s good riddance to the Wilpons. That’s both with the Mets and the horrendous SNY they created.

20. There’s no more fitting end to the Wilpon era than the team finishing below .500 despite having a top offense, the best pitcher in baseball, and an expanded postseason.

Game Recaps

No Rays of Hope after this Mets Loss

Pete Alonso Returns

Mets Ensure Under .500 Finish With Brodie’s Pitching Staff

Sandy Alderson Back To Fix What Brodie Van Wagenen Did To His Team

According to reports, Steve Cohen is bringing Sandy Anderson back to the Mets as an advisor, and he is planning on finding a replacement for Brodie Van Wagenen. Both are excellent and needed decisions.

When it comes to Van Wagenen, it’s difficult to quantify exactly how much damage he has done to the well built and talented Mets organization gift wrapped to him from Alderson. Essentially, all that Alderson built needs to be rebuilt.

Van Wagenen was given a starting staff comprised of Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, and Steven Matz. Behind them were well regarded prospects in Justin Dunn, Anthony Kay, and Simeon Woods Richardson.

The Mets rotation over the final week of the 2020 season will be deGrom, Rick Porcello, maybe Matz, and who knows what else?

The position player core was remarkably cheap and talented. There was Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, Dominic Smith, and Amed Rosario. Behind them was Andres Gimenez and Jarred Kelenic.

Sure, there were some bad contracts, but they were short term in nature, and they were not going to serve as an impediment to either building on or retaining this core.

For example, the Jay Bruce and Yoenis Cespedes contacts were set to expire after this season. That coincided perfectly with having to have the money to re-sign deGrom and to have extension talks with Conforto, Matz, and Syndergaard.

Instead, the Mets no longer have Kelenic giving them a buffet against losing one of Conforto or Nimmo. They also have Robinson Cano‘s onerous contract on the books which already served as an impediment to re-signing Wheeler.

That’s nothing to say of the quality prospect purge in the same of finding a late inning defensive replacement in center for a team who already had Juan Lagares and adding J.D. Davis to a team already overstocked in 1B/DH players.

Couple this with the Mets getting rid of Wilmer Flores for nothing only for him to be more productive than anyone Van Wagenen brought into the organization and signing Jed Lowrie for $20 million to get eight pinch hitting attempts, and the Van Wagenen stint as GM has been an unmitigated disaster.

If you want to point to Van Wagenen’s drafts as a positive, you should. However, in doing that, remember, that was a scouting group built by Alderson and Omar Minaya. The Mets will be keeping both advisors.

When you take everything into account, Alderson built the Mets to be a competitive team in 2019 and 2020. With any luck, he had a deep farm system to make the types of trades he made in 2015 to help get the team over the top.

The real window for this Mets team was supposed to open in 2021. Given the talent on the Major League roster and in the farm system, it promised to be a 1980s like run.

Instead, Alderson is back to figure out how yo fix this mess. Fortunately for him, he won’t have Van Wagenen or Jeff Wilpon standing in his way. Instead, he will have an owner with deep pockets who intends to let smart baseball people like Alderson do their jobs.

No Rays Of Hope Left After This Mets Loss

Well, if the miracles were going to happen, it needed to start tonight. Fortunately, Jacob deGrom was on the mound. Unfortunately, the Mets are still the Mets.

It started with Michael Conforto going from routine day off in a must win game to having hamstring tightness. Then, it was the Mets calling up Guillermo Heredia to replace the yet again injured Jake Marisnick while leaving Luis Guillorme in Brooklyn. Finally, it was the game.

The run in the second inning never should have scored against deGrom.

After deGrom issued a rare leadoff walk to Nate Lowe, Joey Wendle doubled. On the play, Lowe overran third and was dead to rights. However, that mattered little as Amed Rosario flat out dropped the relay throw. That allowed Lowe to not only retreat back safely but also to score on the ensuing Manuel Margot sacrifice fly.

That meant it was 2-0 Rays and not 1-0 Rays when Lowe homered off deGrom in the fourth.

The real shame is deGrom was otherwise phenomenal striking out 14 Rays. He rose to the occasion to keep the Mets in the game and the season. That included his working around a Wilson Ramos passed ball putting Lowe on third with one out in the sixth.

It didn’t matter as the Mets offense was stymied by the bullpenning Rays. The Mets were limited to just four hits and could only muster a two out rally in the fifth.

In that fifth inning, Heredia drew a two out walk. The bases were loaded after a Ramos single, and Brandon Nimmo was hit by a pitch.

Jeff McNeil came through with what should’ve been a game tying single. However, Willy Adames made a great sliding play up the middle to smother the ball. It was still an RBI single, but it was 2-1 instead of 2-2.

That was magnified when J.D. Davis lined out to end the inning. Overall, Davis was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a walk dropping his plummeting OPS to .777.

After Davis failed to deliver there, the Mets didn’t get another hit. In the end, the Mets went down weakly in this 2-1 loss and have now lost three out of four to all but destroy their postseason chances.

Game Notes: deGrom became the first Mets pitcher since Dwight Gooden in 1985 to strike out 14 twice in a season.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Season All But Over

Lloyd Christmas may want to say there’s still a chance here, but there isn’t. Any realistic shot the Mets had faded when they lost this series to the Atlanta Braves:

1. Like Daniel Murphy before him, the Mets absolutely deserve Travis d’Arnaud become the next Mets killer.

2. People rightfully focus on the starting pitching and pitching staff as a whole when examining what a terrible job Brodie Van Wagenen has done. Looking at it Wilson Ramos‘ production against d’Arnaud, and his other moves, he might’ve bungled the catching position even worse.

3. Yes, we saw d’Arnaud be this player in a Mets uniform previously. Yes, it was fair to believe he’d return to his 2015 form post Tommy John. Yes, he has always been a very good catcher. Anyone saying otherwise is lying to you, pushing an agenda, or just doesn’t know that much about catching.

4. You’ll notice with the Wilpons selling Gary Cohen and Brandon Nimmo were quite vocal in their support for d’Arnaud and wishing he didn’t leave the Mets.

5. Nimmo has every right to talk as he’s come back from injury and proven himself to be a terrific ballplayer. He’s just not a center fielder.

6. On the note of people who have performed well, Michael Conforto, Dominic Smith, Andres Gimenez, and Jeff McNeil are part of the still young core who have had good seasons and are very much a part of the Mets future.

7. Seeing that young core, we should all celebrate Steve Cohen bringing back Sandy Alderson to the Mets organization. Hopefully, Cohen will right some other wrongs in due time.

8. David Peterson stepped up big time in what was the biggest start of his career. Hopefully, that’s a sign of his figuring things out and raising his ceiling.

9. Rick Porcello stepped up and was phenomenal yesterday. If the Mets truly invest in infield defense this offseason, he can be a part of the 2021 equation.

10. It’s beyond impossible to judge the jobs Luis Rojas and Jeremy Hefner did this year. They deserve another shot, and it looks like the Mets are building a front office who might do exactly that.

11. Sending down Luis Guillorme was stupidity. He did everything to earn not just the role he had but a much bigger one at that.

12. Amed Rosario lost his starting job, and he needed a recent hot streak to improve to a .266./283/.379 hitter. He should’ve been sent down.

13. J.D. Davis is hitting .248/.376/.383 since August 1, and he’s incapable of playing a defensive position. He should’ve been sent down.

14. Instead, it was Guillorme so Franklyn Kilome could allow six earned over 1.1 innings giving the Mets zero chance to win a game at a time when they can ill afford to punt games. Another great decision by Brodie Van Wagenen.

15. Speaking of brilliant Van Wagenen decisions trading Steve Villines, a promising reliever, for Ariel Jurado, a bad pitcher who gave up five runs over four.

16. The Mets are in a precarious spot with Steven Matz. After last year and in Spring Training, he appeared poised for a breakout. Since the return, he looks like a non-tender candidate. These are critical franchise and season altering decisions.

17. Alex Rodriguez confirming he’d have Jeff Wilpon in the front office in a prominent role shows just how much the Mets dodged a bullet when A-Rod failed to beat out Cohen in the bidding.

18. Brodie Van Wagenen and Jeff Wilpon thinking they’re smarter than everyone and watching their team failing to make an expanded postseason is the perfect way for them to leave this organization.

19. Normally, we’d be saying it was time to tear it down and rebuild. Thanks to Cohen and competent baseball people in charge, we know the Mets can build off this strong core.

20. This season has been a massive disappointment, but on the bright side, we got 60 games of Mets baseball. That’s a real positive.

Mets Second Straight Big Comeback

For a second straight game, a Mets starter didn’t see the third inning, and for the second straight game, the Mets made an improbable comeback.

After being staked to a 3-0 first inning lead thanks to Dominic Smith and Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo had a terrible first inning. Flat out terrible.

After Lugo allowed three straight homers to Bryce Harper, Alec Bohm, and Didi Gregorius, he allowed another run in the inning turning a 3-0 lead into a 4-3 deficit.

At least for tonight, Harper owned Lugo homering off of him again in the second inning. Gregorius then knocked out Lugo with an RBI single.

It was 6-3 Phillies, and it was in the hands of the Mets bullpen. Starting with Erasmo Ramirez, they were brilliant. He and Chasen Shreve would each pitch 2.1 scoreless before handing the ball to Jeurys Familia who pitched 1.1 scoreless.

Their pitching kept the Mets in the game, and it gave them a chance to comeback against what has been a terrible Phillies bullpen.

While the Mets weren’t able to put up more runs off Aaron Nola from the second through fifth, they made him work. He ran out of gas in the sixth, and that Mets took advantage starting with a Pete Alonso one out homer:

Jeff McNeil walked leading to the Phillies going to their bullpen. Andres Gimenez walked, and after Luis Guillorme lined out, it was up to Brandon Nimmo. He tied the score on what is arguably the biggest hit of his career . . . up until that point.

Things would get really dicey in the eighth. With two outs, Familia walked Andrew McCutcheon. Luis Rojas brought in Justin Wilson to face the left-handed Harper to get the Mets out of the inning.

Instead, Wilson walked the bases loaded. Due to the three batter rule, the Mets couldn’t even contemplate lifting him. Fortunately for the Mets, Wilson retired Gregorius to end the inning.

After escalating the jam, it was time for Nimmo to come up huge again. This time, it was a go-ahead homer with a rare pimping of the homer from Nimmo:

That ninth inning leadoff homer off Brandon Workman sparked the Mets offense like Alonso’s did in the sixth. It was a four run ninth with Smith tripling in Michael Conforto, and Cano hitting a two run homer.

While not a save situation, the Mets went to Edwin Diaz. Diaz would make it interesting by loading the bases and bringing the tying run to the plate. Diaz, who was pitching three days in a row, got McCutheon to ground out to end the game.

With that, the Mets have won a series against a team other than the Marlins this year. They’re alive and ready to fight another day as the schedule gets insanely difficult now.

Game Notes: Wilson earned the win.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Season Going Down The Drain

If you ever wanted the perfect encapsulation of what it means to be a Mets fan and the Wilpon Era has been, this was the series for you:

1. Amed Rosario takes first with two outs in the ninth after a wild pitch on strike three. He got picked off first.

2. That’s being a Mets fan. There’s a near miracle which gives you hope, and it’s followed with a massive blunder which leaves you completely befuddled.

3. Speaking of befuddled, how does Wilson Ramos swing at ball three against a reliever who can’t find the strike zone? That double play helped cost the game more than Rosario getting picked off.

4. It also didn’t help Luis Rojas stuck with Seth Lugo a little too long. To be fair there, with the current state of the Mets bullpen, what was he supposed to do?

5. It seems Rojas hasn’t found that balance of when to push a starter or go to the bullpen. It at least seems his decision comes back to bite the Mets no matter what.

6. Of course, that’s a larger sign of how bad the Mets rotation has been and just how bad the Mets bullpen is without Lugo.

7. Speaking of the state of the Mets pitching, Jeff McNeil apparently left the game to go to the bathroom.

8. At that point in the game, he had scored the Mets only run, and well, it seems the runs went with them.

9. Dominic Smith continues to be great this year. Not bad for a guy the team didn’t realize was one of the best players on the team.

10. Speaking of players the Mets thought were better than Smith, J.D. Davis has a .780 OPS and dropping, and he still can’t play third.

11. On the topic of ill conceived Brodie Van Wagenen trades, one poor appearance for Anthony Kay doesn’t suddenly make Kay bad (he isn’t), the Marcus Stroman trade good (it wasn’t), or Simeon Woods Richardson not a key part of the deal (he was).

12. Brandon Nimmo is a good hitter who can play a good corner outfield. He should not be the 2021 center fielder. In fact, he shouldn’t be that in 2020.

13. But Nimmo is stuck in center because Juan Lagares was DFA’d, Billy Hamilton was selected off waivers, and Jake Marisnick is injured again.

14. Again, Jacob deGrom showed he’s the best pitcher in baseball, and he’s nearing towards locking down his third straight Cy Young.

15. Even with deGrom having another historical great year, the Mets rotation is historically bad and are challenging the 1962 Mets for the worst starting rotation ERA in team history.

16. The Mets have legitimate candidates for Cy Young (deGrom), MVP (Michael Conforto), and Rookie of the Year (Andres Gimenez). Despite that, odds are they won’t finish above .500 or compete for a postseason spot.

17. When does Brodie Van Wagenen collect his Executive of the Year award?

18. Mets will be promoting the team being just three games back despite all that’s gone wrong on the final game of the season.

19. Steve Cohen is almost complete in his purchase of the Mets. This means the Wilpons will not win a World Series as majority owners of the team.

20. MLB finally did the right thing allowing the players to wear the first responder caps again. Everyone involved in making that happen, including Jeff Wilpon, should be commended.

Recaps

Mets Wear Caps, We All Win

Microcosm Of Mets 2020 Season

Jeff McNeil Exits To Observe Mets 2020 Season

Mets Wear Caps, We All Win

Ever since Al Leiter wore all of the caps in a complete game victory of the anniversary of 9/11, Mets players haven’t been permitted to wear the First Responders caps again. That was until last night.

Before the game, Pete Alonso, who had first responders cleats made for his teammates last year, announced on WFAN, the team would once again be permitted to wear the caps. Alonso said Jeff Wilpon was instrumental in getting MLB to permit the Mets to wear them, and to that, it seems the Wilpons did something truly great on their way out.

With that, we all had a significant and important victory. These caps are important to Mets fans and New York. It’s a part of the healing process and remembrance of 9/11.

With Jacob deGrom on the mound, it seemed like the Mets were well poised to get a win on the field. Even with Michael Conforto misplaying a Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. flyball into an RBI double in the first, deGrom was great again.

The issue with a deGrom start is run support. With the way things go when he starts, that one run is liable to be enough to lose. It’s certainly seemed that way in the second when Lourdes Gurriel robbed Andres Gimenez of an RBI.

The Mets wouldn’t be denied in the fourth when Conforto would make up for his earlier misplay with a go-ahead three run homer.

Things would go from bad to worse to abysmal for the Blue Jays. Later that inning, Anthony Kay relieved Chase Anderson, and he should’ve gotten out of the inning. Instead, the Blue Jays lost a Jeff McNeil ball in the lights, and the Mets would have a 4-1 lead.

Things turned from bad to ugly for Kay and Blue Jays in the fourth. Kay would load the bases, but he’d get exactly what he needed – a double play ball off the bat of J.D. Davis.

Blue Jays shortstop Santiago Espinal short hopped the sinking liner. Instead of trying for a double play, he went to cut the run off at home. Apparently, Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen was completely unprepared for the perfect throw as he whiffed on it allowing a run to score. That set the stage for a Dominic Smith grand slam, and it didn’t stop there.

The Mets scored 10 in that inning, and they’d go on to score 18 in the game. In addition to the Conforto and Smith homers, in the game, they’d also get a homer from Wilson Ramos. Ramos would also have an RBI double as would Gimenez. This really was an unprecedented level of support for deGrom.

Due to an interesting quirk with the save rule, Erasmo Ramirez would pick up the save by pitching three scoreless innings and preserving the Mets 17 run lead.

The Mets appear to be playing good baseball again. They certainly will need to keep this up if they’re going to have any shot at the postseason.

Game Notes: The Yankees were also permitted to wear the First Responder caps. Alonso cycled through the caps first wearing a Sanitation cap.

Mets Complete Comeback

This wasn’t your typical Mets script. This is a team who finds a way to get close enough to just rip your heart out. Tonight, they were doing that to the Orioles instead of their fans.

For a while, it seemed there was no shot for the Mets to win this one as the Orioles were teeing off on Rick Porcello. At one point, they were 9-for-15 off Porcello, and seemingly the only way for the Mets to record an out was to throw out a runner looking to stretch a single into a double as Michael Conforto did to Chance Sisco to lead off the second.

Through three, the Orioles were up 5-1. That one run came in the second when Jeff McNeil singled home Dominic Smith, who led off the inning with his MLB leading 17th double.

The score would be 6-3 heading into the bottom of the fifth after McNeil and DJ Stewart traded a pair of homers. In the bottom of the fifth, Conforto would ignite the Mets with a solo homer.

The rally didn’t end with the homer. Later in the inning, Cano snapped out of his slump to hit an RBI single to pull the Mets to within 6-5. That’s when the Mets defense would shine and keep the Mets in the game.

The first came from McNeil who robbed Jose Iglesias of an extra base hit:

Even though that was the second out and there was no one on, Jared Hughes had trouble getting out of that inning. He’d load the bases, and Luis Rojas would bring in the struggling Justin Wilson to face Rio Ruiz. For a moment, it looked like Ruiz hit a bases clearing double:

After those pair of great defensive plays, the Mets would get the big hits they needed. First, it was Andres Gimenez tying the game in the bottom of the sixth with his second career homer:

Then, it was Pete Alonso hitting his 11th homer of the year in the bottom of the eighth to give the Mets a 7-6 lead.

Being the Mets, they weren’t quite out of the woods yet. Edwin Diaz allowed a lead-off single, and for a moment, it looked like the first two would reach. That was until Luis Guillorme, who was brought in for defense, made another great defensive play.

Diaz retired the last two to earn his third save of the year. It was a dramatic and needed win to help keep the Mets postseason hopes alive.

Game Notes: McNeil has homered in four straight. Diaz, Seth Lugo, and bullpen coach Ricky Bones wore 21 today in honor of Roberto Clemente.