Monday, May 9, 2016

Escape From San Diego

The Mets managed to escape San Diego with a win on Sunday in a game that historically never ended well for them. Usually, a game like this would have played out the way it did for the first 7 1/2 innings. Matt Harvey had a resurgent start, striking out 10 batters in his 6 innings of work and flashing the 97 MPH fastball that usually butters his bread. Yoenis Cespedes hit his 11th Home Run of the year, and things were just hunky dory. Harvey had a minor hiccup in the 5th, but recovered, Jim Henderson hiccuped in the 7th and recovered, and the Mets were just trying to nurse their lead home.

In another time, on another day, the Padres would have tied the game in the 8th inning after loading the bases in the 9th. I'd say that they would have broken through and scored 4 runs in the 8th, but that's too easy. Collins would have gone to Scott Atchison or Ramon Ramirez in the 9th, they would have allowed the Padres to get runners on 1st and 3rd with 1 out, get a strikeout and then allow a walk-off Home Run, giving the Mets yet another nauseating loss in San Diego.

But that didn't happen. Instead, after loading the bases with none out in the 8th, Antonio Bastardo came in and saved the day, striking out Derek Norris, popping out Melvin Upton Jr, and then striking out Alexi Ramirez to weasel his way out of this Blevins/Reed-induced mess and preserve the lead. And instead of going to a ragtag retread in the 9th inning, the Mets instead went to Jeurys Familia in the 9th and Familia set down the Padres in order to finish out this 4-3 victory that amazingly gave the Mets a split of this 4-game series in San Diego, when a mere 24 hours prior it appeared like they were headed down the road of previous 4-game washouts in Dog Run Stadium.

So, the Mets don't have to worry about San Diego again until next season, but there remains plenty of late-night West Coast games to come as the Mets head up the coast to Los Angeles, where they had a nice time last season and hopefully can carry that over.

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