Saturday, September 24, 2016

Encore, Encore

After the breathless exuberance of Thursday night's game, the Mets, one would imagine, would be hard-pressed to come up with a fitting encore. And although it required far fewer players and two fewer innings than it did on Thursday, the Mets still did what was necessary in order to win on Friday. A 3-run Home Run from Michael Conforto capped off a 6-run 5th inning that brought the Mets back from an early deficit, and in spite of Gabriel Ynoa only pitching two innings and the bullpen figuring out the rest of the game, the Mets still managed to beat the Phillies 10-5 to keep pace in the standings for another day.

If you blinked, you missed Ynoa on this night. I did my usual Friday Night trick and came home and fell asleep, so I missed him entirely. I'm told, although I haven't seen for myself, that he wasn't especially good, and gave up 2 runs in the second inning before Terry Collins started stirring his Pot-o-Ballplayers and pinch-hit for him in the bottom half of the inning with men in scoring position. The ploy didn't work there, and in fact Logan Verrett followed Ynoa to the mound and allowed a Home Run to Maikel Franco in the 3rd, but that was it, as he pitched two innings before turning things over to Josh Smoker in the 5th.

The Mets didn't managed much of anything off of Jeremy Hellickson early, although they'd had some earlier success against him. Travis d'Arnaud's RBI double represented his first RBI in close to a month, but until that 5th inning, the Mets hadn't done much. But then they started hitting, and it turned into one of those groundswell rallies, where they load the bases, and then start moving the chains. Curtis Granderson singled to drive home a run, Kelly Johnson singled to put the Mets ahead, Hellickson was done for the night, and his replacement, Frank Herrmann, allowed the 3-run Home Run for Conforto that extended the Mets lead to 7-3.

These Phillies, as I've said all season, are game though, in spite of their porous pitching staff, and they fought back in the 6th against Smoker. Darin Ruf hit a 2-run Home Run to make the score 7-5, and in the 7th, both Erik Goeddel and Josh Edgin had a hard time as they loaded the bases and brought Tommy Joseph to the plate. Collins then went to Hansel Robles, who is an adventure in and of himself, but Robles on this night was game to the challenge and induced Joseph to ground to Reyes, who started the 5-3 Double Play to end the Philly threat.

From there, it got easier, as the Mets took advantage of the awful back end of Philly's bullpen to tack on 3 more runs, and Robles ended up pulling a reverse of what he did in an emergency against KC and finishing out the final 2.2 innings himself en route to his first Major League Save.

Then, of course, it was on to watching the scoreboard, since this game, while not as lengthy as Thursday's 4 hours, 23 minutes, ran a good 3 hours and 40 minutes, overlapping the start of the Giants in San Diego. The Padres did what they needed to do in order to help the Mets, winning 7-2, and once again giving the Mets a lead in the Wildcard race, however temporary it may seem. And with now 8 games to go, it all has a temporary feel to it. Tomorrow will bring what it will.

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