Vintage defense carries Rick Porcello and Mets to victory

I knew it was smart leaving the door open for a Mets victory yesterday, and the boys pulled it off, defeating Max Scherzer and the Nationals 3-1 to split their two-game series in Washington.

Sure, the Mets caught a break when Scherzer sustained a hamstring injury and had to give way to Erick Fedde after one inning. But New York might have come out on top anyway because Rick Porcello was reunited with the Cy Young stuff that we thought was a thing of the past from watching his first two starts of 2020.

Slick Rick was hammering the lower part of the strike zone with his sinker and getting great downward on his changeup and slider. I didn’t watch a lot of Porcello before this season, but it’s clear to see why he was such an enticing young pitcher with Detroit and how he finally fulfilled his potential in Boston.

It also helped that the Mets played their finest defensive game of the season. We’ve talked before about how Porcello needs good defense behind him to be successful, and last night we finally saw a POSITIVE example of that.

Not only did Billy Hamilton give the Mets more range in the outfield, but the infield looked like it was straight out of 1999. Andres Gimenez and Luis Guillorme were silky smooth up the middle, and J.D. Davis made a couple of plays at the hot corner that reminded fans of David Wright and Robin Ventura.

I don’t say this a lot about the current general manager, but I’m glad Brodie Van Wagenen signed THAT guy.

Porcello whipped through seven innings with just 81 pitches, but Luis Rojas decided to take him out anyway. Fortunately, Seth Lugo shut down Washington in the final two frames or I might have had to start up the FIUR machine.

The win was a big one for the Mets, as they are just 5-8 on the season and on the outside of the postseason picture with 47 games to play. From watching the few games of the season, I figured the rotation would be a major problem, but a few more performances like this out of Porcello might change that. The Mets are off on Thursday before starting a three-game series with the 5-1 Marlins on Friday.

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