I know I’m not the only one who figured that the Mets were doomed when David Peterson started Thursday’s matinee by walking Trea Turner. The impending sense of dread only worsened when Adam Eaton reached on a Tomas Nido throwing error and Starlin Castro walked to load the bases for Juan Soto. We discussed yesterday how dangerous Soto is, but Peterson sacked up and struck him out looking.
After Howie Kendrick drove in a run by driving a grounder off of Peterson’s foot, Asdrubal Cabrera came up with two runners in scoring position and two outs. Cabrera drove a slider deep to left-center field gap, and it would have scored two Washington runs if not for Jeff McNeil making the best defensive play of his life.
Don’t worry, Jeff. We get all our highlights from the internet these days. McNeil stayed down for a while after the play and had to be carted off the field. Later, we heard that he had sustained a deep bruise on his knee and will avoid a stint on the injured list for now.
Following the heroic display of defense, the Mets dominated the rest of the way. Peterson didn’t allow a hit until the fifth inning, and Nido of all people drove in six runs with the first multi-homer game of his career.
Dominic Smith also homered in the game, while Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto each reached base three times. I know it will still be a while until most Mets fans trust Edwin Diaz again, but he was in good form in a low-leverage spot yesterday. In the eighth inning, he recorded the equivalent of five outs in a row with two strike outs, and pop-up, and two soft ground balls that became an infield single and an error. Washington had a lot of trouble squaring up his stuff.
It was a good reminder of the player that Brodie Van Wagenen thought he was getting when he traded away the franchise’s future two offseasons ago. If Diaz can pitch like that for one or two more outings, we might see him in a big spot again soon. There’s still plenty of time for Diaz to redeem himself, but has to be effective with the game on the line for that to happen.
Just like that, the Mets are the eight seed in the National League again. You don’t need to be that good to make the playoffs in 2020, so we should be in for a wild ride as long as the season can continue for another month and a half.
If the Mets are to continue their winning ways, they’ll have to stomp on the Phillies, who have to be down in the dumps after being swept by the lowly Orioles. Nothing would be better than getting Joe Girardi fired less than one month into his new gig, but that’s what the people will be talking about on Philadelphia sports radio if the Mets keep it rolling for a few more days.
On the other hand, if Jacob deGrom can’t beat Phillies rookie starter Spencer Howard tonight, the good vibes will come to a screeching halt.