The Mets had an all-time day on Sunday. For one moment, it looked like they were headed into September with a full head of steam and ready to take over New York. The next, they were the same old laughingstock that has its fans perpetually waiting for the other shoe to drop. When Gary Sanchez’s moon bomb grand slam was on its way out of Yankee Stadium in the eighth inning of Game 2, the impending sale of the Mets to billionaire Steve Cohen was all Mets fans could cling to.
Sanchez’s big hit broke a 1-1 tie that was the result of a duel between Seth Lugo with tag-team partner Chasen Shreve and Yankees rookie Deivi Garcia, who was making his big league debut. Garcia looked very polished for a 21-year-old, working aggressively with his fastball and mixing in his secondary pitches to keep the Mets off balance. In six innings, Garcia had six strikeouts with no walks and four hits allowed. If not for a clutch RBI single by Dominic Smith in the sixth, Garcia may have pitched a shutout.
Getting dominated by a youngster, though, was no big deal compared to what had transpired hours earlier. The Mets were in the process of giving the Yankees the business, building a 7-2 lead thanks to a two-run home run by Robinson Cano and a bases-loaded double from Michael Conforto. Mets fans were feeling good since their team had already take two out of three games in the series, but the sight of Edwin Diaz in the bullpen can put a pit in any fan’s stomach.
It didn’t have to be that way. Jared Hughes started the bottom of the seventh on the mound for the Mets and got a ground ball from Mike Ford. However, Dominic Smith failed to dig Andres Giminez’s low throw out of the dirt, and Ford reached on the error. Hughes didn’t seem fazed and retired the next two batters, but then he walked Tyler Wade, hit Thairo Estrada with a pitch, and allowed a two-RBI single to Luke Voit. Voit’s hit brought the tying run to the plate and prompted Luis Rojas to replace Hughes with Diaz.
Aaron Hicks sat fastball on a full count and hit a laser off a seat in the front row. In one way, it was unbelievable that this had happened to Diaz AGAIN. In another way, it seemed inevitable. Every time the Mets think they are clicking, a gut-punch like this happens.
The Mets had no answer. Yankees reliever Chad Green struck out the side in the top of the eighth. Edwin Diaz stuck around for the Yankees’ turn at bat and got a couple of quick outs. Just when it looked like we were headed for a ninth inning, Gio Urshela hit a line drive to right field on an 0-2 count to bring Mike Tauchman around to score with the winning run. Yankees win 8-7.
The 2-3 weekend put the Mets in 11th place in the National League, but they’re still only 1.5 games out of a playoff spot. Jacob deGrom returns to the mound this afternoon against the Marlins in a make-up game. It’s one the Mets need to have in order to get back on track.