The Mets saw a three-run lead disappear late, but they quickly rebounded to come away with a 5-4 win over the Cleveland Guardians on Sunday afternoon at Citi Field.
Here are some key takeaways…
– Things seemed to unravel for the Mets in the eighth inning, starting when Adam Ottavino ran into some trouble with the home team up 3-0. Tyler Freeman doubled and came around to score on a couple of ground balls, and then with two outs and nobody on, the Guardians pushed across another run on a Steven Kwan double and an Amed Rosario bloop single to right.
With the speedy Rosario on the bases, Buck Showalter called upon David Robertson to try to lock down a four-out save. But on Robertson’s third pitch of the game, Jose Ramirez lifted a two-run homer just over the orange line in center field, as the Guardians came all the way back to take a 4-3 lead.
– Starling Marte had a bit of an adventurous game. In the top half of the fourth inning, Marte played a Josh Bell hit beautifully off the wall, throwing an absolute strike to nab Bell trying to stretch the hit into a double.
In the bottom half of the inning, Marte singled to get on base, but he was picked off by Tanner Bibee while looking down to adjust his guard on his right hand.
But the outfielder’s biggest moment of the season came in the bottom of the eighth. Right after the Guardians had crawled all the way back to take the lead, Marte slugged a two-run homer to right field, as the Mets recaptured the lead after briefly losing it.
– After allowing the two-run homer in the eighth, Robertson rebounded in the ninth, earning the win as the Mets improved to 4-1 on the current homestand.
– Max Scherzer came out of the gates strong, allowing just two baserunners over his first three innings of work, striking out a pair.
Scherzer didn’t have his best fastball, averaging 92.2 mph with his four-seamer, so he relied on his breaking stuff. Only 30 of Scherzer’s 86 pitches were four seamers, but he worked his way through six scoreless innings. He allowed just three hits, striking out five with one walk.
The right-hander looked a little disgruntled as he came off the mound in the sixth, but it’s unknown if something was bothering him physically or if he was just exhausted.
– Gary Sanchez, making his Mets debut, went down looking at a borderline strike with two runners on and one out in the first. The Mets eventually loaded the bases but did not score in the inning.
In the fourth, Sanchez notched his first hit as a Met, lining a single to left to extend the inning. Next up, Eduardo Escobar singled to drive in Daniel Vogelbach, as the Mets scored first for the first time in 14 games. On the same play, Sanchez was sent home by third base coach Joey Cora after a slight bobble in right field, but it turned out to be a bad decision, as Sanchez was easily thrown out at the plate.
– Bibee, a 24-year-old rookie making just his fifth major league start, showed off some impressive stuff on the mound. With a fastball sitting around 96-98 mph, Bibee kept the Mets’ bats quiet for most of his outing.
But the Mets used some aggressive baserunning to get to him in the sixth. After a Pete Alonso single, Brett Baty followed that up with a single of his own up the middle. Alonso made the aggressive decision to go first-to-third, and Baty made the heads-up move to follow right behind him and take second on the throw, putting runners at second and third with nobody out.
The Mets eventually loaded the bases with one out for Sanchez, who dunked a sac fly to center to extend the lead to 2-0. Sanchez ended up going 1-for-3 with an RBI and two strikeouts.
– Brooks Raley had another impressive outing, retiring the side in the seventh inning on just nine pitches. The lefty continues to look more comfortable on the mound after working his way back from elbow inflammation.
– Brandon Nimmo launched a solo home run on the first pitch of the bottom of the seventh, extending the lead at the time to 3-0. Nimmo’s blast came off the bat at 108.8 mph and traveled 442 feet to the Shea Bridge in right center.
The Mets and Guardians play the nightcap of Sunday’s split doubleheader at 7:10 p.m.
Cy Young winners Justin Verlander and Shane Bieber will go head-to-head.