Takeaways from the Mets 6-4 win over the Reds on Thursday…
The Mets defeated the Reds by the score of 6-4 on Thursday night at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. Here are my takeaways from the win…
Deja vu all over again, almost.
This game was almost identical to the last two games the Mets played.
Almost. The difference, of course, was the Mets won.
They got on the board early, coming from behind to take an early 3-1 lead. As was the case on Wednesday, the Mets hit a lot of balls hard, but didn’t have much to show for it which helped keep the opposition around, in this case it was the Reds on Thursday night.
After a night-long battle, the Reds battled back with a run in the fifth thanks to singles from Ramon Cabrera, Ivan De Jesus Jr., and Brandon Phillips. Then in the sixth inning Eugenio Suarez poked a one out double, then Adam Duvall got a gift single with two outs when David Wright couldn’t handle a short hop on a ball hit right to him, tying the game and ending Steven Matz’s night.
But the Mets responded with a tremendous two-out rally in the seventh inning. Something they could not do after the Braves came back to tie them the last two nights.
It started out with a one-out single from Curtis Granderson. Then, after David Wright lined out for the second out, Daniel Murphy smacked his third hit of the night to the right field wall to plate Granderson. Then Yoenis Cespedes came through with an RBI single, his second RBI of the night. Lucas Duda followed with a double to the opposite field to plate Cespedes.
That basically put this game to bed as outside of a solo home run Hansel Robles allowed to Jay Bruce in the eighth, the Mets bullpen did the rest to secure the win.
Two out wonders.
The difference in the ballgame for the Mets tonight versus the last nine games was their ability to strike with two outs. They went 6-for-9 with two outs and runners on-base.
They struggled so badly with runners on-base in general during the homestand, let alone with two outs, and that really hindered their ability to hit with any fluidity throughout the week. It explains why they only scored 23 runs in those nine games.
Hopefully, today served as the breakout this offense needed, because they’re going to need to score a little bit more than they have been starting on October 9.
A messy Matz.
This was a rough night for Matz. He was inefficient early, got hit all over the ballpark especially in the fifth and sixth inning, and was really fortunate to only give up three runs in this game.
He worked a lot of deep counts and had a lot of trouble putting the Reds away. His stuff was fine although he didn’t use his change-up that much and that might have cost him a lot of deception in this game. But he didn’t telegraph his curve that much, which is something which he had been doing, and that’s a good sign for him.
The amazing part about Matz is he seems to get stingier when he allows baserunners. It forces him to work and it escalates his pitch count, but as had been the case over his first five starts, Matz stranded a lot of opposing baserunners.
Call him lucky, but he’s talented, and sometimes a player needs to be lucky to be good. That’s been the case for Matz in the early part of his career, but he has some learning to do about mixing up his pitches effectively and in specific counts and situations, pitching to contact to get outs, and knowing when he needs to power up to beat a swing.
It will come, though. Most pitchers go through this at this young stage of their careers. Matz is no exception.
Terry Collins basically said before Thursday’s game he will be using this weekend to evaluate his young pitchers for their roles in the playoffs – it will be interesting to hear what Collins saw from his young pitcher tonight.
Oh, so close…
The Mets are back on the winning side, and finally got some consistency with their offense. It was sorely missed.
The magic number to clinch the National League East title is down to 3. A win tomorrow and a Nationals loss clinches a tie for the division title, ensuring the Mets at least have a date with Washington.
But something tells me that won’t be necessary. Something so horrible and historical would have to happen for the Mets to mess this up at this point.
Its now harder to blow this than it is to win it, especially since there’s still nine games to go. When the math is like that, it usually means good things for a team’s chances.
And it looks like the Mets are going to win this division now. It’s just a matter of time at this point.
Other notes from Thursday:
Granderson snapped an 0-for-12 skid with his seventh inning single. He’s just 3-for-his-last-27 at the plate.
With his third inning double, Wright now has six doubles in his last ten games. He’s hitting .333 during that span.
Murphy singled, doubled and tripled and scored two runs – he now has a seven-game hitting streak, has hit in ten of his last 11 games, and is hitting .370 in those 11 games with six doubles, two triples and three home runs.
For the first time in his career, Matz allowed three earned runs in a game.
Jeurys Familia recorded his 42nd save with a scoreless ninth inning.
The Mets are now 10-20 against the National League Central in 2015.