Gut Reaction: Mets 3 Tigers 1 (8/7/16)

The Mets used a tried and true — if unsustainable, with this roster and manager — formula to salvage the final game of their interleague series in Detroit: starting pitching and home runs.

Jacob deGrom wasn’t as smooth or commanding as his previous two starts, but he got the help he needed. deGrom put multiple runners on base in each of the first four innings, but was able to induce double plays from the Tigers in three of them. On the Detroit side, Anibal Sanchez cruised through the first six-and-two-thirds, allowing three hits. Michael Conforto got the Mets’ fourth hit, a rocket of a home run to dead center. In the bottom of the seventh, though, deGrom’s magic evaporated. After a walk and a base hit, an Andrew Romine single loaded the bases with two outs. With that, Terry Collins bounded out of the dugout to bring in lefty specialist Jerry Blevins to face the dangerous Ian Kinsler. Kinsler hit a grounder that clanked off Neil Walker’s glove at second and the game was tied. Addison Reed came on for the final out. A second Detroit run nearly scored in the eighth. With two outs, J.D. Martinez doubled. After Justin Upton was intentionally walked, Casey McGhee hit a sharp single off the glove of James Loney and Walker. It was picked up by Curtis Granderson in right field. Suddenly, the entire right side of the Mets’ field ran toward the indecisive Martinez, pickled between third and the plate. Granderson threw to catcher Travis d’Arnaud, who tossed back to third Baseman Kelly Johnson, who swiped a tag on Martinez as he tried to beat Johnson to the plate.

In the top of the ninth, Alejandro De Aza was hit by a pitch leading off, then came around to score on Walker’s nineteenth homer of the season off old friend and new nemesis Francisco Rodriguez and the Mets had an improbable 3-1 lead. Jeurys Familia came in to nail the game down and very nearly didn’t. After striking out the first two hitters, Kinsler reached on another grounder to Walker. He was moving to take second on defensive indifference when Familia uncorked a wild pitch and Kinsler ended up at third. Order was finally restored when Jose Iglesias struck out to end things.

If the Mets are to stay in the post-season race, they have to stop this string of one-game winning streaks. They’ve had nine of them so far since the All-Star break. Tuesday at home vs. Zack Grienke and the Arizona Diamondbacks would be an excellent place to start.

8 comments for “Gut Reaction: Mets 3 Tigers 1 (8/7/16)

  1. TexasGusCC
    August 8, 2016 at 1:30 am

    Charlie, since I only saw the last four innings and opened to a 0-0 game, I didn’t realize that deGrom had some good fortune to not be trailing. Conversely, Keith Hernandez and Gary Apple kept bringing up Sanchez’ ERA in what appeared as a sign of disappointment in the Mets’ ineptitude.

    Off topic, Nimmo should just go down to AAA to get some playing time. Bruce will play everyday; Granderson will play almost every day; Collins remembers how Conforto carried them last year at this time (not making this up, check Rubin’s column) so he will be in there; de Aza is playing very well and deserves the time. That leaves Nimmo tied to the bench unless there is a slower runner than Bruce to pinch run for.

    Not saying the roster redundancy is Collins’ fault, we know who makes those decisions, just discussing Nimmo specifically.

  2. Metsense
    August 8, 2016 at 8:59 am

    What is better than a Sunday afternoon Walk(er) in the park? Neil Walker, for the second straight Sunday in a row, has hit a late inning home run that was the difference in the game. On the season he has a total of four difference making late home runs. That’s clutch!

  3. Jimmy P
    August 8, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Off-Topic: With Cyclones in town for weekend, I planned on seeing them on Saturday and Sunday. But after Saturday’s game, I felt I’d seen enough so skipped yesterday. Nobody interesting on the mound. Good thing. They gave up 10 runs in the first and lost 18-4.

    Alonso got two hits, which would have been nice to see, but not at that price.

  4. August 8, 2016 at 10:29 am

    In the 7th inning with the bases loaded, TC had 3 options:

    1. Let deGrom face a LHB in Tyler Collins who already had a hit against him.
    2. Bring in Blevins, knowing that the Tigers would probably PH Ian Kinsler
    3. Bring in Reed to face Collins

    I guess I was okay with yanking deGrom in that spot. But I’m not sure why you would bring in Blevins knowing that Kinsler was on the bench. Collins has bent over backwards to limit Blevins’ exposure to RHB. It just seemed an odd time to deviate from that strategy. Blevins has been excellent with Inherited Runners this year but so has Reed.

    FanGraphs had the Kinsler AB at a 6.17 LI, which is easily the biggest spot Blevins has been in all year.

    Anyway, I’m not blasting TC for this move. It’s just that this was a pivotal moment in the game and the manager made an interesting move. Hopefully, this is a sign of more confidence in Blevins.

    • Jimmy P
      August 8, 2016 at 12:44 pm

      For starters, I don’t know what was said when Warthen visited the mound previously that inning. it may have been that deGrom was gassed. My feeling at the time was that Jake had earned that spot, deserved the chance to pitch himself out of that inning, particularly when it was clear that bringing in Blevins would result in facing Kinsler — a far worse scenario.

      I don’t know if Reed was ready at that spot, though he did come in a few pitches later.

      So much goes on in the game that we don’t know. But if Jake felt like he wanted to stay on the hill, I think that was the way to go. He’s been fantastic, carrying the Mets on his back. Do you pull Kershaw in that spot? So Jerry Blevins can face Ian Kinsler?

      • Metsense
        August 8, 2016 at 3:24 pm

        I would not have taken out deGrom at 102 pitches unless he told me he was gassed. I’m old school enough to think that it was his game to win or lose. deGrom vs Collins (or Kinsler) is IMHO a better matchup than Reed and definitely a better matchup than Blevins vs Kinsler. The Blevins entry was proof in my eyes that TC had just got outmanaged.
        Pulling your starter,who was pitching a shutout and still had some gas in the tank, sent the message that someone else should finish your job. I would have rather seen the competitive fire stoked instead of being snuffed out. This is old school thinking based on the premise that it is important to finish what you started and build up arm strength in the process. If I thought he was gassed then I would have brought in Reed.

    • TexasGusCC
      August 8, 2016 at 12:48 pm

      After Saturday night, can we really assume that Collins expected Kinsler to pinch hit? I don’t know that he thought that far ahead.

  5. August 8, 2016 at 10:30 am

    Is it me, or does anybody else find it weird that the Yankees and Mets are both home this weekend?

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