In a game that began with a weird pitching experiment, the Mets hung tight but blew the game in the 10th inning on a go-ahead home run by, who else? Daniel Murphy.
The game began with Noah Syndergaard making his first major league appearance since tearing his right lat muscle on April 30. As GM Sandy Alderson promised, Syndergaard would pitch one inning no matter what. Even if it would take him just five pitches to get through the inning. Following a standing ovation from the Citi Field faithful, Syndergaard got lead off batter Trea Turner to line out. After a single to Jayson Werth, he got Daniel Murphy to hit into a double play and, just like that, his work was done. It was good to see him on the mound again lighting up the radar gun and electrifying the crowd. Maybe he’ll get a real start in before the season ends.
Matt Harvey took over from there and though the box score shows three earned runs in four innings, he actually looked okay. His fastball consistently sat in the mid 90s and his changeup, though he left it up a few times, had some nice movement. The slider and fastball still lack bite and his control still has a way to go, but it’s progress. Two of the runs scored on an opposite field home run that Adam Lind hit off an outside changeup. He reached across the plate to make contact and as announcer Gary Cohen pointed out, that was a 2017 juiced ball home run if there ever was one. Harvey should get at least one more start before the season’s over.
Harvey’s three runs were matched by three from the Mets, courtesy of a two-run single by Kevin Plawecki and an RBI double by Brandon Nimmo. The bullpen did there part to keep the Mets in the game, with Josh Smoker, Chasen Bradford, Jerry Blevins, Jamie Callahan and Jeurys Familia combining for four scoreless innings before Jacob Rhame entered in the tenth to cough up the game.
Game notes: Familia looks sharp again. Nice to see production out of the catching position with both Travis d’Arnaud and Plawecki hitting of late. Juan Lagares, in a rare convergence of health and opportunity is wasting a tremendous opportunity to prove himself worthy of an everyday role next year. His season batting average now sits at .238. As Alderson pointed out in his most recent press conference, Amed Rosario needs to learn some plate discipline if he wants to be a star. Right now he looks like Mookie Wilson up there, swinging away at nearly everything.