For the second day in a row, the Mets used some late-inning offense — the ol’ “Five O’clock Lightning” — to secure a win against the Arizona Diamondbacks and complete an unlikely sweep of the NL West leaders.
Clay Bucholz started for Arizona. The last time Bucholz started a game, it was for the Phillies against the Mets last April. The Mets drove him to cover after two-and-a-third innings, and he left with an injured shoulder. That was the last time he appeared on a major league diamond. This time, things went much better for him. He held the Mets in check for five innings, surrendering only two hits, the first one a long double off the bat of Wilmer Flores in the first inning. We’ll get to the second one in a minute. He had enjoyed a 1-0 lead to that point, courtesy of a one-out singles by Jarrod Dyson and Nick Ahmed. With runners at the corners, Jeff Mathis pounded a slow grounder into the dirt to Flores at third. With the only play at first base, Dyson scored easily. For his part, Noah Syndergaard pitched inefficiently, but extremely effectively, allowing only that one run. He ended up going seven innings, striking out seven and walking one, throwing 103 pitches — astounding seeing as he had thrown 78 through the first three innings.
In any case, the Mets started the sixth inning with Amed Rosario’s first home run of the year to tie the game up. That was it for Bucholz, who really deserved better. T. J. McFarland came on and finished the inning unscathed. After Syndergaard finished his day in the top of the seventh, Jorge DeLaRosa came on keep the game tied. He struck out Adrian Gonzalez to lead off. Luis Guillorme tried to drag a bunt for a base hit, but the pitcher threw him out. Tomas Nido wormed a grounder through the middle for a base hit. That brought up a pinch hitter for Syndergaard’s spot. Asdrubal Cabrera took on that task and in a seven-pitch at bat, took a DeLaRosa fastball over the left-field wall for a 3-1 Mets lead. In the next breath, Rosario hit his second round-tripper of the game to about the same spot, for a measure of insurance.
Jerry Blevins started the eighth and struck out lefty David Peralta. Having done his job, he gave way to Robert Gsellman, who induced grounders from Chis Owings and Jake Lamb to end the inning. Gsellman struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth to end it.
A sweep? At home? Haven’t seen that since 2016.
Next up, the Miami Marlins come to Queens, Jason Vargas hosting Elieser Hernandez tomorrow night.