This was a tale of three stories. First, it was Noah Syndergaard in cruise control, efficiently shutting down the Twins for seven innings. Then it was the Mets capitalizing on some terrible pitching to score six runs in the fifth inning courtesy of six walks and a hit batter by Twins pitchers. Lastly, it was the Mets turning a blowout into a closer game as Syndergaard tired in the eighth and Jeurys Familia again struggled to limit the damage. In the end, the Mets held on to win and split the series in front of their home crowd, but this was no run-of-the-mill victory.
The Twins opened up the scoring in the third with an RBI single from Max Kepler and they held onto a 1-0 lead until the bottom of the fifth when Twins starter Jake Odorizzi and two relievers all lost track of the strike zone. The starter surrendered a single and three walks before giving way to reliever Andrew Vasquez who promptly hit Brandon Nimmo to allow a run to score. Vazquez walked the next two batters, plating two more runs, before getting swapped out for Trevor Hildenberger who kept the trend going. Another bases loaded walk was followed by a 2-RBI single by Wilson Ramos to put the score at 6-1.
Meanwhile, Syndergaard was humming along with a good feel for his slider and change-up, making quick work of the Twins hitters. In the bottom of the seventh, the Mets tacked on three runs courtesy of a bases loaded single from Michael Conforto and an RBI single by Jeff McNeil. The score heading into the eighth inning was 9-1 and it seemed like Syndergaard was on his way to a complete game as his pitch count was low. However, in the eighth the Twins suddenly pounced on the big righty with a single, double and triple, plating two runs to close the gap to 9-3.
Familia entered the game with no outs and a runner on third and promptly gave up an RBI single. Syndergaard was charged with four runs, but was terrific for seven innings and it’s hard to be upset with that. Familia meanwhile surrendered a double and a walk to load the bases before getting a key double play and a ground out to keep the score at 9-5.
With a four-run lead, Mickey Callaway again turned to his closer Edwin Diaz. Diaz surrendered his first run of the season on a home run by Mitch Garver, who hit three in the two-game series. The closer then gave up a single and uncorked a wild pitch before settling down to strikeout the last two batters and secure the Mets win.
The Mets begin a tough 10-game road trip tomorrow starting with four in Atlanta and followed by three in Philadelphia, a day off and three in St. Louis. Steven Matz takes the mound tomorrow night against righty Kevin Gausman. The Mets and Braves are both 7-4. Let’s go Mets!