Dominic Smith provided an insurance RBI in the 8th, and Edwin Diaz and the Mets held on to beat the Nationals to end their losing streak at five. Running into some trouble in the ninth, Diaz held on for his 11th save and the Mets despite missing some big names in their lineup sealed an elusive win.
Against Nats southpaw Patrick Corbin, Mickey Callaway decided to not start the controversial Robinson Cano in front of the flushing faithful as well as Brandon Nimmo. With Michael Conforto in the IL, JD Davis hit third. Wilmer Font got an opportunity to avenge his poor outing last week in D.C.
The warmest day of the year in Queens also saw some warmed-up bats of the Mets strike for four runs in the early going. In the first inning Amed Rosario eluded the leaping glove of Nationals center fielder Victor Robles on a stroke to deep center, and Pete Alonso followed up a batter later with a Statcast bomb well over the old left field fence.
The following two runs came on a Todd Frazier single and Carlos Gomez double during a third inning rally.
The game was a slog early on, with over 200 pitches thrown in the first five innings. Both Corbin and Font seemed to have to battle every at bat, walking a combine seven hitters each had to leave early due to high pitch counts
Cano came in to pinch hit in the 6th and showed some hustle to leg out a two-out double. It’s a little easier to hustle when you hit liners and not dribblers, and perhaps if these Mets can keep winning these concerns will go by the wayside.
Both bullpens provided some clean relief until the 8th inning. Gomez misplayed a slicing liner from Anthony Rendon who is quietly one of the best players in the majors. That ended Jeurys Familia’s night after some positive signs, and Rendon scored from second reading Victor Robles RBI single well.
But it was Smith who came through for the final blow to make the final frame much less stressful. It has been great to see the young man come through in such late-game situations. We’ll see if Zack Wheeler and the Mets can make this a winning streak.