In a game they had no business losing, the Mets gave up seven runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to come out on the wrong end of an 11-10 score. It was an unfathomable ending to a game that had multiple twists and turns.
This was the supposed to be the pitcher’s duel deluxe between Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer. But deGrom didn’t have his best stuff and the Mets ambushed Scherzer in the fourth inning after it appeared he had no-hit stuff in the first three frames.
The Nationals opened the scoring in the bottom of the first and seemed to have scoring opportunities every inning but managed just two runs in the first seven frames.
The Mets managed just a walk by Brandon Nimmo in the first three innings but in the fourth they decided to swing at the first pitch and the results were great. Pete Alonso and Michael Conforto opened up with singles, Wilson Ramos extended his hitting streak to 26 games with an RBI double, Nimmo followed with a sacrifice fly and Joe Panik homered to put the Mets up, 4-1.
Jeff McNeil homered to give the Mets a 5-2 lead in the eighth inning.
deGrom had thrown 96 pitches and Mickey Callaway sent him out for the eighth inning. The pitch total wasn’t obscene but they were high-stress pitches for most of the night, including an 18-pitch seventh. DeGrom gave up a single to start the eighth and then Juan Soto cracked a two-run homer to cut the lead to 5-4.
Seth Lugo came on and retired the next three batters in order.
The Mets seemed to put the game away in the ninth inning. Nimmo led off with a homer, McNeil had a two-run hit and Alonso added a two-run blast to center to put the Mets up, 10-4.
Callaway opted to remove Lugo and let Paul Sewald finish out the game. Unlike sending deGrom to the mound in the eighth inning, it was likely the right move on paper. But Sewald gave up hits to four of the five batters he faced. Callaway opted to play matchups, brining in Luis Avilan to face the lefty Soto. But the matchup game failed again for the Mets, as Soto singled to load the bases. Callaway called for Edwin Diaz, who promptly gave up a double and a homer and the game was over.
The game was like a flashback to May and June when the bullpen stunk and they lost games they should have won. Perhaps none of those games was as much of a gimme as this one, however. It’s still hard to process how this one played out.