The Mets, with their backs to the wall, facing a wild-card elimination game against the Padres, sent ace Jacob deGrom to the mound. We didn’t see the vintage deGrom of his 2018-2019 Cy Young Award winning seasons, but neither did we see the deGrom of the last two weeks, fortunately. The Mets bats woke up, and the series was tied up at a game apiece.

Francisco Lindor got the Mets off to a good start, burying a Blake Snell pitch into the left field stands to put the Mets up 1-0 in the first. deGrom cruised through the first two innings, retiring the first six batters and regularly hitting 100 mph on the radar gun. However in the third Trent Grisham homered to knot up the contest 1-1.

The Mets regained the lead in the fourth when Brandon Nimmo lined an RBI single to left, plating Edwardo Escobar. The Padres came right back in the top of the fifth when Jurickson Profar singled home a run to tie it up again at 2-2.

Pete Alonso belted a homer to left off reliever Nick Martinez in the fifth to make it a 3-2 game. deGrom pitched through the sixth inning, but after 99 pitches and 8 K’s he was done. Thinking outside the box, Manager Buck Showalter brought closer Edwin Diaz to pitch in the seventh, and he tossed a scoreless frame.

The Mets broke it open in the bottom of the seventh. Lindor singled, Alonso and Mark Canha drew bases on balls to load the bases. Jeff McNeil lashed a double to drive home two runs. Eduardo Escobar and Tomas Nido each had an RBI single, and sandwiched between them was a Daniel Vogelbach pinch-hit sac fly. The Mets were in control with a 7-2 lead.

Diaz returned in the eighth, and retired the two batters he faced. Adam Ottavino recorded the third out. In the ninth things got a little to close for comfort. Ottavino lost the strike zone and the Padres loaded the bases on two walks and a hit batsman. Manny Machado then walked to tighten the score at 7-3. Showalter had seen enough and he sent in Seth Lugo to relieve, and the veteran curve ball specialist got the last out to end the game.

deGrom got the win, Nimmo had another good game going 3 for 4, and the Mets had timely hitting going 3 for 10 with RISP. The crowd of 42,156 at Citi Field endured a four hour and 13 minute contest, but they were rewarded with a home team victory.

Sunday night will decide who gets to play the Dodgers in the next round. It will be all hands on deck for both teams, although Diaz, after 1 ⅔ IP pitched, will have to be used sparingly if at all.

6 comments on “Gut Reaction: Mets 7, Padres 3 (10/8/22)

  • BrianJ

    A lot of positive things tonight. HR from both Lindor and Alonso. Nimmo on base 4 times. Big two-run double from McNeil. The .300 AVG with RISP. Of course the biggest positive was keeping the season alive. I’m glad for all of it!

    You have to manage differently in the playoffs than you do in the regular season. But it felt like going to Diaz in the 7th inning was a panic move, one to make sure he didn’t repeat the Zack Britton fiasco from his Baltimore days.

    On one hand you can say it worked. They had to win this game or else the season was over. Mission accomplished. Hopefully it works out better than the last time that phrase was used.

    Yet I’m nervous about 28 pitches for Diaz, 35 for Ottavino and Lugo being used in back-to-back days. Hopefully Bassitt gives 8 IP and the bats put up 7 runs again.

  • TexasGusCC

    The Mets ran a very high pitch total on Snell and got a nice 9 walks to go with nine hits and a plunked batter so that’s a WHIP of over 2.00 for the game for the game. It may not be that easy tomorrow, but tonight they had to win and they did!

    Didn’t see much of the first half of the game, but the HR is starting to confound me. Why is the opposition homering like crazy against our best two starters? Bassitt tomorrow has to bring it and I think Taijuan Walker getting on the roster will be a blessing. He will bring it and I think he is a closer or late inning option unless he is held back for Game 1 on Tuesday. Let’s put it this way, I like Walker better than May, Givens, and Megill.

  • Paulc

    Pitching Diaz was the smart move. It was a high-leverage 7th inning in a 3-2 game. Better him than Trevor May there. It shows Buck doesn’t manage by a formula (‘closers only pitch the 9th when up by 3 runs or less…’). It was a win or die game so no need to save him. Let’s see how tonight goes. Might be able to avoid the pen entirely and pitch Bassitt 5-6 innings and have Walker finish the rest.

  • T.J.

    Bringing In Diaz in the 7th inning against 8-9-1 was bucked up. They escaped this game more so than winning it. But, the final score is what matters. Hopefully Bassitt will have learned from his Altanta performance. They need significant high quality innings from him. The bats will need to perform tonight or it will be a long cold dark winter.

    I also don’t understand how the Mets would be locked into the #1 seed Dodgers with the #6 seed Phillies advanced. Another what the Buck.

  • ChrisF

    Agonizing, but critical, Mets win. It dispelled the trope that you only win hitting HR. I love HR as much as anyone, but also love baseball being played with hard contact and taking advantage of the situation. So much of this season was like that, it seems fitting elimination game #1 went back to how this team wins: home runs, walks, hits, sac flys all together.

    It’s gonna be a tall task tonight again…but now every game is a tall task. I just hope they find some real mojo on offense while the starting pitching wilts.

  • Nym6986

    I too questioned the early entry of Diaz against 8-9-1 but it worked and with a guy on it became 8-9-1-2. 19 pitches and the nearly hour wait in the dugout had me concerned but with a 7-2 lead I felt comfortable for about two minutes until it looked like a 9th inning collapse with one swing away from Bell to tie it up. Marte hit the ball hard and I love his swagger at the plate. Seems the only way to get Ruff on base is not by a hit but a HBP. He should not be playing anymore this season. Nimmo shines again in the lead off spot and I’m sure will draw even more interest as a free agent being in the national spotlight. Lindor and Alonso and so goes the Mets. Same for Jake who smartly and effectively switched to his slider for a while before coming back with the heat when needed. Padres have a very scary set of hitters 1-5 who can turn a game around In an instance. Nice to see they easily handled Soto and found a way to get past Machado as well. Bassitt for the win today as he has done for much of this season. His repertoire of pitches should hold the Pods off base. LGM. One game at a time.

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