Kodai Senga and Logan Gilbert engaged in a pitcher’s duel for seven innings, setting the stage for Francisco Lindor and Daniel Vogelbach to come thru in the eighth, leading the Mets to a 2-1 win over the Mariners Friday night at Citi Field.
Senga was terrific. He started off with three hitless innings before serving up a gopher ball to fall behind 1-0. But that’s all he gave up over seven innings. The Mariners had their chances in both the sixth and seventh innings, but Senga struck out five batters with runners in scoring position in those two frames, keeping the Mariners off the board. Senga ended up with 12 Ks and lowered his ERA t 3.08 for the season.
Brandon Nimmo hit a solo homer in the sixth inning to tie the game. It was his 20th HR of the year, with Statcast saying it traveled 416 feet.
Lindor led off the eighth inning with a single and then stole second. He advanced to third on a wild pitch. Vogelbach, who just missed a HR his previous time up, fouled off some tough pitches and eventually ran the count full. On the ninth pitch of the at-bat, Vogelbach lined a single to left field for the game-winning run.
The Mets called on Drew Smith to nail down the win, which given his recent gopher ball tendencies didn’t inspire a lot of confidence. Smith walked the first batter he faced and things didn’t look good. But he proceeded to pick the pinch runner off first base, which turned the tide in the inning. Smith gave up a single but earned his third save of the season by striking out the final batter he faced.
The game featured the MLB debut of Ronny Mauricio and he did not disappoint. In his first AB, Mauricio smoked a double to right field that had a 117.3 exit velocity, the top mark by a Mets hitter this season. He had a two-hit game and combined with Lindor on a nice DP, too.
This game was on Apple TV and it was a surprisingly good broadcast, complete with clean graphics, a surprisingly good Dontrelle Willis as the color guy and a really nice shot in the ninth inning. They caught Francisco Alvarez tapping his glove and pointing to first base, giving Smith the signal to throw over on what turned to be a successful pickoff.
All in all, a nice way to start September.