The Mets scored six runs in the top of the 10th inning and it still wasn’t enough for stress-free bottom of the inning. It was, however, enough for the Mets to hold on and claim a 9-7 win in the opener of a four-game series in Washington Monday night.

It didn’t look like the game was going to reach extra innings at all. Jake Diekman was the choice to pitch the bottom of the ninth and his throwing error put the winning run in scoring position. But he was bailed out by a leaping grab by Tyrone Taylor that kept the game tied.

The Mets offense had been dormant for the majority of the game. But they broke out their power sticks in the 10th, including home runs by J.D. Martinez and Jose Iglesias, in addition to a double by Taylor and a triple by Francisco Alvarez.

Reed Garrett had been warming up to come in but with the Mets making it no longer a save situation, Carlos Mendoza brought in Tyler Jay, instead. Why Garrett received exalted closer status, being too good to pitch in a normal situation, is a mystery.

What wasn’t a mystery was Jay’s offerings, which the Nationals were very happy to see. Two RBI hits made it a 9-6 game. After a walk made it a save situation, Mendoza brought Reed into the game. And Reed gave up an RBI single before getting a strikeout to end the game.

David Peterson got the start and put up a strong outing, pitching into the seventh inning. He allowed an infield single and was pulled. If nothing else, Mendoza is consistent with this approach. Once a starter puts a runner on base after the fifth inning, he gets yanked, regardless of the situation.

Never mind that it was an infield hit. Never mind that Peterson had retired 11 in a row before the infield hit. Never mind that he had thrown just 86 pitches. He had to come out.

Peterson was annoyed that he was yanked and the tv cameras caught him throwing his glove in the dugout after being removed. After the inning was over, the cameras showed Mendoza talking to Peterson and the announcers sugar coated it as a “teaching” moment.

Here’s a thought: Maybe it’s not Peterson that needs to be taught a lesson at this point in time.

When your plan is to win games with your bullpen, when the bullpen is playing a pitcher short and with two guys who don’t belong in the majors – perhaps you can let a starter who’s cruising finish an inning.

The early hook meant that Dedniel Nunez had to work thru an up-down situation. And after he cruised in the seventh inning, Nunez gave up the tying run in the eighth.

Nobody’s bullpen moves are going to work all of the time. But there were two head-scratchers by Mendoza that didn’t work out, three if you include bringing in Diekman, who shouldn’t be used outside of the old LOOGY gambit. Mendoza’s got a tough hand to play with the Edwin Diaz suspension. But he didn’t play it well. At all.

But at least it ended with a win.

8 comments on “Gut Reaction: Mets 9, Nationals 7 (10 INN) 7/1/24

  • T.J.

    We. Will. Take. It.

    They players and manager had a rough go late, but every now and then, power can make up for mistakes. That pile on bomb by Mr. OMG was no pile on shot with this pen. It was crucial.

  • NYM6986

    In the end it was a great start to the month of July as they held on for a win. When Taylor misplayed that ball to allow the tying run to score I flashed back to May and did not expect a victory. The pen has some talented arms but no one who is dominant, nor anyone who makes you feel safe. At least when Diaz came off the IL from his head case injury, you believed there was someone at the end to shut the door. Then he gets tossed and they need to bring up names that only Dave would know from his minor leaguer deep dives.
    JD came back just when we needed him most. Alvarez continues to play like an Allstar and when was the last time you saw a catcher hit a triple? And Iggy keeps rolling along with an unlikely bomb to CF to drive in what would incredibly be the winning runs when the Gnats came biting back against the Jaybird. Iggy back up to .400 – shades of George Brett that will likely be closer to brother Ken Brett by the end of they year- but let’s enjoy him while we can. Clearly whether you are Tyler or a Tylor, Citi Field should not be your home, except we may have no choice but to try Tylor in the pen.
    Manaea today to keep July rolling toward being trade deadline buyers. We need some relief to arrive-where’s it coming from?

  • NYM6986

    Just found Tyler Stuart down in AA. He must be next to bring up

    • Metstabolism

      Huh?? He’s been hot for all of two starts. Prior to that, he gave up 14 runs in 14-2/3 innings across 4 starts. He’s had as many bad starts this year as good ones. Maybe he gets to AAA this year. But beyond that is pushing it.

      • NYM6986

        Meant that only as a joke to keep bringing similar names up. Clearly there are much better choices

  • Metsense

    Gut Reaction: Peterson shouldn’t have been pulled. He was cruising. Mendoza and Hefner should have realized that our bullpen is not healthy and so when a starter is cruising they have to ride his back. Stearns should have realized that Butto and Lucchesi would have been a better call up than Festa and Jay. Butto, Lucchesi and Houser could give them length until Garrett (8th) and Nunez (9th).
    Iglesias earned his platoon status. Martinez solidifies the lineup and last night it paid dividends. Alvarez is my choice for the representative in the All-Star Game. His leadership and enthusiasm has resulted in wins when he plays.

    • Metstabolism

      Butto had just started a game a day or two earlier, so would not have been available, anyway. IGood as it would have been to have a length option in the pen, nice to have the length option in the pen, Lucchesi is struggling in AAA since we last saw him. His velo is sitting at 89 now, only reaching 90 a handful of times a game. If you want to hypothesize that the shorter relief stints might offset some of his issues, then perhaps you’d be right. On the other hand, what is wrong with his arm this year, and how much rest does that fading arm need between appearances? Either way, thats a long way from touting him as a solution.

      • Metstabolism

        Update: Tyler Jay was optioned down after last night’s game. Butto has just been recalled, presumably for a pen role.
        Scott will be called up to start Wednesday’s game.

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