Mets vs Padres score: New York keeps season alive, forces Game 3 behind Jacob deGrom, timely shots

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The New York Mets have lived to play another day. On Saturday night, the Mets forced a Game 3 in their Wild Card Series game with the San Diego Padres with a 7-3 victory in Game 2 (box score). The game was closer than the final score would suggest – New York didn’t open it until the seventh inning. The game was never separated by more than a run for the first six and a half innings, and San Diego brought the tying run home in the ninth.

Jacob deGrom did what Max Scherzer couldn’t in Game 1, and that was shut down San Diego and give the bullpen a lead. He allowed two runs in six innings and struck out eight. The big hits that eluded the Mets in Game 1 and early Game 2 came mid-innings and put New York in position to play another game.

The Wild Card series is a best-of-three, so Sunday’s Game 3 is a win-or-go home affair. Here are four takeaways from New York’s Game 2 win.

Lindor and Alonso passed

Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso have had great seasons overall, although they’ve been unproductive in too many games lately. They went 5-for-23 (.214) combined while getting swept in Atlanta last weekend, then went 1-for-7 in the Game 1 loss. Lindor and Alonso weren’t the only culprits in Game 1, despite being the biggest stars, so they get the most attention.

Both players came out on top when needed in Game 2. Lindor opened the scoring with a solo first homer against Blake Snell, giving the Mets the lead they desperately needed after the resounding loss in Game 1. Then , in round five, Alonso gave the New Yorkers the lead for good with his own solo homer. It came just after the Padres tied the game in the previous half.

Overall, Lindor and Alonso went 3 for 7 with two home runs and three walks in Game 2. New York’s other big star — Jacob deGrom — struck out eight in six innings. At one point, seven of 13 batters reached base against deGrom in the middle of the inning, but, in the end, he did what he had to do and gave the Mets’ top relievers a lead.

One hitter too many for Snell

All things considered, it could have been worse. Padres left-hander Blake Snell needed 90 pitches to get 10 out, and he allowed 10 of the 19 batters he faced to reach base. He opened the fourth with back-to-back walks, and after the No. 9 hitter was unable to bunt, Padres manager Bob Melvin stuck with Snell against southpaw Brandon Nimmo.

This move backfired. Nimmo slapped a first left single pitch to score the run and give the Mets a 2-1 lead. Nimmo went 3 for 3 with three opposite singles against Snell.

Nick Martinez replaced Snell and escaped the heat without further damage. Classic case of sticking with a batter pitcher for too long. Snell worked all night – again, 10 base runners and 10 outs – and Melvin tried to steal one more with the left-on-left game even though Nimmo had taken some good productive hits against Snell all night. .

Grisham went deep again

Two years ago, Trent Grisham looked like a future All-Star. His game has regressed over the past two years, though, and he’s hit rock bottom with a .184/.284/.341 line this season. That includes .177/.289/.333 against right-handers and .107/.167/.179 in August and September. Grisham has had a terrible regular season.

So, naturally, Grisham hit home runs against two of the best pitchers in the world in San Diego’s first two playoff games. He took Max Scherzer deep in Game 1 and then got deGrom in Game 2. That’s not a bad pitch at all (at 100.3 mph, that’s the fastest pitch for a homer by a Padre since the launch of Statcast in 2015). Hats off to Grisham:

Between his Wild Card Game error in the 2019 NL Wild Card Game and his home runs against Scherzer and deGrom the past two days, Grisham is cementing his status as an agent of playoff chaos. Seriously, he had a terrible regular season, but everyone starts October with a clean slate, and Grisham is enjoying it.

Díaz entered the seventh

Mets manager Buck Showalter wasn’t going to let his team’s season end without using his best reliever again. It went to Edwin Díaz in the seventh inning of Game 2. Showalter used Díaz against the other team’s best hitters in the eighth inning a few times during the regular season (with someone else getting the stoppage), but he never went to Díaz as from the seventh.

In a win-or-go home game, it’s all on the table, and Díaz was brought in to face the batters 8-9-1 in the seventh. It was his first time in a nine-inning game since August 2, 2020. Díaz managed to throw a one-out single and pass seventh on 19 pitches, including striking out the dangerous Juan Soto.

The infraction gave Showalter the chance to remove Díaz. Adrian Morejon loaded the bases with no outs and the Mets dumped four insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh. Jeff McNeil had a two-run double, Eduardo Escobar a one-run single and Daniel Vogelbach hit a sacrifice fly. That gave the Mets a seemingly comfortable 7-2 lead.

Apparently that 7-2 lead wasn’t comfortable enough. Díaz returned to the mound in the eighth and had two outs on nine pitches before giving the game to Adam Ottavino. Letting Díaz continue with a five-point lead when you have another playoff game in 24 hours is second guessing, but with the season on the line, I get it. Prevention is better than cure.

Example: San Diego brought the tying run home in the ninth! Ottavino loaded the bases and forced a run with a hit batter and three walks. Seth Lugo eventually forced Josh Bell out to end the match. It’s fair to wonder if Díaz will be compromised in any way in Game 3. We will find out soon enough.

Next

Game 3. Winner faces Dodgers in NLDS, loser goes home for the winter. It will be Joe Musgrove (10-7, 2.93 ERA) against Chris Bassitt (15-9, 3.42 ERA). This is the only match on the program on Sunday. The first launch is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. ET.

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