Mets’ bats, bullpen lead the way in win over lowly Nationals

If the Mets suffered a disappointment after their thrilling series win over the Dodgers, it didn’t last long.

The Mets went from facing the best team in the majors to the worst in the majors, snapping a four-game tie in the sixth inning and a 7-3 victory over the Nationals at 33,630 on Friday. At Citi Field at night.

In 16 straight games against teams under .500, the Mets have mostly played like a team under .500 — encountering a few outs on the base path, leaving Washington in wide receiver Tomas Nido’s First score on a throwing error — but their bat and late weapons were there when needed.

Eduardo Escobar and Pete Alonso each hit a home run to help the Mets maintain a three-game lead over the Warriors, which beat the Marlins.

“These guys have had a sense of urgency since the first day of spring, they want to get things done,” manager Buck Showalter posted a season-high 37 in .500 for the Mets (85-48) It was the highest mark since they finished the 100-60 season in 1988, he said after the game. “So it doesn’t surprise me that they continue to compete.”

Eduardo Escobar celebrates after his two-run homer.
Eduardo Escobar celebrates after his two-run homer.
Robert Szabo of The New York Post
Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) celebrates his go-ahead homer in the sixth inning against the Nationals, Friday, Sept. 2, 2022, at Citi Field.
Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) celebrates his home run in the sixth inning against the Nationals.
Robert Saab/New York Post

The Mets ended in a 3-3 draw, with Alonso hitting more often lately, hitting Nationals starter Josiah Gray on the second ball from the bottom of the sixth inning. It was Alonso’s 32nd homer of the season and was badly needed by a slugger who has hit .200 in his last 20 games.

“When Pete is in the batter’s box, he’s in scoring position,” Showalter said of Alonso, who has 26 RBIs for the season, the most since the official tally in 1974. once.

The home run was just the beginning of the Mets breakout.

Daniel Vogelbach walks before Jeff McNeil (3-for-4) hits a single that knocks Gray out of the game. Mark Canha faced Steve Cishek on the right and lined up to load the bases without going out.

Double hit by second baseman Jeff McNeil (1) in the fourth inning of a game against the Nationals on Friday, September 2, 2022 at Citi Field.
In the fourth inning of the game against the Nationals, met second baseman Jeff McNeil (1) for a double.
Robert Saab/New York Post

Tyler Naquin pinched for Vogelbach. It was important because Escobar flew the sacrifice to the right in a race for Naquin and sent McNeil to third. However, Canha was doubled when trying to raise the delay mark to second. But a key RBI single from Nido and an RBI triple from Brandon Nimmo – on a ball misread by initial breakaway center fielder Victor Robles – extended the Mets’ lead as their bullpen was not threatened.

The team lacked two of its biggest weapons, Edwin Diaz and Adam Ottavino, who gave the Mets a win over the Dodgers two days in a row. In the bullpen looking for contributors, Mychal Givens made the most out of their absence.

The trade-deadline successor replaced David Peterson, who tied the game at 3-3 in the sixth inning, and Ildemaro Vargas, a potential go-ahead, at second base. Givens retired Victor Robles and CJ Abrams to escape the frame, then returned with a solid seventh.

“You can tell he’s happy to be here and wants to contribute because he’s been in two or three games,” Showalter said of Givens, who made his debut with the Mets in the Eight innings have been allowed in two games in the past. “You could say he feels better about being the contributor he can be.”

Mychal Givens pitched in the Mets' win over the Nationals on Friday.
Mychal Givens pitched in the Mets’ win over the Nationals on Friday.
Michelle Persian/New York Post

Joely Rodriguez and Seth Lugo did the bullpen work, pitching 3 ²/₃ innings scoreless.

The Mets, who have won 11 of 14 games against the Nationals this season (45-87), took the lead when Escobar hit his 13th homer of the season in the second inning.

Peterson allowed the Nationals to hang out, though he wasn’t exactly the culprit.

In the third game, Peterson was double injured by Nido. The southpaw gave Robles a three-point lead before eliciting a ground from Abrams and hitting Ryan Thomas on a nasty slider in the dirt. But Nido tried to knock Robles down in the third and shorted his throw to a scrambled Escobar who didn’t get to the base fast enough to watch the ball skip past him. Robles scored and Thomas took the first base for a strikeout but was not caught cleanly.

Washington had an RBI single from Alex Call and an RBI double from Vargas in the fifth and sixth innings, respectively. The hit went after Peterson after 5 ¹/₃ innings, in which he allowed 3 runs on 8 hits.

Peterson may have made his final start of the season, Carlos Carrasco will return on Sunday, and the Mets bullpen needs a southpaw.

“I don’t have any information on that,” Peterson said of his next assignment.

The Mets’ bullpen got help Friday, and there could be more.

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