The Mets scored single runs in the ninth and 10th innings to beat the Yankees 3-2 and avoid a home sweep Sunday.
Already down Jose Reyes because of a hamstring strain, the Mets’ chances appeared to take another hit today when R.A. Dickey was forced from a 1-1 game after five innings due to tightness in his glute. The Mets got two scoreless innings from rookie Pedro Beato, but they fell behind in the eighth after Jason Isringhausen gave up a run on a Curtis Granderson sac fly.
To come back from there, the Mets relied on what’s been their biggest offensive weapon this season: the base on balls. The NL leaders in walks and OBP couldn’t push across a run after two David Robertson walks in the eighth, but they did capitalize on Mariano Rivera’s two-out walk of Jason Bay in the ninth. Lucas Duda and Ronny Paulino both singled from there to tie up the game.
With the winning run on second, Ruben Tejada then hit a ball that went through shortstop Ramiro Pena for an error. Fortunately, left fielder Brett Gardner was charging the entire time, and though his throw home was a bit wide of home plate, Russell Martin was able to haul it in and dive back across the plate in time to tag Duda and send the game into extras.
The Mets went on to win it in 10. Scott Hairston walked to lead off the inning against Luis Ayala and was sacrificed to second. After a HBP and a strikeout, Daniel Murphy hit a pretty routine grounder to short that Pena bobbled for his second error in two innings. With the bases loaded, Bay drove a pitch into the gap in right-center to end the game.
Bay has now hit in six straight games. He’s also driven in seven runs and walked six times during that span.
Francisco Rodriguez, pitching two innings for the first time this season, earned the win today. The blown save was Rivera’s fourth of the year and first against the Mets since 1999.
The Yankees lost their seven-game winning streak, but they did end up 4-2 against the Mets this season.
The Nationals lost a heartbreaker on Tuesday night, as the Indians overcame a two-run deficit in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the Nationals 7-6. Closer Jonathan Papelbon faced five batters but was unable to record an out, yielding a leadoff walk, a double, a bunt that ended up very successful due to a Ryan Zimmerman throwing error, an intentional walk, and a single. Oliver Perez came in and eventually allowed one of his inherited runners to score, saddling Papelbon with the loss.
Papelbon also served up four runs in the outing before Tuesday’s, on Saturday against the Padres. The two clubs entered the top of the ninth tied 6-6, but a walk followed by three two-out singles and a bases-clearing double off of Papelbon allowed the Padres to take a 10-6 lead.
On the season, Papelbon is 19-for-22 in save chances with a 4.18 ERA and a 30/12 K/BB ratio in 32 1/3 innings. If the season were to end today, the right-hander’s 21.4 percent strikeout rate would be the lowest mark of his career and his 8.6 percent walk rate would be his highest mark since 2010.
Manager Dusty Baker didn’t indicate that he’s going to make a change at closer, but he sounded dissatisfied with Papelbon’s performance thus far. Via Mark Zuckerberg of MASN, Baker said, “He doesn’t have his command, which is evident when you walk the leadoff hitter. But it’s like, what do you say? How does he look? Right now he doesn’t look like Pap. He doesn’t look very good. Usually he doesn’t walk people like that.”
The non-waiver trade deadline is on Monday, August 1. The Nationals, at 58-42, still have a four-game lead over the Marlins and a 4.5-game lead over the Mets. Tuesday’s loss has motivated the club to attempt to upgrade the bullpen, Jon Morosi reports. The Nationals were in the mix for Aroldis Chapman before the Yankees sent him to the Cubs. Perhaps Andrew Miller could be next on the Nats’ wish list.
The Blue Jays announced on Tuesday night that the club traded reliever Drew Storen and some cash to the Mariners in exchange for reliever Joaquin Benoit.
Storen, 28, was designated for assignment by the Jays on Sunday after posting a 6.21 ERA with a 32/10 K/BB ratio in 33 1/3 innings. The Jays acquired him during the offseason from the Nationals in exchange for Ben Revere and a player to be named later.
Benoit, 38, struggled as well, putting up a 5.18 ERA with a 28/15 K/BB ratio in 24 1/3 innings with the Mariners.