Mets rally in extras to snap Blue Jays’ 11-game winning streak

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The Mets came from behind to beat the Blue Jays 4-3 in 11 innings tonight at Citi Field, snapping Toronto’s winning streak at 11 games.

The Blue Jays grabbed the early lead in this one when Jose Bautista connected for a long solo home run off Noah Syndergaard in the top of the first inning. The Mets didn’t get their first hit against Mark Buehrle until the fifth, but they grabbed the lead in the sixth on back-to-back RBI doubles from Juan Lagares and Ruben Tejada.

Asked to get a four-out save, Jeurys Familia struck out Josh Donaldson swinging to get out of jam in the top of the eighth inning, but he gave up a leadoff solo home run to Bautista in the ninth to tie things up. The Blue Jays took the lead on a sacrifice fly from Dioner Navarro in the top of the 11th, but the Mets got a rally going in the bottom of the inning after Ruben Tejada drew a one-out walk against Brett Cecil. Michael Cuddyer followed with a ground ball to second base, but Tejada evaded the tag long enough for him to reach first base. Lucas Duda then tied things up with a bloop hit to left field before Blue Jays manager John Gibbons brought in Liam Hendriks to face Wilmer Flores. However, Flores hit a single up the middle to score Duda for the walk-off win for New York.

Here’s the video of the walk-off hit:

By the way, Syndergaard, who was traded from the Blue Jays to the Mets in the R.A. Dickey deal, struck out a career-high 11 batters over his six innings of work.

Tonight was the first loss for the Blue Jays since June 2. The Mets have secured comeback victories in back-to-back days and now sit at 35-30 on the season, 1 1/2 games ahead of the Nationals for first place in the National League East.

MLB’s juiced baseball is juicing Triple-A home run totals too

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There has been considerable evidence amassed over the past year or two that the baseball used by Major League Baseball has a lower aerodynamic profile, leading to less drag, which leads directly to more home runs. If you doubted that at all, get a load of what is happening in Triple-A right now.

The minors have always had different balls than the majors. The MLB ball is made in Costa Rica at a Rawlings facility. The minor league balls are made in China. They use slightly different materials and, by all accounts, the minor league balls do not have the same sort of action and do not travel as far as the big league balls. Before the season, as Baseball America reported, Major League Baseball requested that Triple-A baseball switch to using MLB balls. The reason: uniformity and, one presumes, more accurate analysis of performance at the top level of the minor leagues.

The result, as Baseball America reports today, is a massive uptick in homers in the early going to the Triple-A season:

Last April, Triple-A hitters homered once every 47 plate appearances. As the weather warmed up, so did the home run rate. Over the course of the entire 2018 season, Triple-A hitters homered every 43 plate appearances. So far this year, they are homering every 32 plate appearances. Triple-A hitters are hitting home runs at a rate of 135 percent of last year’s rate.

Again, that’s in the coldest, least-homer friendly month of the season. It’s gonna just get worse. Or better, I guess, if you’re all about the long ball.

Which you had better be, because if they did something to deaden the balls and reduce homers, we’d have the same historically-high strikeout and walk rates but with no homers to provide offense to compensate. At least unless or until hitters changed their approach to become slap hitters or something, but that could take a good while. And may still not be effective given the advances in defense since the last time slap hitting was an important part of the game.

In the meantime, enjoy the dingers, Triple-A fans.