Thursday, June 6, 2019

Mets Stun San Francisco To Take Series, Can Use Home Cookin' To Go On a Roll

Todd Frazier touching the plate on his game-winning home run. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Mets beat the San Francisco Giants, 7-3, on Thursday afternoon at Citi Field, as they scored four runs in the eighth inning, which included a game-winning two-run home run from Todd Frazier.

The Mets rebounded from Tuesday's tough loss, in which San Francisco, scored six in the tenth, to win the series as Jason Vargas threw a shutout in a 7-0 win Wednesday followed by this comeback victory.

This was the Mets' fifth series win at home, where they have won 11 of their last 13. Their record at Citi Field now 17-10 at home. 

Their record is now 30-32, which is relatively fine considering they have played 35 on the road so far. If they keep playing well at home, they can take advantage that they still have 54 games at Citi Field.

The Mets stay home to host Colorado for a three-game set starting Friday night. They then have two at Yankee Stadium Monday and Tuesday nights before heading back to Queens for four with St. Louis next weekend.

Mets Manager Mickey Callaway said of how his team does at Citi Field, "It's always an exciting thing to win a series and we've been playing great at home, so I'm ready for these guys (Colorado) to come into Citi Field in front of our fans. I love the way we play in this ballpark, it's kind of broken up by a big series across the way over there and we're excited about that. We have to beat the best to be the best, and we're going to go out there and do that."

The Mets came out firing , as Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith hit back-to-back home runs to open the game.

That was the third time in team history that the Mets opened a game in that fashion, and the first time since August, 26 2016,when Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Carbrera did it in Philadelphia. The other time also involved Reyes, who went back-to-back with Ruben Gotay on July 12,2007 against Cincinnati.

They kept it going against Giants starter Shaun Anderson, who was making his fifth career start in the Major Leagues, as Pete Alonso drew a walk and Michael Conforto singled.

Anderson got Frazier to line out and Adeiny Hechavarria hit into a double play.

From then on, Anderson settled in, and pitched into the seventh inning, allowing the Giants to mount a comeback.

Mets starter Zack Wheeler didn't allow a hit until Mike Yastrzemski opened the fourth inning with a single. After Pablo Sandoval grounded into a force out, Brandon Belt launched a two-run homer to tie the game at 2.

San Francisco took the lead in the sixth when Sandoval got a home run of his own, a solo shot, which made it 3-2.

Anderson lasted until the seventh, when he was pulled after opening that inning with a walk to Juan Lagares.

Reyes Moronta came out of the bullpen for the Giants and he allowed a single to Tomas Nido. After pinch-hitter Carlos Gomez (for Wheeler) bunted Nido over to second, another PH, Jeff McNeil, singled to score Nido and tie it at 3.

Callaway said of McNeil's approach to be able to keep getting big hits, "First and foremost, he touches the ball, right, he just touches it. He got behind, the kid (Moronta) made some really good pitches at 97, and he just nicked them and fouled them back, fouled them back, and then he gets one that probably isn't quite as executed and he hits it off the end for an RBI single. So it's really just about touching the ball sometimes, and that's what he does the best."

Tony Watson came in to face the Mets' third pinch-hitter of the seventh inning, J.D. Davis, who hit into a double play to end the inning.

With Wheeler pinch-hit for in the seventh, his day was done (7 innings pitched, 3 hits, 3 earned runs, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts), Seth Lugo came on for the Mets in the eighth and retired the Giants in order.

The Giants turned to Mark Melancon for the bottom of the eighth, and he allowed a single to Alonso before getting Conforto to ground into a force out.

Frazier was up next, and he hit one to left field that looked like a routine fly ball, but kept going, deep into the seats for a two-run homer to make it 5-3 Mets.

Callaway said of what he saw on Frazier's blast, "Anytime they take a swing out on their front leg and almost their back knee on the ground, you don't anticipate that it's going out. You usually read the swing and then it just kept on going. Looked like Frazier knew it was gone, you know he's hit so many like that, so he was aware that it was gone, but we were like 'get in the gap, get in the gap' and it goes over the fence. He's got raw power."

The Mets kept it going against Melancon as Hechavarria singled and came home on a double from Lagares, and even ran through a stop sign from third base coach Gary DiSarcina. Hehavarria made the right call, as the ball was still in the left field corner as he rounded third and he had a head of steam and made it with ease.

Lagares scored on a single by McNeil, who had RBI singles in consecutive innings, and the Mets were up 7-3 heading into the ninth.

Jeurys Familia, who has had a rough go of late and was greeted by boos, came on for the ninth and he retired San Francisco in order, which included strikeouts of Brandon Belt and Stephen Vogt.

Callaway said of bringing Familia in for a "non-pressure situation," with a four-run lead, "That's the opportunity we were looking for for him. I wanted it to be with a lead because there's still pressure there because if he doesn't get outs, we have to get Edwin (Diaz) up and get him in the game. There's still some pressure there, but he did a great job. He was relaxed, he kept his head on the target. He and Dave (Eiland, Mets pitching coach) have been working really hard on a number of things, and it looked like it paid off today. He was very under control, he was throwing the ball over the plate, his head was more in line like we need to see from him, and he went out in a big situation. You know, most teams use their closer in that situation, right? Up four, you use your closer because you might have to get your closer up and going, so you might as well put him in. He did a great job in that scenario."

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