Thankfully, the New York Mets four-game losing streak didn’t last very long. The Mets rebounded from their crushing loss earlier Monday to defeat the Braves 8-5 in Game 2 of their doubleheader. Because you already got one recap out of me and it’s well into the wee hours of the night, a short introduction will have to suffice. Here we go.
Belfast Blur Struggles
Strapped for starting pitching, the Mets turned to P.J. Conlon to take the ball in Game 2 of their Memorial Day doubleheader. Let’s just say that Conlon’s second major league start went a little worse than his last one. The Belfast Blur (trademark pending) was only able to last two innings on 46 pitches. The Mets desperately needed length out of their starter and did not get it. The good news: Conlon did not surrender a walk. The bad news: the left-hander got tagged for eight hits and four runs. Conlon is not a particularly hard thrower, with a fastball that tops out in the high 80s, so it’s a long shot to believe he’ll carve out a long-term position in this rotation even with how thin their depth is.
Fear the Plaw
A lot has happened since the last time we saw Kevin Plawecki on April 11. In the 39 games since, the Mets have gone from a dominant force to a barely .500 team. Acquiring Devin Mesoraco stopped the bleeding at catcher, but the return of Plawecki from a broken bone in his left hand should provide depth and make for a decent platoon behind the plate.
Plaw returned to action last night after going 3-13 with a home run in his Las Vegas rehab stint and boy did he not disappoint. The Mets’ backstop was on base five times Monday, recording a walk, three singles, an RBI and a run scored. He reached on an error in the first inning after he hit a comebacker to Brandon McCarthy that the hurler simply just threw away. I should also note that his infield single in the sixth should have been scored an error as Johan Camargo blatantly dropped the ball. The Mets need production at the catcher position and whether it’s Mesoraco or Plawecki doesn’t matter as long as it helps this team turn around.
Everybody Getting Involved
Despite how inept they were during the afternoon, the Mets were able to post eight runs on 15 hits in the nightcap. Adrian Gonzalez opened the scoring in the first with an RBI single and the Mets jumped to 2-0 after Plawecki reached on an error, scoring Jay Bruce. Brandon Nimmo blasted a homer in the third, but this lead wouldn’t stand up long.
The Mets gave it back to the Braves but regained the lead after Amed Rosario singled home Plawecki and Jose Reyes in the sixth. The Mets were able to dismantle Atlanta’s Brandon McCarthy, who finished with a line of 5.1 innings pitched, nine hits, five runs and two strikeouts.
Unfortunately, that lead didn’t last very long either, but the Mets rallied back quickly. Singles from Luis Guillorme and Rosario netted three runs in the seventh, giving the Mets the 8-5 lead that went final.
Overall, every Mets starting position player netted at hit tonight. Michael Conforto and Plawecki finished with three-hit games, Guillorme and Rosario each had a total of four hits and five RBIs between them, and Nimmo, Gonzalez and Plawecki each recorded an RBI.
The Pen Rebounds
Watching Seth Lugo surrender a walk-off home run to Charlie Culberson cannot be defined as anything other than a gut punch. Thankfully, things went much better for the Mets’ relief unit in the nightcap. Hansel Robles came out with one of his best performances of 2018, keeping the Braves off the board for three innings.
Robert Gsellman did not have one of his better games but limited the damage to one run that the Mets were able to regain it the following inning. Jacob Rhame pitched an impressive seventh, netting a perfect inning with two strikeouts.
Jeurys Familia came up big too. After a long day, Familia shut the door in the eighth, pitching a clean inning. He returned for the ninth, where he completed a six-out save (his first this year), grabbing his 14th save of the season. Combined, the bullpen ate seven innings, surrendered five hits, one run, two walks and struck out nine. Gsellman winds up the winning pitcher of record, his fifth victory of 2018.
Fun fact: Braves prospect Dustin Peterson made his major league debut as a pinch hitter on the last out of the game. Technically, he made his debut on May 29 because the game ran past midnight, but the official record will pencil him in for the day prior. He also walked to first base after three balls thinking he walked before eventually striking out. Embarrassing.
The Mets and Braves pick up where they left off at 7:35 p.m. Game 3 of the series pits Steven Matz against Anibal Sanchez.
Photo credit: Dale Zanine – USA Today Sports