New York – One can see exactly during various points of the Mets He won 4-3 How would this all look in October on a Friday night on Gangsters Above. Strong initial performance. Home runs and hit and runs. Pinch runner Terrance Gore is stealing a base in key position. Edwin Diaz Five-out saving lock.
If the Mets hope to not only earn a playoff spot, but even make it to the playoffs, they’re going to need those kinds of contributions — the small, important ones — more often. And they compete against some of the best teams in the National League.
Even if the Pirates didn’t meet that playoff mark, Friday’s victory provided enough of a challenge for Pittsburgh to remain a contender until the end.
The Mets were leading by a run in the fourth inning. Daniel Vogelbach He stepped up to the plate and launched an opposite-field homer over the fence in left-center. It was the first home run for Vogelbach since Aug. 22, who had 54 plate appearances between them.
When the Mets acquired Vogelbach and Darren Ruf before the Aug. 2 trade deadline, the two looked to create a strong team that could compete with the best hitters in the game. For a short while, their vision became a reality, until both Vogelbach and Ruff went into deep recession in late August.
Recently, though, Vogelbach has re-emerged, with three hits, two extra base hits and four RBIs in two games against his former team, the Pirates. It’s not a large enough sample size to declare Vogelbach, er, back, but it’s certainly enough to give the Mets hope.
“It’s hard to hit,” Vogelbach said. “I wish I had 20 homers in the last three weeks. You can always learn from the good but you can also learn from the bad.
When the Mets ask Jeff McNeil To play right field, there’s a short adjustment period — especially in City, which features one of the most ambiguous wall lineups in the game. But anyone who watched McNeil on Friday would have a hard time believing that wasn’t his natural position.
With two men on in the fifth inning of a one-run game, O’Neal Cruz hit a high fly ball that didn’t seem intended for the seats at first, but that eventually pushed McNeil to the warning track. As the ball threatened to go straight for McNeil’s head, he leaped to catch it with little emotion as he did so.
“At first I thought it was just a fly ball,” Cruz said. “I saw it keep going, and immediately I was like, ‘Oh man, that’s going to come out.’ When I saw him rip it off, I was like, ‘Man, I could’ve gotten a little bigger and run in that house.’
It wasn’t McNeil’s only notable catch. On the last play of the game, Cal Mitchell hit the same shot to the right and McNeil was in an easy spot to get under him. Diaz thought the last ball might go off the bat, but McNeil settled it with no problem.
“The outfield is really fun for me,” said McNeil, a natural second baseman. “The ball goes in the air, I catch it. That’s all it really is.”
The Mets had spent the past two weeks bouncing between losses and losses, Diaz not seeing a save in more than two weeks when Cruz hit a two-run homer with one out in the eighth off Mets starter Taijuan Walker. .
Diaz, who is getting used to multiple inning save opportunities, didn’t have any trouble the rest of the game. But in the ninth, after drawing a walk, pinch runner Greg Allen appeared to steal second base. It was only after the umpires consulted on the replay that they realized Luis Guillorme had covered the bases with his feet, buying enough time to catch Thomas Nido’s throw and tag Allen.
“I knew if I gave Guillorme a good shot at making the tag, it would be very close,” Nido said. “I’m not surprised he made it out, though.”
A short while later, Diaz nailed the final two outs to cap the Mets’ second straight win, giving up their magic number and increasing their playoff berth to 5.