Terry Collins dubious decision to rest veterans for rookies during a pennant chase paid dividends as the Mets completed a three game sweep over the Minnesota Twins with a 3-2 win at Citi Field on Sunday.
NY now sits in the Wild Card driver’s seat with a one game lead over the they might not be giant, Giants.
Gabriel Ynoa, filling in for a grim Jacob deGrom, struck out 8 in 4 2/3 innings of one run one hit ball in his first major league start. The Mets roughed up pitching rotation was dealt another blow on Friday with the news of deGrom’s elbow injury likely to end his sub par season.
But, the resilient crew from Queens, who may also be without the services of the ailing Steven Matz, keeps beating the odds.
Michael Conforto recovered from Saturday’s bases loaded whiff with a first inning 2 run single with the bases juiced to give the Mets a lead they never relinquished. Conforto, whose been looking unlike the player with so much promise, had a 2-4 day hitting cleanup, which will hopefully boost the confidence he’s been lacking.
After breezing through the order in the top of the first, Ynoa ran into a bases loaded debacle in the 2nd, leaving the mound in better shape than counterpart Kyle Gibson, surrendering only one run on a Ryan Murphy sac fly.
Collins made what seemed like another of his questionable moves when he replaced Ynoa in the 4th after giving up a two out single to Brian Dozier. After Josh Edgin gave up a bloop hit he was given the hook for Eric Goeddel who then loaded the bases with a walk.
I could feel the fans disdain for Collins through my television screen, but Goeddel got Kennys Vargas swinging to end the inning, and another episode of manager knows best.
Mets Bronx bomber T.J. Rivera continued his torrid plate appearances with a solo shot in the 3rd for an insurance run that meant something when Kennys Vargas cut the lead to 3-2 with a HR off of a Fernando Salas offering in the top of the 8th.
Jerry Blevins gave Jeurys Familia some much-needed rest, recording the final four outs, including a game ending strikeout in the dirt to the dominant left hand hitting Brian Dozier, who came to the plate with 2 out in the ninth.
Both Rivera and Conforto stepped up big filling the cleats of the Reyes/Cabrera tandem both going 2-4, the type of offense that will be needed by NY down the stretch.
Their remaining schedule on paper predicts a favorable outcome, but this won’t be a walk in the park as Mets face the pesky Atlanta Braves, who have given them all sorts of problems.