Final Score: Mets 6, Diamondbacks 5—Desert Disaster Dodged
The Mets picked up a narrow 6-5 extra-inning victory over the Diamondbacks in Game 1 of the series in Arizona. David Peterson put on a fantastic pitching performance — perhaps his best of the young season so far — but the Mets bullpen crumbled in the final innings, requiring an extra inning affair. Believe it or not, it was a pitching duel in this one early on, as a Pavin Smith double against Peterson in the bottom of the third represented the first base runner for either team. In that setting, the Diamondbacks managed to scratch a run to get on the board first, as rookie catcher Jose Herrera threw a hit on a helicopter and Cooper Hummel drove Smith to an RBI pitch. This broke Peterson’s 10 streak 1⁄3 scoreless innings to start the season, but he limited the damage and held the fort after that, throwing 5 2⁄3 solid sleeves. He struck out only three batters, but induced soft contact all night to the tune of ten strikeouts.
Meanwhile, the Mets were again blocked by Zac Gallen, who retired the first nine Mets he faced in order and retired the team in the second inning. But the offense eventually broke through against Gallen in the fourth and scratched out a run on a Starling Marte walk and a Pete Alonso doink single that tied the game. More importantly, the Mets put Gallen to work this inning, racking up his pitch count, which is still limited due to Gallen’s late start to the season. As a result, Gallen went only five innings, despite giving up a single run and striking out seven batters.
The Mets rallied to take a lead in the sixth against the Diamondbacks’ bullpen, kicking things off against old friend Oliver Perez. Brandon Nimmo started the inning with an opposite field single, then advanced aggressively to third base on a Starling Marte single. The Mets then made two productive outs; Francisco Lindor hit a sacrificial fly to give the Mets a 2-1 lead that was also deep enough to allow Marte to score and advance to third base. And then against JB Wendelken, Pete Alonso got his second soft RBI of the night by anchoring a slow roll on the first base line that got Marte home and gave the Mets a two-run lead.
James McCann added some insurance runs in a big way in the seventh with a long two-run homer – his first long fly of the season – that put the Mets ahead 5-1. That should have been enough for a win, but the Diamondbacks clawed back a run on two singles and a sack fly in the low frame against Chasen Shreve and things got really dicey for the Mets in the eighth when Trevor May snagged. returned a two-run homer to Christian Walker that brought the Diamondbacks within a run. Then, with two outs in just his second save opportunity of the season, Edwin Díaz traded a no-doubt to Daulton Varsho to tie the game and send it to extra innings.
Jeff McNeil started the tenth inning at second base and the Mets managed to bring him home against the Diamondbacks closer to Mark Melancon. A grounder from Brandon Nimmo moved McNeil up to third, then Starling Marte hit a bouncer at third base, which required a long throw through the diamond by Matt Davidson. Marte was first called to the field, but the call was overruled on replay and McNeil scored to give the Mets the lead with a skinny run.
Seth Lugo came into the game to protect the one-run lead and retired the first two batters he faced. He then gave Matt Davidson a walk but had would-be hero Christian Walker fly out to the shallow right to end this near-disaster in the desert.
Full recap to follow.