Remember all those great comebacks the Mets mounted a couple of weeks ago? We seem to have forgotten about them in the wake of the bullpen meltdowns of the past week. Well, the Mets are back in comeback mode, coming from four runs down to beat the Reds in a Thursday matinee at Citi Field.
Starter R.A. Dickey allowed a solo home run to Joey Votto off the facade in right field in the fourth to give the Reds a 1-0 lead.
Dickey opened the fifth by hitting one batter and walking the next. Ryan Hanigan followed with a double to center to score one run. A sacrifice fly made it 3-0 and then Mike Nickeas, who had a hard time all game handling the knuckleball, let one get past him to extend the Reds lead to 4-0.
The Mets offense finally broke through in the bottom of the fifth. Andres Torres singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. David Wright walked and with two outs Lucas Duda hit a double to right to cut the deficit in half, 4-2.
Dickey pitched his way out of big trouble in the sixth, thanks mostly to Daniel Murphy. Dickey allowed a single and a double to leave runners on second and third with no outs. Jay Bruce hit a pop fly into foul territory that Murphy caught over his shoulder. He wheeled around and fired home, nailing Joey Votto who was trying to tag up. Dickey then got the third out on a grounder. Murphy’s defense at second is really coming along, to the point where he really is not a liability out there.
The Mets chased Reds starter May Latos in the bottom of the sixth after he walked Ike Davis and allowed a single to Ronny Cedeno. Mike Nickeas was then called on to sacrifice bunt (ugh!) but third baseman Todd Frazier dropped the ball for an error to load the bases with no outs. Mike Baxter pinch hit for Dickey and lofted a sacrifice fly to left to make it 4-3. Torres and Kirk Nieuwenhuis could not extend the rally.
The Mets had a tall task in the seventh — try to score against Aroldis Chapman, who had not allowed a run all season. Not any more. The Mets staged a nearly identical inning to the sixth. Wright led off with a walk, Lucas Duda followed with a single and an error on a Murphy fly to center left the bases loaded with no outs. Justin Turner — pinch hitting for Davis — hit a sacrifice fly to right to tie the game at four. Cedeno struck out, pinch hitter Scott Hairston walked to load the bases again but Mike Baxter struck out.
When was the last time you saw nearly identical back-to-back innings like this?!
In the eighth Rob Johnson laid down a perfect bunt for a hit and Wright followed with a double to deep center to score Johnson and give the Mets their first lead of the afternoon. Wright was on base five times — two hits and three walks. He is batting .411 with a .513 on-base percentage. He came home on a Turner bloop single for a crucial insurance run to make the score 6-4. Cedeno made sure the shaky bullpen could not blow this one — he slammed his first home run as a Met, a three-run shot to make it a 9-4 game.
Frank Francisco came on to finish up the game. Jon Rauch and Bobby Parnell deserve a lot of credit for throwing scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth to keep the game close.
Mets win 9-4 to go 2-2 on this abbreviated homestand. Now it is off to Toronto to begin interleague play.