After losing the first two games of the series, the New York Mets were able to bounce back and win the final two games of the four-game set in San Diego. The Mets should certainly be happy with a series split against the Padres, who are among the best teams in the National League. At the end of the weekend, the Mets stand at 3.5 games ahead of the Atlanta Braves and in first place in the NL East.
Game 1: Padres Win 4-3
In the first game of the four-game set, Padres ace Yu Darvish took the mound against Taijuan Walker. In this game, Walker was not quite as sharp as he has been so far this season. He gave up three earned runs and was chased after five innings of work. Darvish proved to be as tough a task as advertised. Since being traded from the Chicago Cubs to the Padres in the last offseason, Darvish has not missed a beat coming off a second-place finish in the 2020 NL Cy Young voting. He makes masterful use of a variety of elite pitchers.
However, the Mets were able to get to him in the sixth. James McCann hit a two-run home run to bring the Mets within two runs. That would be as close as the Mets would get, unfortunately. A strong Padres bullpen closed out a 3-4 loss for the Mets.
In the Mets loss, Padres young superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. stole the show. The new best shortstop in the game hit a two-run home run in the third that tipped off Mason Williams’ glove in center field. At the time, this tied him for the league lead in home runs at 17. Later in the fifth inning, Tatis rushed home from third on a wild pitch that didn’t stray too far from home plate to score the Padres fourth run. Tatis is probably the most exciting player to watch and you can book it that he will be the starting shortstop in Colorado during the All-Star Game.
Game 2: Padres Win 2-0
Padres pitcher Blake Snell stole the show in game two of the series. Snell’s six no-hit innings led the Padres to a 2-0 victory. Francisco Lindor, who has been heating up of late, broke up the no-hitter leading off the seventh inning with a triple that sneaked past Tommy Pham in left field as he made a lunging attempt to save the no-hitter. Snell would end up finishing the seventh, stranding Lindor at third. Snell racked up ten strikeouts in what would be his best start as a Padre since being traded there from Tampa last offseason.
Mets starter Joey Lucchesi pitched well in his four and two-thirds innings of work, but a solo home run by Manny Machado in the first would prove to be too much of a deficit for the Mets in this one.
Game 3: Mets Win 4-0
After a disappointing start to this series, the incredible Jacob deGrom took his turn on the mound. As expected, his dominance continued: he went seven, struck out eleven, and gave up no runs in the Mets’ 4-0 victory. Words cannot describe the sheer devastation that deGrom inflicts on opposing lineups. The Padres were no match for the barrage of 100 mph fastballs and wicked 93 mph sliders. DeGrom lowered his ERA to 0.62, and his 3.2 WAR leads all players in MLB (as of Saturday), despite the fact that deGrom has only made nine starts while the leaders have made twelve.
Thankfully, the Mets offense was able to get deGrom a win in this one. Lindor led the charge with two hits, including a home run, his fifth of the year. Lindor heating up is a great sign for the Mets, and he has raised his batting average out of the pits below the Mendoza line up to .222 after this game.
Game 4: Mets Win 6-2
The Mets were able to carry their momentum from Saturday’s win into Sunday. Marcus Stroman turned in a terrific start, holding the Padres to just one run in six and two-thirds innings. Dominic Smith jolted the offense with a solo home run in the fourth to put the Mets up 2-0. Then in the eighth, McCann hit a two-run home run to give the Mets a 6-1 advantage.
Next up for the Mets is a trip to Camden Yards to face off with the bottom-dwelling Baltimore Orioles. They have a day off tomorrow before playing on Tuesday and Wednesday. This series should give the Mets a great opportunity to improve their lead in the NL East.