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Mets Series Review: Two in the Desert

The New York Mets continue to win series, as they took two of three against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. The Mets won the series despite having their pitching matchups not in their favor, as a rainout earlier in the week necessitated a bullpen game on Saturday. The Mets again had timely hitting and had a good series from Seth Lugo as they head to St. Louis with a record of 12-5. The Mets have played five series and won five in 2022, and hold a four-game lead heading into the final week of April. 

David Peterson made his second start against the Diamondbacks in five days on Friday as Zac Gallen, who got the win in Citi Field, looked to frustrate the Mets again. Both pitchers were strong as the Mets scratched out a run in the fourth inning to tie the game after Arizona had taken the lead in the third inning. The Mets scored two runs off Oliver Perez in the sixth inning as the hustle of Brandon Nimmo and Starling Marte manufactured a pair of runs. The Mets made it 5-1 in the seventh as James McCann hit the longest home run of his career. 

At 5-1, the Mets appeared to be cruising to a victory to start the six-game road trip, but the bullpen faltered, with Chasen Shreve allowing a run in the seventh. In the eighth inning, the Diamondbacks got closer with Trevor May yielding a two-run home run to Christian Walker. In the ninth, with two outs, Edwin Diaz, who often gives up backbreaking game-tying home runs, did it again with Daulton Varsho going deep with two outs. In the eighth inning, the Diamondbacks got closer with Trevor May yielding a two-run home run to Christian Walker.

In years past, this game would be lost, as the game was tied 5-5 heading into the tenth inning with the ghost runner. Mark Melancon, who shut down the Mets for a save on April 16th, was on the mound for the D-Backs, as Jeff McNeil began the inning as the ghost runner. McNeil advanced to third as James McCann grounded to second but could not advance on Brandon Nimmo's grounder. Starling Marte grounded to third and was ruled out, but a review determined he beat the throw, allowing the Mets to take the lead.

 Marte's hustle and Buck Showalter's wise use of replay, things we did not see in the past, were responsible for the Mets taking the lead, but now the game rested in the hands of Seth Lugo, who has been struggling in the early part of the season. Jake McCarthy was the Arizona ghost runner but never moved from second base as Lugo fanned the first two batters. After a walk to Matt Davidson, Jeff McNeil was able to squeeze the final out while tumbling to the ground to preserve a 6-5 win. 

The odds were stacked against the Mets on Saturday night, as Trevor Williams was the starter, with the Mets anticipating a bullpen game. Williams, who lost a game in Washington out of the bullpen, had been the Mets' least used pitcher. The doubleheader on Tuesday put the Mets in this position as Buck Showalter wanted to keep Tylor Megill and Max Scherzer on their regular throwing schedule. Williams failed the Mets in more ways than one, as he pitched just two innings, allowing four runs. 

Shaun Reid-Foley pitched well before exiting with a leg injury. The Mets scored two runs in the fifth but could not get closer as the Diamondbacks added a run against Adam Ottavino in a throwaway game that was quickly forgotten. One player who impressed was Adonis Medina, who struck out the side in the eighth inning as Arizona won the game 5-2. 

Tylor Megill got the start on Sunday against Madison Bumgarner and again was on the money. Megill six and two-thirds innings, allowing two runs on five hits. The Mets scored an unearned run in the first inning as Mark Canha took advantage of an error earlier in the inning scored on a hit by Francisco Lindor. The Diamondbacks tied the game in the fourth inning on a home run by Christian Walker. 

The Mets were able to work up Bumgarner's pitch count and took advantage in the sixth inning as Starling Marte doubled off J.B. Wendelken, stole third, and came home on a poor throw by catcher Jose Herrera. In the seventh, the Mets added two runs as Edwin Uceta had trouble finding the plate, walking Travis Jankowski with the bases loaded and hitting Starling Marte two batters later. 

After the Diamondbacks scratched out a run against Megill in the seventh, the Mets answered with a home run by J.D. Davis. They added a sixth run on a thrown error by Arizona third baseman Sergio Alcantra. Meanwhile, the Mets bullpen was strong on Sunday, with Lugo getting four outs, while Joely Rodriguez finished the game off with a perfect ninth, striking out a pair of batters. The performances of Lugo and Rodriguez were helpful as the Mets will need strong relief against a strong team in St.  Louis.