August 7 2015 — The New York Mets began a three game inter-league series against the Tampa Bay Rays in Florida on Friday night. Manager Terry Collins sent 27-year old Jacob deGrom to the hill against a Tampa team that is struggling to stay in the American League playoff picture. DeGrom has not allowed more than two earned runs in 12 of his last 13 starts entering the night. The reigning rookie of the year would continue his streak, however would not factor in the decision.
Jacob deGrom struggled to begin the night and never really settled in. Although only surrendering two earned runs on six hits, the righty was missing pitch locations all night. His two biggest mistakes turned into two solo home runs.
The first solo shot came in the fourth inning off the bat of Grady Sizemore. The second gave Tampa a 2-1 lead after the Mets had tied it on Juan Uribe’s own solo shot.
Bobby Parnell entered the game in the seventh inning in a bit of a jam. Down one run, with a runner on second and just one out, the Mets proceeded to retire the side but not before loading the bases.
Following another Mets solo shot, this one off the bat of Daniel Murphy, Tyler Clippard came on in the eighth inning with the game all square at two runs apiece. This did not last long as Clippard allowed hisnfirst run as a Met, giving up yet another solo homer to long time Ray Evan Longoria. This put the Met deficit at 3-2 entering the ninth inning. The rest is history.
The Mets proved tonight that the proverbial “Fat Lady,” is not allowed to start singing until the Mets’ say she can. After trailing three times Friday, this new Met offense refused to quit. On a night in which both teams runs were almost scored exclusively by solo home runs, the Mets offense started playing a little small ball in the top of the ninth.
Beginning with Lucas Duda reaching base on a throwing error, the offense proceeded to string together two hits off Rays’ closer Brad Boxberger to take the lead 4-3. Rookie Michael Conforto tied the game and eventually scored the winning run thanks to a “Texas League” fly ball single by Wilmer Flores.
Jeurys Familia entered the ninth inning with a fragile one run lead and was able to close out the night for the Mets. After allowing the leadoff man to reach base, Familia ended the game retiring the next three batters to secure the seventh victory in a row for the New York Mets.
Meanwhile, the Washington Nationals blew a 3-run lead late to the Colorado Rockies Friday. Thanks to an eighth inning grand slam from Rockies’ Carlos Gonzalez, the Mets now sit 2.5 games up on the Washington Nationals in the National League East.