Pa Disha Tosar
Posted by FOX Sports MLB

NEW YORK – In an elimination game, it was New York Mets‘ stars who came to play and forced a Game 3.

The Mets turned to Jacob deGrom to save their season and he responded with a gutsy performance. DeGrom lasted long enough to allow just two earned runs on five hits and record eight strikeouts in six innings and 99 innings. It was hardly his best outing of the year, but it was clear that deGrom was determined to give his team the best chance to survive another day.

A day after the top of the Mets lineup was lifeless vs Yu Darvish, Franziska Lindor and Pete Alonso woke up against the south Blake Snell. The Mets won San Diego Padres 7-3 in Game 2 of the Wild-Card Series on Saturday at Citi Field. The Mets will have a right-hander in Game 3 Chris Bassitt on the mound against the Padres right Joe Musgrove.

Lindor got the Mets on the board in the first inning, giving them their first lead of the series with his sixth career postseason home run. Alonso, who led the majors with 35 RBIs in the regular season, repeated his clutch ability and broke the tie in Game Five with his first career playoff home run. The solo shot traveled 402 feet into left field and the crowd of 42,156 erupted.

By then, Snell was long out of the game. The Mets chased the left-hander after just 3⅓ innings. Snell gave up two earned runs on four hits and walked six batters on 19 pitches. On the other hand, deGrom did better and went deeper, allowing manager Buck Showalter to use only two arms of the bullpen after the Mets’ ace exited.

In an interesting move in the seventh inning, Showalter called for the closer Edwin Diaz be the first man out of the bullpen. It was earlier than anyone expected, considering San Diego’s 8-9-1 hitters were scheduled to come out, and of course the crowd wasn’t ready for the trumpets yet.

Leading 3-2 at the time, Showalter clearly asked his trusted right-hander for two frames, but in that seventh inning, Diaz worked harder than his usual easy outings in 2022. He got the leadoff hitter Trent Grisham to ground out to first base, followed by a single to Austin Nolabefore inducing grounding Yurikson Prafar and Juan Soto complete the inning by throwing 19 pitches.

The Mets then rallied for four runs in the bottom of the seventh, and they took their time doing it. They grinded, counted and collected a couple of moves earlier Jeff McNeil hit hard to open the game. His double into center field extended the Mets’ lead to 5-2. Then Eduardo Escobar hooked with an RBI single, and Daniel Fogelbach slashed the sacrifice fly. It was a return to the team’s hitting approach in the regular season, which led to the Mets fifth-most runs in MLB.

Things got weird, however, when Diaz returned for the eighth after sitting on the bench for 45 minutes. Never mind that the Mets had just given him a five-run lead and more than enough breathing room. It seemed that no matter what, Showalter was determined to meet Diaz Manny Machado and Josh Bell in the eighth. The decision, after a long 49-degree overnight layoff, casts doubt on Diaz’s availability for Sunday’s win-or-go-home game. The closer ended up using 29 pitches Saturday and is expected to be available Sunday, but it was a huge risk.

Mets’ right-handed reliever Adam Ottavina then got a ball from Diaz with two outs in the eighth. Ottavino was tasked with recording the final four outs, but was only able to complete three. Seth Lugo finally bowed out in a 4-hour, 14-minute game, sending Bell to the final out.

The Mets celebrated their first postseason win in 2022 with fireworks from the jumbotron in center field and high fives on the field.

They live to play another day.

Disha Tosar is an MLB writer for FOX Sports. She previously covered the Mets for the New York Daily News. Follow her on Twitter at @Disha Tosar.

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