For one night, at least, the Mets answered manager Terry Collins’ desperate plea for energy, and for somebody – anybody – in their shell-shocked clubhouse to step up to stop the bleeding.
The sense of urgency suffocating the Mets, who entered with a six-game losing streak, was overcome for one night at least by Travis d’Arnaud and starter Jacob deGrom, reserve infielder T.J. Rivera and lefty reliever Josh Edgin, who all responded in a clutch way in a dramatic 7-5 victory over the Nationals.
“It was big win against a great ball club,” said d’Arnaud. “This was something we needed.”
However, what they need now is to build on tonight’s effort, as this is not enough. They have two more games in DC, and while sweeping is the ultimate goal they have to win at least one more to not give back this momentum.
Collins asks a lot of his players, but tonight he reached within himself to make the unconventional call that might springboard his team.
The Nationals loaded the bases against closer Jeurys Familia and had one out when Collins went to Edgin against Bryce Harper. Ryan Zimmerman, Daniel Murphy and Anthony Rendon were to follow, and the Mets were staring at seven straight losses.
Collins wasn’t worried about bruising Familia’s tender ego and went with his gut.
“If we had won seven in a row, I would have left [Familia] out there,” admitted Collins. “But lefties have had success against Jeurys in the past. [Pitching to Harper] was a bad match-up for me. I didn’t like the way he looked tonight so I went with Edgin.”
The lefty specialist got Harper to ground back to the mound for a 1-2-3, game-ending double play. Nobody knows how the season will unfold, but as of now that was the play of the first month.
“I’m glad he did,” Edgin said when asked about Collins’ confidence in him. “But, whether it is the sixth inning or the ninth, the objective is the same.”
After a slight pause, Edgin added, “but there’s more pressure in the ninth.”
And for the Mets, there was more pressure than to just win a game. There was pressure to possibly save a season.