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Mets takeaways from Saturday’s 5-4 Game 1 win over Red Sox, including bullpen’s big performance

July 21, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) hits a two-run home run during the third inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. / Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets beat the Boston Red Sox in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, 5-4, after Friday’s game was postponed due to rain.

Here are some takeaways…

– The Red Sox got off to a fast start against Kodai Senga in this one. Jaren Duran led off the game with a single and a few pitches later he stole second and advanced to third on an error. Justin Turner then brought him home on a groundout to give Boston a 1-0 lead.

A walk and single put two on and two out against Senga in the bottom of the second. Yu Chang then lined a two-run double high off the Green Monster, increasing the Red Sox lead to 3-0.

– The Mets offense finally responded right back. Brett Baty led off the inning with a double for their first hit of the game, and two batters later, Brandon Nimmo crushed a hanging cutter from Cutter Crawford and put it into the right field seats to cut the deficit to 3-2. It was Nimmo’s 15th homer of the season and his 11th in his last 35 games.

An inning later, after Jeff McNeil doubled, Daniel Vogelbach crushed a two-run homer of his own to give New York their first lead of the game.

– With the Mets fighting back Senga was able to put together his first clean inning of the night in the third, including a strikeout of Masataka Yoshida on his signature forkball.

He retired the first batter he faced in the fourth, and got ahead of Alex Verdugo 1-2, before rain began to fall and the umpiring crew decided to put the game on hold.

After a two hour rain delay, the game ended up being suspended, ultimately bringing Senga’s night to an end. He allowed three runs on three hits while walking one and striking out three in the shortened outing. However, an earned run was taken off from the official score on Saturday, giving Senga just two earned runs allowed.

Grant Hartwig started the bottom of the fourth inning on Saturday, and got Verdugo to ground out thanks to a nice play at second by Luis Guillorme. Hartwig then let up a single to Triston Casasbut picked him off at first on a play the Mets challenged and won.

Hartwig then tossed a 1-2-3 fifth inning with the help of another Guillorme web gem.

Pete Alonso roped a double high off the Green Monster to lead off the top of the sixth and snap a streak of 44 consecutive plate appearances without an extra-base hit. After Mark Vientos struck out, Alonso advanced to third on a wild pitch during Francisco Alvarez‘s at-bat. Baty then drove in Alonso on an infield single to make it a 5-3 game.

With a runner on second and one out in the bottom half of the sixth, Guillorme appeared to hurt his leg on a hard grounder and would leave the game. McNeil moved from RF to 2B, Mark Canha moved from LF to RF and DJ Stewart came in to play LF. David Peterson escaped the jam by getting a lineout and then striking out Verdugo.

– Peterson’s day came to an end in the bottom of the seventh after Casas tripled to right on a ball misplayed in the corner by Canha. Dominic Leone came in for relief and struck out Connor Wongbut let up a sacrifice fly to Rob Refsnyder that made it a 5-4 game. Leone then got out of the inning on a pop out to right.

New York loaded the bases in the eighth, thanks to two misplayed balls at second by former Met Justin Turner. However, they couldn’t capitalize on the scoring opportunity, as Alvarez popped out and Baty hit into the inning-ending double-play. Brooks Raley came in for the bottom of the eighth and struck out Casas with runners on first and second to keep the score intact.

David Robertson tossed a 1-2-3 ninth for his 14th save of the season.

Highlights

What’s next

The Mets and Red Sox continue this series with Game 2 on Saturday game at 7:10 pm at Fenway Park.

Max Scherzer (8-3, 3.99 ERA) takes the ball for New York against a veteran left-hander James Paxton (5-2, 3.51 ERA).

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