Mancuso: Big Decision And Rajai Delivered

This was vintage Jacob deGrom Saturday night at Citi Field. It was also Seth Lugo and Justin Wilson out of the bullpen. And it was Rajai Davis, the veteran who came off the bench and delivered the pinch hit and go ahead three-run double in the eighth inning.

The Mets got the needed win, 3-0 over the Dodgers. They kept pace with the Chicago Cubs in that tight race for the second NL Wild Card. Manager Mickey Callaway pushed the right buttons and Davis was the answer in what could now be the biggest hit of the season.

They scoreboard watch, we all do. Davis does not come through, the bullpen doesn’t pick up deGrom, who pitched Cy Young ball again, and the Mets are not looking good.

But the Mets  live another day and they always seem to do  in this Wild Card hunt. But Jacob deGrom was on the mound and again throwing ground ball outs.

You got an indication and early. It was vintage deGrom with the strikeout and in the first two innings recorded four ground ball outs against a potent Dodgers lineup.

The Vintage Jacob deGrom and going for the win, and not for himself but to keep his team in the Wild Card hunt. After 101 pitches he was honest with manager Mickey Callaway.

“I noticed I was starting to get tired ,” deGrom said. “I was leaving some pitches up. I noticed my arm was dragging a little bit. So when they asked, I was honest with them.”

So the bullpen took over. Not Edwin Diaz, but Seth Lugo who got the win and Justn Wilson closed the door. But before all of that it was drama unfolding.

Decisions that are crucial in a game like this could mean losing another game in the standings to the Cubs.

Rajai Davis, has been here many times. He has always been a favorite of Mickey Callaway. He is more of a fan favorite after his bases loaded go- ahead three-run double in the eighth inning off Julio Urias.

Davis has been here in these situations. Game 7 of the 2016 World Series and months ago at Citi Field a go ahead three-run homer and win over the Nationals after that famous UBER ride to the ballpark from Syracuse.

But this hit, from a player that spent most of his time up in Syracuse, it saved the Mets and the right decision made by the manager, The perfect moment.

“It’s huge,’ Davis said. “It means maybe I can get more opportunities. “

Robert Cole/ NYSD

 It also is an example of how a manager can use his bench of expanded players in September. And this is the last September of that 40-man expanded roster that provides a needed bat off the bench and options for a manager.

The decision to double switch in that inning, a move that Mickey Callaway will reflect on months after this Wild Card chase is over. Lugo out meant Davis got his turn.

 It doesn’t work and Mickey Callaway is questioned because his  best out of the pen is not available if this game goes to extra innings.

“Big situations don’t bother him,” Callaway said.

Neither do big decisions seem to bother the Mets. They continue to hang on with 14 games remaining.

Comment: R[email protected]  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso

About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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