Moments after general manager Sandy Alderson announced Saturday that pitcher Jacob deGrom will miss Sunday’s scheduled start and most likely the rest of the season because of continuing soreness in his pitching elbow, Mets manager Terry Collins declared that Sunday’s game will be handled by a bevy of bullpen arms.
Then Collins was forced to use up a bunch of those bullpen arms in last night’s 3-2, 12-inning victory over the Minnesota Twins at Citi Field.
By the time it was over, Collins had used seven relievers after starter Seth Lugo went only five innings.
Curtis Granderson saved Collins from needing to use any more relievers when he delivered the victory with his second extra-inning homer, a two-out shot in the 12th.
The winning homer came off lefthander Ryan O’Rourke, but it wouldn’t have happened had Granderson not hit his first homer of the game an inning earlier. That rescued the Mets from a 2-1 loss.
The Twins’ Byron Buxton led off the top of the 11th with a mammoth homer to left off Hansel Robles, who was starting his second inning of work.
But Granderson led off the bottom of the inning with his 27th homer, an opposite-field shot against Brandon Kintzler, to tie it at 2-2.
Then, after a pair of singles and a hit batsman loaded the bases with two outs, it was the Mets’ turn to look like inevitable winners. But Jose Reyes struck out looking on the ninth pitch of the at-bat to send the game to the 12th.
Granderson was asked if he was trying to hit one out in either at-bat. “No. I’m trying to get on base there, especially the first one, with the closer in there,” he said. “Obviously, he’s the closer for a reason with that team. I’m just trying to find a hole, get a little bit of grass, pass it to the next guy in the lineup to hopefully be able to manufacture a run. And the last inning, same type of thing.’’
“He’s a pro,” Terry Collins said. “Looking at it now, he’s got homers — he doesn’t have a lot of RBIs, but there’s a lot of reasons for it. But I tell you, he’s the guy that you turn to — you just feel like he’s going to do some damage when he’s up to home plate.”
The Mets pulled into a tie with San Francisco for the two National League wild cards, two games ahead of St. Louis.
“Our resiliency is great,” Collins said. “Our guys played hard in a big game. Especially with the news earlier about Jake [deGrom], they came out tonight knowing they needed to win this game, and they did it.’’
Ervin Santana blanked the Mets for seven innings, but when he left, the Mets tied it in the eighth. Reyes singled, took second on a wild pitch, went to third on a groundout and scored on Yoenis Cespedes’ single to center.
Lugo struggled through five innings but did enough to keep the Mets within one run.
The Twins got on the board in the fourth on Eddie Rosario’s home run to right.