September 26, 2015: Mets Romp Reds, Clinch N. L. East

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Date: September 26, 2015
Mets starter: Matt Harvey
Mets: 10
Reds: 2
Winning pitcher: Matt Harvey
Key player(s): Lucas Duda, Michael Cuddyer, David Wright
Key play: Duda’s grand slam, Cuddyer’s double, Wright’s home run

The Mets faced the Reds on a Saturday afternoon in Cincinnati. The teams played the third of four games in a weekend series. The Mets clinched the National League Eastern Division title with a 10-2 win.

David Wright drew a one-out walk against Reds’ starter John Lamb in the top of the first inning. Yoenis Cespedes went down on strikes and Daniel Murphy singled. Travis d'Arnaud walked to load the bases and Lucas Duda followed with a grand slam for a four-run Mets lead. Lamb retired Michael Cuddyer on a ground ball to catcher Tucker Barnhart for the third out. Matt Harvey then pitched a perfect bottom half.

Curtis Granderson slugged a solo home run with two outs in the top of the second. Lamb struck out Wright to end the inning and Jay Bruce got a single to open the bottom half. Todd Frazier singled and came around to score with Bruce on a double by Ivan De Jesus, cutting the Mets’ lead to 5-2. Adam Duvall lined out to right fielder Granderson and a single by Barnhart ensued. Harvey then fanned pinch-hitter Brennan Boesch and retired Jason Bourgeois on a grounder to second baseman Murphy that closed out the inning.

Cespedes hit a leadoff single against Cincinnati reliever Carlos Contreras in the top of the third. Murphy grounded to second baseman Brandon Phillips for a force play and d’Arnaud flied out to left fielder Duvall. Duda drew a walk and came home with Murphy on a double by Cuddyer that extended the New York lead to 7-2. On his own hit, Cuddyer went to third base via an error by shortstop De Jesus. Contreras fanned Wilmer Flores for the inning’s third out. Harvey then hurled a scoreless bottom half.

Contreras shut down the Mets in the top of the fourth. Harvey set down all three batters in the bottom of the inning and Reds’ reliever Collin Balester surrendered only a walk to Duda in the top of the fifth. Joey Votto singled with one out in the bottom half. Phillips grounded to shortstop Flores for an inning-ending double play and Balester pitched a perfect top of the sixth. Harvey then yielded just a double to De Jesus in the bottom half.

Balester held the Mets to a walk to Murphy in the top of the seventh. Harvey and New York reliever Addison Reed combined for a scoreless bottom of the inning and Cincinnati’s Ryan Mattheus retired the side 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth. The Mets’ Tyler Clippard hurled a scoreless bottom half and pinch-hitter Kelly Johnson singled against Reds’ reliever Burke Badenhop to begin the top of the ninth. Granderson hit a single and Wright connected for a homer to increase the New York lead to eight runs. Cespedes flied out to Duvall and a double by Murphy followed. D’Arnaud singled and Badenhop got Duda to hit a double play grounder to Phillips that finished off the inning.

Mets’ reliever Jeurys Familia retired pinch-hitter Skip Schumaker on a line drive to left fielder Cespedes to start the bottom of the ninth. Bourgeois popped out to first baseman Duda and a single by Votto ensued. Phillips got a single on which Votto moved to third base via an error by third baseman Wright. Familia then struck out Bruce to bring the game to an end. The Mets had a solid victory and an N. L. East championship for the sixth time in team history.