NEW YORK (AP) It’s no secret to New York Mets manager Buck Showalter why 38-year-old David Robertson is relied upon.
“They’re compensated for getting people out,” Showalter said of late-inning relievers. “And when you’re good at getting people out, you get to do it again the next year.”
Robertson, in the 15th season of a big league career that began across town with the Yankees, got four key outs Wednesday as the Mets beat San Diego 5-2 to take two of three from the Padres in a rematch of their playoff series last October.
Robertson, who has 159 saves and is a little under four years removed from Tommy John surgery, signed a $10 million, one-year deal in December. He moved up in the bullpen pecking order when Edwin Díaz tore his right patella tendon while celebrating a win in the World Baseball Classic on March 15.
“I’m getting a little older, I’ve played through some tough seasons and then had that big injury a few years back, but I managed to work my way back to the big leagues,” Robertson said. “I still think I have good enough stuff to pitch here, so I’m going to continue to play as long as there’s an opportunity for me."
“And my wife’s happy letting me play,” the father of two said with a laugh. “That’s kind of where I’m at right now.”
Robertson, who got the Mets’ first two saves this season, entered with two on in a 4-2 game in the seventh and retired Juan Soto on a flyout to deep left.
“D-Rob, whatever role he has, he’s money,” said Pete Alonso, who put the Mets ahead in the fifth with a solo homer, his major league-leading sixth. “He’s a gritty ballplayer and he’s a gamer.”
Tylor Megill (3-0) allowed two runs, three hits and three walks in five innings for the Mets, who lost last year’s Wild Card Series to the Padres 2-1.
“The guys are going to learn from it,” said Brandon Nimmo, who was 3 for 5 with two RBIs. “We kind of fell in a time right then where we weren’t very hot and they were and they did very well against our good pitching.”
Francisco Lindor homered leading off against Blake Snell in the third and Tommy Pham added a run-scoring single in the seventh for the Mets, who headed on the road for a 10-game trip to Oakland, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco that starts Friday. Despite a 7-6 record, New York is batting just .218.
Soto hit a two-run homer in the first, a drive off a railing in the right-field second deck.
Snell (0-2) gave up four runs, six hits and five walks in five-plus innings for the Padres, who headed home following a 4-3 trip to Atlanta and New York. San Diego went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine runners.
“It comes down to, in games like this, runners in scoring position,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said. “We get a two-run lead in the first and then they kind of nick us up for a run (in) what, five out of the next six innings? And then we just could not come up with the big hit and they did.”
Padres: LHP Drew Pomeranz (forearm) was scheduled to begin a rehab stint with Triple-A El Paso on Thursday. Pomeranz hasn’t pitched for San Diego since Aug. 10, 2021, shortly before left flexor tendon surgery.
Mets: RHP José Quintana (left rib fracture) participated in conditioning drills prior to the game. Quintana, who had a benign lesion removed from his rib after a stress fracture, is on the 60-day IL. … Showalter said RHP Tommy Hunter (back) should be ready when eligible on April 19 or shortly thereafter.
Padres: RHP Nick Martinez (0-1, 6.17 ERA) takes the mound on Thursday as the Padres face Milwaukee in the opener of a seven-game homestand.
Mets: RHP Kodai Senga (2-0, 1.59 ERA) makes his first interleague start Friday at the Athletics.
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