Well…Where do I start?
Sunday night’s victory against the Philadelphia Phillies was just another strange twist in what has been a strange 2021 season so far for the New York Mets.
After seven innings of play Sunday night, things looked pretty much the same as most of the season has for the New York Mets. The team was down 4-2, and they had countless opportunities to capitalize on numerous mistakes by the Philadelphia Phillies but failed to do so. Then came the top of the 8th. The Mets scored six runs, had five hits, and batted around. The headliner was a clutch three-run double by Pete Alonso give the Mets an 8-4 lead.
It felt like, finally, things were about to change. After what has been a miserable season for the Mets with Runners In Scoring Position (RISP), they finally got a clutch hit in a spot when they desperately needed it. It blew the game wide open and changed the entire momentum of the season. All the Mets had to do was hold on, and that good feeling would continue through to Monday. However, in Metland, it can never be that easy.
Edwin Diaz came in to pitch the bottom of the ninth inning with the Mets leading 8-4. Diaz’s woes against the Phillies continued. He started the inning by walking Didi Gregorious, who scored on a Roman Quinn triple to make the score 8-5. After retiring Odubel Herrara via the strikeout, Diaz then walked Matt Joyce to bring Rhys Hoskins to the plate as the tying run.
Hoskins hit a deep fly ball to right field that looked to clear the right-field wall for a home run which, would tie the game at 8. The umpires initially ruled the ball a home run, but after a replay review, the call was changed to a double after determining that the ball bounced off the top of the wall and back in play. Hoskins went back to second, and the Mets were back in the lead by a score of 8-7.
Jeurys Familia relieved Diaz and immediately struck out slugger Bryce Harper to end the game and give the Mets the win. It was a wild night in Philadelphia, and it has left many Met fans wondering how they should feel after the victory.
While the game was an emotional roller coaster for all involved, there are a few positive takeaways from the game.
First, the win brought the Mets back to .500 on the season, bringing their record to 11-11 after 22 games. They won a series on the road in Philadelphia and are tied for 1st in the NL East with the Washington Nationals. However, the biggest thing to take away from this game is the Mets’ ability to finally get the big hit in a big spot, courtesy of Pete Alonso. That’s something many Met fans hope continues as the season moves along.
Another positive to take away from the game is that it finally appears that Michael Conforto has found his stroke. In the three games against the Phillies this weekend, he was 5-10 with 1 HR, 5 RBIs, and 3 walks. After entering the series batting just .219 with 1 HR and 3 RBIs, it was nice to see Conforto contribute in such a big way. If he can continue that, it will mean big things for the Mets offense moving forward.
Also, Jeff McNeil had four hits on Sunday. While he is still hitting just .231 on the season, McNeil’s performance should give Met fans some hope that he, too is breaking out of his early-season slump. The Mets also got some contributions from Jonathan Villar and Kevin Pillar on Sunday, two key bench pieces with a tough start to 2021. So those things Met fans can feel good about.
That doesn’t mean it’s all sunshine and rainbows, though. Francisco Lindor was 0 for 5 with a walk on Sunday, and he continues to struggle to hit with RISP. He popped out to right field with the bases loaded in the 6th inning when the Mets were down 4-2. Lindor has just one hit with RISP this season. He is just 0 for his last 16, and his average has dropped to just .171 on the season. It has now gotten to be a cause for concern for Met fans.
Sunday’s win was just another twist in the roller coast ride. It has led many fans to struggle with what to feel after Sunday’s win.
The only thing I can say you never give back a win in this league. You should never feel bad about it. Wins are hard to come by.