Michael Conforto and Wilmer Flores homered for the Mets on Saturday to tie the franchise record for April home runs at 33, a total previously achieved in 2006.
Good thing, too, because Nos. 32 and 33 were absolutely necessary to beat the Giants by a score of 6-5 for their eighth consecutive victory.
With a clash of heavyweights in Noah Syndergaard and Madison Bumgarner looming in the third and final game of their home series against San Francisco, it might have been easy for the Mets to look past Games 1 and 2 with the team scheduled to face the back end of the Giants' rotation.
But overlook Jake Peavy and Matt Cain they did not.
A day after rocking Peavy with a record-breaking, 12-run third inning on Friday, the Mets beat up on Cain, scoring six earned runs in as many frames.
Conforto led the way offensively. After a base hit to right in the first, the 23-year-old scored on Neil Walker's bases-loaded single. An inning later, he smashed a Cain offering to the opposite field, hitting the top of the left field wall for a two-run double and a 4-0 lead. Three innings after that, he pulled a pitch in the other direction for his fourth dinger of the year, a solo shot. The left fielder has doubles in six straight games, tying Joe Christopher's franchise mark set in 1964.
On the other side of the ball, Jacob deGrom overcame control issues to dance out of trouble. In his previous start, deGrom walked zero batters in his return from injury and paternity leave, which helped him make it through his surrendering eight hits, relinquishing just one earned run in 5.2 innings. On Saturday, the 2015 All-Star flipped the script but remained effective, walking four in six frames while limiting San Francisco to just two singles and no earned runs. He was throwing to backup catcher Rene Rivera, who went 0-for-3 in his Mets debut.
Things got messy for deGrom in the third. After Angel Pagan reached on a two-out infield single, a Wilmer Flores throwing error prolonged the inning. deGrom walked Buster Posey to load the bases and then walked Brandon Belt on a full count for the Giants' first run of the game. Hunter Pence followed with a two-run single before Lucas Duda quickly converted Curtis Granderson's throw from right to thwart Belt's attempt to advance to third.
Flores, starting for David Wright, made like Lloyd Christmas and totally redeemed himself. In the sixth, the struggling utility man connected for a solo home run to left, his first round-tripper of the season, to make it 6-3. Thanks to a less-than-stellar turn from their bullpen, the Mets would need it.
Jim Henderson struck out the first two batters he faced in the seventh, giving way to Addison Reed after a double and a walk. Reed struck Pagan out to escape the inning unscathed.
The reliever fared much worse in the eighth, however. Reed kicked off the frame by loading the bases on the strength of two walks. With no outs, Hansel Robles came on to induce two nerve-wracking sacrifice flies to the warning track off the bats of Pence and Brandon Crawford.
"Two long popups," manager Terry Collins joked after the game.
Robles gave up a single before Jerry Blevins came in and induced a ground out to bridge the gap to Jeurys Familia in the ninth.
Despite a relatively quiet day at the plate, the Mets' much-improved infield tandem of Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera proved valuable once again, turning a crucial double play with no outs after Familia surrendered a leadoff single. The closer then got Matt Duffy to ground out to third to end the game, but not without another adventurous throw from Flores.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Michael Conforto, +31.5% WPA; Jeurys Familia, +14.2% WPA; Jerry Blevins, +10.1% WPA
Big losers: Addison Reed, -18.8% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Neil Walker singles in two runs with the bases loaded in the first
Teh sux0rest play: Two batters earlier, Yoenis Cespedes strikes out swinging with one out and runners on the corners
Total pitcher WPA: +18.3 WPA
Total batter WPA: +31.7 WPA
GWRBI!: Wilmer Flores