Friday night was the opening game of a three-game set for the Mets against last year's NLDS opponents, the Los Angeles Dodgers. It marked the first game in 2016 at Citi Field for Chase Utley. The crowd welcomed him accordingly:
After the villainous Utley reached with a walk, some semblance of justice was served as he was caught trying to steal while being compelled to slide into second base like a respectable human being. Enjoy Utley's glorious failure from many different angles.
The Mets also welcomed the highly-touted Julio Urias to the majors with a pasting. This is the first run Urias ever allowed in the majors, in his first inning no less—undoubtedly a special moment:
Urias didn't have long to savor the moment before Juan Lagares laced a two-run single to open up a 3-0 lead. The Dodgers rookie didn't make it out of the third inning. So it was Chris Hatcher who gave up a 424-foot solo bomb to David Wright, who had his vintage right-center stroke at full bore.
Meanwhile another veteran continued to make his presence felt, this time in the field. Here Asdrubal Cabrera smooths out yet another difficult play:
Doing his best not to be known only for his defense, Lagares got his arms extended against a right-hand pitcher and popped his first homer of the year the opposite way to make it 5-1:
Mets starter Jacob deGrom didn't always have his best stuff tonight, but you wouldn't know it from these highlights:
As you can see, deGrom hit 96 on the gun, certainly an encouraging sign. He left with the game seemingly in hand, which it was until the ninth inning, when Jeurys Familia walked in a run and then was the victim of Utley's annoying alligator-armed half-swing. We are all victims of Chase Utley, really:
Utley's three-run double tied the game and gave him four total RBI on the night. But all's well that ends well, and this game had the Grandy-est ending possible. Here are the pictures of Curtis Granderson's walk-off homer overlaid with Howie Rose's radio call:
Afterwards, Granderson's public speaking skills were put to the test by an ice-cold bath of pink sports beverage, much to the fans' delight:
Kevin Plawecki handled that bucket as expertly as he handles the pitching staff, and kudos to Neil Walker for the rarely-seen "second splash."
The dramatic 6-5 win was a fitting way to kick off a weekend dedicated to the heroes of 1986. Let's hope we continue to see Baseball Like It Oughta Be. Tune in next time, true believers.