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The Mets win, but also lose

“When I’m around Met fans, when I’m around the orange and blue, it’s like I’m at home.” - David Wright

MLB: Miami Marlins at New York Mets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

On the most emotional night Citi Field has ever seen, David Wright and the Mets topped the Marlins 1-0 in 13 innings. Steven Matz closed out his season on a high note, and a cavalcade of relievers kept the Marlins at bay for seven innings after Matz departed. Austin Jackson finally broke through with a walkoff double in the thirteenth to close out David Wright night on a high note.

Seemingly reinvigorated with his best friend back alongside him, Jose Reyes looked like his 2006 self to start the game, making a flashy ranging play to his right in the top of the first and leading off the bottom half of the inning with a double down the line. Jeff McNeil sacrificed to give Wright a chance at an RBI, but Trevor Richards did not oblige, and Wright walked. A Michael Conforto double play squandered the scoring chance, though it did give Wright a chance to dirty up his uniform sliding into second base. He got up unscathed, a smile on his face, and jogged back to the dugout.

In the top of the second, Reyes made two more plays, before Bryan Holaday hit a third ground ball to the left side. This one bounced straight to Wright, who fielded it cleanly, took a step, tapped the ball into his glove, and slung it on target to first. It wasn’t a great diving play, an insane barehanded catch on a popup over his head, or a weak ground ball he got to charge, but it was a putout.

Richards and Matz traded zeros, and Wright lead off the top of the fourth. He popped the second pitch up down the right field line and, despite 40,000 fans willing the ball to drop, Peter O’Brien squeezed it for the final out. Two outs later, Wright walked out to third for the final time. Jose Reyes gave David a long hug as Mickey Callaway walked to home plate, and Met fans, coaches, and players got their chance to say goodbye:

Over the next two innings or so, the TV and radio broadcasts essentially ignored the game (much like this recap), as Wright visited both booths in full uniform. He talked about his love for the fans, how much he appreciated the team for giving him this night, and about how he worried his daughter Olivia Shea would run out to left field instead of throwing the first pitch. In the meantime, the Met offense stayed silent, and Steven Matz continued to dazzle, finishing his outing after six shutout innings. He lowered his ERA to 3.97 in his 30th start of the year, striking out eight, and capping what has quietly been a fantastic close to a healthy season for the lefty from Long Island.

In the seventh, Tyler Bashlor needed a ton of pitches to go through the Marlins working around a walk. Peter O’Brien was booed loudly - Utley level - before hitting a deep fly ball that Austin Jackson squeezed. O’Brien took it in stride, tipping his hats the fans as he returned to the dugout with a grin on his face. In the bottom half, Brandon Nimmo singled before pulling up lame around first with an apparent hamstring issue. That’ll likely end his season, meaning he ends a fantastic season with an OBP of .404. He’s the first Met to finish a season with an OBP over .400 since, fittingly, David Wright.

Todd Frazier followed with a single of his own, but that was wasted. A single from Amed Rosario in the eighth was also wasted, as was a single by Jack Reinheimer in the ninth (though that required an incredible sliding play from Isaac Galloway in right field on a line drive off the bat of Kevin Plawecki). Drew Smith and Anthony Swarzak kept the Marlins off the board in the mean time, and the game headed to extras in a scoreless tie.

The offensive futility continued for the next four innings, as Met fans begged for the game to end so David Wright could speak. Two men were left on in the tenth, another in the eleventh, and yet another in the twelfth. Jerry Blevins, Jacob Rhame, and Daniel Zamora kept the Marlins off the board in the meantime, with some help from a diving play by Michael Conforto. Finally, in the bottom of the thirteenth, Conforto singled, Jack Reinheimer walked, and Austin Jackson drove a double into the gap to give the Mets the 1-0 victory.

It was the Mets’ 76th win of the year, and the first of Daniel Zamora’s career. Yet it’s tough to call this victory even bittersweet. For the first time since 2004, Met fans will wake up tomorrow and face the reality that David Wright is never trotting out to third base again. There’s solace in the fact that David seems at peace with the way things played out, that he got to step onto the field one last time in front of his two little girls and a jam packed Citi Field. Right now, however, there’s only the feeling of loss, the loss of a truly great player and person who gave everything he had to a team, a city, and a fan base.

Thanks for everything David. We’ll miss you.

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Win Probability Added

What’s WPA?

Big winners: Steven Matz, +34.6% WPA; Jacob Rhame, +26.2% WPA; Jack Reinheimer, +24.5% WPA; Anthony Swarzak, +13.1% WPA; Jerry Blevins, +13.1% WPA; Daniel Zamora, +13.1% WPA; Drew Smith +10.3% WPA
Big losers: Kevin Plawecki, -35.5% WPA; Jay Bruce, -30.4% WPA; Michael Conforto, -19.0% WPA; Jose Reyes, -12.9% WPA; Amed Rosario, -12.7% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Austin Jackson hits a walkoff double in the 13th, +29.7% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Kevin Plawecki grounds into a double play in the 11th, -20.3% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +118.8% WPA
Total batter WPA: -68.8% WPA
GWRBI!: Austin Jackson