After a moving number retirement ceremony honoring Keith Hernandez, maybe a little magic was on the Mets’ side, as they pulled out an improbable 5-4 extra-inning victory over the Marlins at Citi Field, in which they lost two players to injury. Carlos Carrasco did an excellent job negotiating some dicey innings and limiting the damage to two runs in 5 2⁄3 innings of work. The offense looked anemic for most of the contest, but it is perhaps fitting that on a day the Mets remembered a cornerstone player of the past, the two biggest blows came from the two cornerstone position players of the present. The bullpen let a late-inning lead get away, but the Mets didn’t look a gift horse in the mouth and walked it off in the tenth.
Carrasco was in trouble right away in this game when Jon Berti rifled the first pitch of the game off the wall in right field for a leadoff double. A walk, a wild pitch, and a catcher’s interference loaded the bases with nobody out for the Marlins in the first, but Carrasco struck out the next batter he faced and then induced an inning-ending double play to somehow escape the inning unscathed.
The game remained scoreless until the fourth, with Carrasco leveraging some swing-and-miss stuff to extricate himself out of some more jams and the Mets accomplishing next to nothing off lefty Braxton Garrett. Starling Marte left the game due to injury between innings with what was later diagnosed as “left groin tightness.” But the Mets’ current first baseman Pete Alonso honored the Mets’ past first baseman when he launched a mammoth solo homer down the left field line to give the Mets a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth.
The Marlins responded by loading the bases against Carrasco with one out in the sixth. Brian Anderson hit a double in the gap in left-center, which drove in the tying run, but Luis Guillorme made an incredible relay throw to the plate to nab Jesús Sánchez and keep the game tied. But the play cost James McCann the rest of his afternoon, as he hurt himself reaching to make the tag and exited the game with side tightness.
The Mets immediately bounced back in the bottom of the frame when Francisco Lindor launched a two-run homer that bonked off the left field foul pole and gave the Mets a 3-2 lead. But the Mets’ bullpen was unable to hold it. After assisting to negotiate a jam in the seventh inning, Adam Ottavino gave up a game-tying solo homer to Jesús Aguilar in the eighth inning. The game stayed tied, pushing the contest to extras.
Both teams exhibited some bad fundies in the tenth inning that Keith Hernandez would have been ashamed of if he had been in the booth, but luckily the Marlins committed one more error than the Mets did. In the top of the tenth with Colin Holderman on the mound, Francisco Lindor made a great play on a Jon Berti grounder in the hole, but made an errant throw trying to throw out the free runner Billy Hamilton at third base and Hamilton scored the go-ahead run. Berti advanced to second on the play, but Tomás Nido picked him off in what turned out to be a huge play for the Mets. Holderman got out of the inning having given up just the one run.
In the bottom of the frame, the Mets’ first two hitters struck out looking against Tanner Scott in rather meek fashion and it seemed that this game was heading for a very different—and grim—conclusion. But Nido followed up his defensive play in the top of the tenth by putting the first pitch he saw from Scott in play down the left field line, which snuck under the third baseman Anderson’s glove to score the free runner Canha and tie the game. Brandon Nimmo then grounded a ball back to the pitcher Scott, but he muffed a very easy throw to first base, throwing it away to allow Nido to cross the plate with the winning run in an absolutely wild walk-off finish.
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Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Tomás Nido, +53.9% WPA
Big Mets loser: Eduardo Escobar, -23.5% WPA
Mets pitchers: -8.2% WPA
Mets hitters: +58.2% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Tomás Nido’s slow RBI double down the left field line in the bottom of the tenth, +46.9% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Jesús Aguilar’s game-tying homer in the eighth off Adam Ottavino, -26.6% WPA