New Year’s Eve is upon us. The ball will be dropping in a few short hours, officially putting 2022 in the books. It creates a fresh start for everyone, including all 30 MLB clubs. Before continuing to look ahead to more Mets baseball, it’s a worthwhile exercise to look back on memorable moments from the past year.
Regardless of what happens with the Carlos Correa situation, it’s easy for Mets fans to be excited about the 2023 season. And despite ultimately falling short of a World Series title, 2022 was incredibly exciting. Outside of the eventual results, the last time I remembered having this much fun following the Mets from start to finish was in 2006.
So, yea — it’s been a while.
This is by no means an exhaustive list and these moments aren’t in any particular order. They’re just here to enjoy before the clock strikes midnight.
First-inning Marte parties
Starling Marte was excellent for the Mets on most occasions. This was especially the case in the first inning, though. When stepping into the box during the first frame, he slashed .350/.409/.600 with seven home runs.
The above first-inning homer on May 21st was extra special because it was his first at-bat back from the bereavement list after losing his grandmother.
The combined no-hitter
There will always be people who say this doesn’t count because it’s not a “real no-hitter”. Do you know what I think about that? Well, I can’t really say what I think because it includes a bunch of cuss words. Let’s just say I disagree.
Is it different than a typical no-hitter? Yes, of course. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t count, though. I also love the fact that the Mets did this while wearing their Friday Night Blacks. Gary Cohen calling this historic moment on his birthday was just the cherry on top.
Unveiling of Tom Seaver’s statue
The Mets haven’t done a great job honoring the franchise’s past, along with some of the legendary players that have suited up in Flushing. This was something Steve Cohen specifically said he wanted to do more of as Mets owner.
He’s done a terrific job so far. One of the things he did in 2022 was help get the Tom Seaver statue unveiled at Citi Field. This project was announced in June 2019 by the Wilpons. It’s nice to see The Franchise have a permanent spot in Queens until the end of time.
Montage of annoyed Buck Showalter faces
Mets batters were hit an MLB record 112 times in 2022. That was annoying to watch. But it was made up slightly by the fact that Buck Showalter’s reactions became must-watch TV. It was so must-watch that SNY created some special effects for the occasion.
The first Philly comeback
Down 7-1 in the ninth, the Mets come all the way back to beat the Phillies. This was one of many instances where you had to believe something special was brewing in Flushing. My favorite is watching Brandon Nimmo’s reaction during his journey around the bases. Just pure disbelief and euphoria.
The Cardinals comeback
Nolan Arenado has won 10 straight Gold Gloves to begin his MLB career. This includes six Platinum Glove Awards. One of those Platinum Glove Awards came in 2022. But on this particular night in St. Louis, an Arenado error gave the Mets an opening to make another dramatic comeback.
Pete Alonso setting Mets RBI record
There’s no better way to set a record than by hitting a tank. Pete Alonso knows a thing or two about that. He finished 2022 with a Mets record 131 RBI, which also led the league (and was tied with Aaron Judge for the MLB lead). This was accompanied by 40 homers.
After hitting 53 homers with 120 RBI as a rookie in 2019, Alonso is the only Mets hitter with multiple seasons of at least 40 dingers and 120 RBI.
Francisco Lindor’s memorable home run
After a lackluster first year in Queens, Francisco Lindor had something to prove in 2022 with New York. And that he did.
He set single-season franchise shortstop records for home runs (26), RBI (107), and fWAR (6.8). That fWAR was also among the league leaders. He also broke the franchise’s shortstop home run record on Roberto Clemente Day. Coming from Puerto Rico himself, it made an already special moment just a little more special.
The Timmy Trumpet experience
Say what you want about Timmy Trumpet doing a live rendition of “Narco” at Citi Field during the Mets’ series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. But if you say it was anything other than awesome, then you’re wrong.
Edwin Diaz was the game’s best closer in 2022. He also had the best entrance in baseball. After signing a record five-year deal at outset of free agency, we get to enjoy the sweet sounds of Timmy Trumpet for the foreseeable future.
Mets’ catch of the year by Brandon Nimmo
Everything about this play was just phenomenal. The Dodgers were in New York giving us what many people thought was an NLCS preview. It was a packed house at Citi Field, and then Nimmo took away what would’ve been a game-tying home run by former Met, Justin Turner.
Nimmo’s reaction, Jacob deGrom’s reaction, the roar of the crowd, and the disbelief in the SNY booth makes this sequence of events more than worthwhile. Thank goodness Brandon is sticking around in Flushing for the next eight years.
Mark Canha’s excited face
When you leave a small village on base, but your buddy has your back. pic.twitter.com/aPmGUGTXDH
— Mark Canha (@outtadapakmark) July 30, 2022
Tell me you’re competitive without saying your competitive, right? This is an image that will live in Mets history forever and ever (at least, it will on the internet). This was in response to Nimmo hitting a home run and picking up Canha, who had a rough night at the plate.
Brett Baty homers in first MLB at-bat
The first MLB at-bat is special for every ballplayer, regardless of the outcome. But when you’re able to hit a homer in that opportunity, it’s just unreal. Capturing this moment from Brett Baty and his family’s reaction in the stands is just outstanding.
Baty hit just .184/.244/.342 in 42 big-league plate appearances before hitting the injured list. However, he showed some of the potential that’s made him one of baseball’s top prospects.
Francisco Alvarez’s first MLB homer
The Mets promoted Francisco Alvarez for the second-to-last series of the regular season. It was a critical three-game set against the Atlanta Braves and New York ultimately got swept. Alvarez looked overmatched in a big spot, but he ended his year on a high note by notching his first hits (including the above home run) against the Nationals.
Alvarez has been tabbed as MLB’s top prospect. The 21-year-old has soared through the Mets’ farm system, and watching him hit this tank at Citi Field has everyone hoping we see many more of them in the coming years.
Historic back-to-back-to-back homers
After getting swept by the Braves, the Mets came back to sweep the Nationals in their final regular-season matchup to get above 100 wins for the first time since 1988. One of those victories included Nimmo, Lindor, and Jeff McNeil hitting back-to-back-to-back homers in the bottom of the first. It was the first time New York had done this to start a game in franchise history.
Eduardo Escobar’s cycle
— Matt Musico (@mmusico8) October 25, 2022
Before Escobar completed the cycle in San Diego, Scott Hairston was the last Met to accomplish the feat. He did it in 2010 against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. As I said in the tweet above, the pure joy, from both Escobar and the dugout, after he tripled to make it official is awesome.
Keith Hernandez’s number getting retired
People have been screaming for years about how the Mets need to retire Keith Hernandez’s number. Well, Cohen and the organization finally made it a reality in 2022. Number 17 is just one of a few that New York needs to put in the rafters. It’ll be interesting to see which one comes next.
The return of Old Timers’ Day
After saying he would bring Old Timers’ Day back, Cohen and his team actually did it in 2022. The game was the game, but seeing so many Mets legends together on a baseball field at the same time was just special.
The Month of Escobar
Of all the amazing calls from Gary Cohen in 2022, this is definitely one of the best…if not the best. After five mostly rough months at the dish, Escobar came alive for the Mets in September.
He won National League Player of the Month honors after hitting .340/.393/.649 with eight home runs and 24 RBI in 26 games played.
Jacob deGrom’s return to Citi Field mound
I know this is a tender topic now that he’s going to pitch for the Rangers, but I couldn’t leave it off the list.
DeGrom had already returned to the active roster by the time he faced the Braves on August 7th. But it was the first time he did so at Citi Field in more than a calendar year. He completely dominated by retiring the first 17 batters he faced. His day ended with 12 strikeouts in 5.2 innings and his first win of the season.
The other ridiculous Philly comeback
The final regular-season matchup against the Phillies was a doozy. This was a back-and-forth battle that included two late homers from Mark Canha, as well as an insurance run homer from Nimmo that New York ultimately needed.
This completed a dominant showing vs. Philly overall. New York went 14-5 against the Phillies in 2022. It included this crazy game, the comeback from earlier in the season, and the combined no-hitter.
Jeff McNeil winning the batting title
McNeil went from slashing .251/.319/.360 in 2021 to winning the NL batting title in 2022 with a .326/.382/.454 line. His 5.3 fWAR is also a new single-season career-high mark. He became the first Mets player to capture these honors since Jose Reyes, who hit .337 in 2011.
Mets clinching a postseason berth
The Mets’ trip to the postseason was mostly not fun to watch as the San Diego Padres eliminated them in the Wild Card Series. We were also hoping the above celebration would be followed by them clinching the NL East, which didn’t happen.
However, we haven’t seen the Amazins in the playoffs very often throughout franchise history. Watching them clinch and knowing that Game 162 wasn’t going to be the end of their season was awesome.
As we mentioned at the top, the ultimate goal wasn’t achieved in 2022, but it sure was a fun year of baseball in Flushing. These moments serve as proof of that. Here’s to hoping this is just the start of a long run of competitive teams at Citi Field.