Outside of an eight-run fifth inning in DC vs. the Nationals, the Mets’ offense has looked anemic and mostly lifeless the past few weeks. But after finally recalling Mark Vientos to the big leagues on Wednesday, New York produced its first signature win of the 2023 season.
And the manner in which they did it has shed light on two incredible stats that put the Mets in a club all by themselves.
New York went into the bottom of the seventh inning staring at a 2-0 deficit. That was erased by Vientos with a two-run homer. Tampa Bay scored three more times to take a 5-2 lead into the bottom of the ninth. With two outs and two runners on, Francisco Alvarez tied things up again with a homer off the facing of the second deck.
The Rays once again took a multi-run lead in the 10th, but Pete Alonso put an end to the nonsense with a three-run, walk-off homer, along with an excellent postgame interview. In case you haven’t seen them (or just want to watch these dingers again), here they are:
Mark Vientos. Francisco Álvarez. Pete Alonso.
3 epic home runs, all here for you in one place. pic.twitter.com/7UQWGqFv5C
— SNY (@SNYtv) May 18, 2023
Just a beautiful sight. And, isn’t it a helluva thing when you let the kids play? If they’re not in the lineup, New York probably drops this game without much of a fight. You know, like they have plenty of times the past few weeks.
But that didn’t happen. As we can see, the Mets erased three different multi-run deficits from the seventh inning on to eventually win, and they did it all via home runs. The past couple of generations of baseball fans haven’t seen any team do that in one game:
The Mets hit 3 home runs tonight in the 7th inning or later when down by 2+ runs to tie the game or take the lead.
They are the ONLY team over the past 50 seasons to do this in a single game.
Data via OptaSTATS pic.twitter.com/Y8arg142eF
— Greg Harvey (@BetweenTheNums) May 18, 2023
But wait, it gets better! Hitting a game-tying homer in the ninth and then a game-winning dinger in extras while being down more than one run is apparently the Mets’ specialty. It’s only happened twice since 1961. Both of them have been accomplished by the Amazins:
The Mets had a game-tying HR in the 9th inning, then had a walk-off HR in extra innings when they were trailing by multiple runs each time.
It's the 2nd time in the Expansion Era (since 1961) that a team accomplished the feat.
Both were done by the Mets, the other was in 2016. pic.twitter.com/ADkd0oFUNE
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 18, 2023
Mets fans should remember the other occurrence quite clearly. It happened on September 22nd, 2016 vs. the Philadelphia Phillies. New York was streaking toward a National League Wild Card berth and won this particular game in dramatic fashion.
Jose Reyes tied things up with a ninth-inning home run. The game dragged into the 11th inning when Asdrubal Cabrera ended it by doing this:
9/22/2016: Asdrubal Cabrera provided a walk-off home run and bat flip that will surely be imprinted on the brains of #Mets fans for a long time. #LGM (via MLB) @MetsLegends @InMetsWeTrust pic.twitter.com/fIZEI3g0yt
— MLB Daily Dingers (@MLBDailyDingers) December 19, 2022
Are the Mets back? Is the World Series back on? They’ve still got quite a bit of work to do. New York is just 6.5 games out of first place and 1.5 games out of the last Wild Card spot. However, they’re also 21-23 heading into Thursday’s finale against Tampa Bay.
But for the first time in a while, they’re all waking up with a smile. This will hopefully serve as a “circle this date” moment when we look back on this year a few months from now.
You can reach Matt Musico at [email protected]. You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.