The Mets knew they would be greeting the fans back to CitiField on this day and they gave the fanbase a rousing walk off win which culminated a fun day in Queens. as the Amazins beat the Marlins 2-1 to even their record at 2 and 2.
Taijuan Walker was solid in his Met debut throwing 6 innings of 2 run ball while the Mets got scoreless innings from Miquel Castro, Trevor May and Edwin Diaz setting up a dramatic and controversial climax to the afternoon. The frame got off to a great start as Jeff McNeil crushed a solo homer to tie it up,
Luis Guillorme followed that up with a single and Brandon Nimmo laced a double down the line (his third hit of the game) as Don Mattingly decided to issue an intentional walk to Francisco Lindor which loaded the bases for Michael Conforto. After getting down in the count 0 and 2, he was hit by a pitch giving the Mets the win. Mattingly was livid as he thought it was clear Conforto leaned into the pitch which after watching replays seemed like a real compelling argument to me but the umpires let the call stand giving the Mets the win.
“I would much rather hit my way on there”, said Conforto, ” but a win is a win. That is certainly the case but the key AB’s in that inning belonged to Jeff McNeil and Brandon Nimmo. For McNeil, he was looking for his first hit of the young season and he made it count. As for Nimmo he is really relishing the leadoff role getting on base on a regular basis. The team has not been able to take full advantage of that but once Lindor starts hitting as we all know he will it could be a big benefit.
The offense has sputtered in the first 4 games but the Mets managed to split those games because both Marcus Stroman and Taijuan Walker gave the team quality starts allowing the team to deal with limited run support. “Walker was great”, said Met manager Luis Rojas, ” as his fastball was getting that late movement which makes him tough to hit while the bullpen held the game at 2-1 giving us the chance to win it.”
The other thing that this game did illustrate was fans make a difference in this sport and the sound of a supporting fan base made these players feel great. “Our fans are great and their support made all the difference in the world, ” said Brandon Nimmo after the game. It also reinforced the notion that this group of players gets inspired by their home crowd-something that was missing last year.
I remember the walk off the Mets executed over the Yankees on a Pete Alonso homer just a day or 2 after the death of Tom Seaver. And the one thing missing was the loud ovation from the fans that this team had grown accustomed to in the 2019 season. It is the one variable that can play a huge role for this team in the 2021 season and we saw a small taste of that in the Mets 2-1 win over the Marlins. I am sure it made Don Mattingly snarl that he lost a game that should have gone to extra innings. But to the Mets on a day they welcomed back the fans that mattered little because as Michael conforto put it “a win is a win.”