The night got off to a strange start as David Peterson struggled with his command and issued 2 walks and one hit batsmen with the bases loaded giving the 3 Diamondback second inning runs and then surrendered a run in the third inning to put the Mets behind 4-0 but the team never quit and started their comeback in short order.
Michael Conforto and Jonathan Villar came up with RBI hits and Francisco Lindor belted a 2 run homer to knot the score at 4 and the Mets won in the bottom of the tenth inning on a bases loaded single from Patrick Mazeika which was his first major league hit giving the Mets a come from behind victory–their third straight win.
In the post-game Zoom the media seemed to be concerned with far more than the Met win as there appeared to be something that went on in the Met dugout tunnel during the game between Lindor and Jeff McNeil after there seemed to be miscommunication in the 7th inning after a Nick Ahmed ground ball. Lindor insisted it was merely a debate in the tunnel between whether they saw a rat or a racoon as he and McNeil had a difference of opinion on that.
Right after that so-called skirmish Lindor belted a 2 run homer to tie the game which to me was the story of the night coupled with the Met bullpen that pitched 8.1 innings of one run ball that kept the Mets in the game.
What is my opinion on the skirmish? Maybe it was a rat/raccoon debate and maybe it was not. Who cares? Teams always have nights where miscommunication could lead to animated conversations and that is healthy. I choose to believe Lindor and McNeil because they have ALWAYS been honest with me in all of his Zoom sessions. Baseball teams are like families–sure there could be discussions and debates but in the final analysis there are there to win a game and the rest of this nonsense is just conversation.
Perhaps Lindor and McNeil need to improve communications and I am sure that will be discussed. But to take a leap in my analysis of a scene I did not see is not how I operate as a reporter. I can tell you this was an incredible come from behind win to start a homestand after the Mets won their last 2 in St Louis, That is very eye opening to me that this team plays together and the rat/racoon debate or whatever the topic of the debate was is over. I can tell that from both Lindor and McNeil’ comments as well as the post game conversation with Luis Rojas.
This team had had a rough week with coach firings, injuries, and rain outs and still has continued to win games. Lindor has been in a batting slump and he did what he is paid to do–hit a game tying home run to key a comeback. I fully understand that we live in a world where the game is not enough and the sidelight stories come front and center. And I do not want to sound like an angry old man but the game is ALWAYS enough for me.
And on this night, this was a game that advertises how great this sport is and I simply could care less about the rat/racoon debate story’s validity. The simple truth is this Met team has shown me this week that they can overcome because they care more about the name on the front of their uniform than they do about the name on the back of their uniform.
For some reason, people can not see that is what this game represented–not interrogating Lindor and McNeil like Tom Cruise examined Jack Nicholson in the film A Few Good Men. To me that was an utter waste of time. The game is the reason I am here and how this one unfolded wrote the story all by itself. That is the simple truth.