On the heels of the messy Matt Harvey brouhaha, the Mets rebounded with a walk-off 4-3 win over the Giants team that took them down in the National League Wild Card game last season.
Streaky second baseman Neil Walker bookended NY’s first and final runs by stroking a ground rule double and sharp line drive with Michael Conforto crossing the plate both times.
Jacob deGrom, whom the Mets rely heavily upon to be their savior since Noah Syndergaard went on the DL, was not his vintage self, giving up three runs and three walks in six innings of work. But his eleven strikeouts gave NY a chance to get back in it.
In the first inning, with Brandon Belt on board, Hunter Pence got a hold of a 3-2 fastball just out of the reach of a leaping Juan Lagares in center field for a 2-0 lead.
After Sunday night’s near no hitter, not in their favor, the last thing manager Terry Collins wanted to witness was his ace starter falling behind early in the game.
Michael Conforto drew a walk in the bottom frame, then Jay Bruce singled him to second with a live drive to center, and Neil Walker took Matt Moore’s full count for a ground rule double to cut the lead in half.
DeGrom struck out the side in the third, and got out of trouble in the fourth with Buster Posey’s leadoff double and walk to Conor Gillaspie by striking out Gorkys Hernandez swinging.
The Mets got to Moore again in the fifth with consecutive singles by deGrom and Conforto, and then the clutch hitting T.J. Rivera clocked an RBI double to deep center to even the score.
With runners on second and third and no outs, there was more damage to be had, but Moore silenced Flores, Bruce and Walker.
In the top of the sixth, Buster Posey led off again, only this time he launched a first pitch home run into the left center field seats to break a 2-2 tie.
Moore’s good fortune ran out in the bottom of the inning when Curtis Granderson, pinch-hitting for deGrom doubled in Lagares, who previously reached on a fielder’s choice, after Rene Rivera’s prior single.
NY threatened to no avail in the eighth on a Reyes four pitch walk and yet another Rene Rivera single, boosting his average to .321.
The Mets bullpen kept the Giants humble, both Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia pitched a 1,2,3 eighth and ninth. And in the bottom of the final frame, it was the return of Neil Walker with Conforto and Flores on base, taking San Francisco’s Hunter Strickland deep to right for the Mets first walk-off win of the season.
Tomorrow Zack Wheeler will try to make it two in a row against the struggling 0-4 Jeff Samardzija.