Mancuso: Mets Are Comeback Kids

(Neil Miller/Sportsday Wire)
Coming from behind wins for the New York Mets are no longer a rarity and doing it at home makes it extra special. Sunday afternoon they had that come from behind special against the Atlanta Braves but the one Monday night against the Toronto Blue Jays added more to their confidence.

Their latest was extra special because it was an 11th inning walk-off hit from Wilmer Flores that gave New York a 4-3 win. And the win snapped a Blue Jays record tying 11-game winning streak, a team that also has the top offense in the American League.

But what is so special about these last two Mets’ wins, besides this being their 17th come from behind one of the season, is their never quit attitude that was more evident after Jeurys Familia, the closer, suffered his second blown save of the season after being asked again to get four outs.

The manager Terry Collins said, “We have to find a way to get out of that eighth inning,” which leaves that question as to who would be the one that gets the ball for Familia to close a game in the ninth.

What has always been special is the ability of this Mets pitching sfatt to get these games into the final innings with a chance to win,and with a lineup that at times resembles a Triple-A team, scoring runs for those pitchers has become a task.

Noah Syndergaard overcame a tough 32-pitch first inning, and if the rookie had not struggled early perhaps Familia would have had the normal three-out save opportunity in the ninth, He allowed one earned run, two hits and struck out a career high 11 against a team that traded him for R.A.Dickey.

Said Collins about Syndergaard:  “It means a lot. These guys are the hottest team in baseball, they’ve got a tremendous lineup, and after the first inning, he took control of it. I was very impressed with the way he went about it.”

Because Dillon Gee caused the Mets to fall behind deep and early on Sunday and has been ineffective, he was designated for assignment earlier in the day. Syndergaard now had the ball to prove again that he deserved to stay and a one-run deficit for these Mets suddenly has become an easy thing to overcome.

However it was more impressive how these Mets scored the tying run in the 11th on a bloop single from Lucas Duda, a hit that went against the shift to left with the Blue Jays outfield playing deep. The never ending quit of the Mets would not allow their closer to go down after throwing the go ahead home run ball to Jose Bautista at the top of the inning. .

Said Familia, “Nice they play hard and never give up  They played baseball like they are supposed to play.” Except the Mets can’t expect their closer to throw a four-out save all the time because their pen is taxed and pleading for help.

So the right things have to be done to generate some runs, and that has been happening the past week on this homestand with three such come from behind wins. The Mets knew this one had to be won in mid June because the Nationals lost again, and that opened a game-and-a half lead over them in the division.

A come from behind team will have that attitude that they can always win. And when Ruben Tejada, making the best of getting another chance, contributed a run scoring double in a two-run sixth, that gave the Mets a lead, that come from behind attitude continued.

Tejada also kept the game going with some solid base running in that 11th by watching the slow grounder that Michael Cuddyer hit to second. Instead of a possible double-play ball it became as force out and enabled Duda to get to the plate.

It was that never quit attitude, one that the manager emphasized at the start of spring training.

“Saw it was a slow grounder,” Tejada said about the play. “Only way was to stop and keep the game going.  We are doing the little things to make a difference in the ballgame. We keep working together.” And  when Daniel Murphy returns from the disabled list, as soon as next week, Tejada may still have a job at third base because a play like that on the base paths and a timely hit will only help his cause to stay put.

“When you win game like this, its because you are doing things right,” Flores said. We execute.” It was his third walk-off winning hit of his career and he said, “Know you done it before makes you more relaxed. We never give up….that’s the good thing about us now.”

Flores added about the come from behind Mets mentality, “Once you done it before you can do it. That’s why you can’t give up.”  And after these last two games there is no doubt as to the ability of these Mets never giving up.

Comment Rich Mancuso: [email protected] Mancuso  Twitter@Ring786

About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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