Mets Get That Much Needed Win

AP Photo/Noah K. Murray

Pete Alonso hit a game tying home run leading off the ninth inning and Tyrone Taylor lined the game winning single to drive home the winning run. The Mets finally got rookie Manager Carlos Mendoza his first win and their first of the 2024 season, 2-1 over the Detroit Tigers in the nitecap of a doubleheader.

Bypass the fact this was another chilly and gloomy Thursday afternoon at Citi Field. An intimate gathering of 15,020 fans was the smallest since the ballpark opened in 2009. Forget the Mets lost the first game, 6-3 in 11-innings of the straight twin bill that was scheduled because of consecutive rainouts.

And bypass the blown three run lead in the opener. Forget they broke a 13-inning hitless skid as the longest in club history. Forget about a .169 team batting average, lowest in baseball attributed mainly to Brandon Nimmo, Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeill, a major part of their lineup that combined for a hideous 3-for-55.

The Mets are no longer a team without a win in the first week of 2024 and the Miami Marlins stand alone as the only winless team in MLB. A Mets team that dealt with adversity during this first week at home, so this win and late inning comeback was sorely needed after a 0-5 start.

Except, many said the Mets season was doomed to be a failure, of course without a win that would be amplified. However, they are better than what has been seen this week at Citi Field, perhaps not a World Series contender but still good enough to make a run for a NL Wildcard in September.

The Tigers bullpen had not been scored upon in their last 25 2/3 innings which propelled them to their 5-0 start. For now, though, the Mets and their fans are feeling a bit better as they head for their first road trip to Cincinnati and Atlanta.

They have always been a team with dramatics and so was this.

Alonso got hold of a low changeup and achieved a milestone with his 500th career RBI. Until that Harrison Bader hit in the eighth inning it seemed the Tigers staff was destined to no-hit the Mets. But the Mets needed this win. Mendoza needed this win, and, afterwards, a frustrated fan base felt a bit better. Hey, it’s early April but who wants to go on the road for the next seven as one of two winless teams in the majors?

It’s one of those that I just felt it, I’m like, oh nice,” Alonso said about the home run. “We definitely needed that one. I just saw it keep going and going. It was really fun. I’m just really happy I was able to come through at that moment.”

Baseball is known as having those up and down moments. All week the Mets said they were keeping their composure and needed that first win. They were better than what the numbers showed and were a lineup capable of hitting and scoring runs.

Better approaches at the plate would help and perhaps that began in the ninth inning. Cold weather could be a factor to the slow start, but excuses get you nowhere. The Mets hope that inning will jump start them with one week not making a season. Even though you can’t win in April, losing games early can come back to haunt you in September.

And the Mets were not going to be denied their first win with seven upcoming games on the road. Two more weeks of losing and it means playing catch up in the standings for a long time and depending on others hitting a bad streak.

But to this Mets team that losing, lack of hitting and scoring was not going to continue. This was a start and momentum they needed in early April.

Obviously, it’s nice to get the first one,” said Mendoza. “We should have had them, but that’s baseball,” referring to their first game loss that got away. Adrian Houser in his first Mets start provided five good innings. The manager got splashed with champagne from his players after his first win.

It’s a special feeling,” Mendoza said. “Obviously, the boys were excited. It means a lot coming from them, I know how hard they were trying. Obviously, not the homestand they were anticipating, but there is a lot of baseball left. We have to take it one game at a time, and we will get going pretty soon.”

And the pitching was not the culprit in the slow start, as they stood third in majors with a 2.37 ERA. Jose Butto provided the depth as the 27th man for the doubleheader due to the Mets pitching rotation being short. The right hander delivered six good innings, allowing one run. Newcomer Reed Garrett with three late innings out of the pen got the win with three late innings out of the pen.

It’s the lack of hitting of hitting and scoring runs. The Mets got a needed win in early April and are off the skid. For now, this can be a start with a long road ahead and many trials and tribulations of a long season.

It feels good to get that first one out of the way,” said Mendoza.

Rich Mancuso: X (Formerly Twitter @Ring786) Mancuso

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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