A Much Needed Win, But Mets Need Many More

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Omar Narvaez stroked a ninth inning, walk-off single Sunday afternoon at Citi Field to key a come from behind 4-3 Mets win over the Giants. Jeff McNeil scored the winning run in a victory that the Mets badly needed to snap a five-game losing streak.

Important of course, because prior to Memorial Day, the Mets needed a win like this. They need many more or the narrative about a roster that will be sold off prior to the trade deadline in late July, will fester. A team that is now projected to finish with 70 wins will be sellers and not buyers.

When it appeared the Mets were headed to another loss, Narvaez first hit this season at Citi Field provided some hope. A win in this fashion they can enjoy, there haven’t been many. This came before the NL West leading Dodgers visit Monday for the first of a three-game series.

Their clubhouse was still quiet, though a sense of enthusiasm was evident. Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso remained silent at the plate, and if the Mets are to have any impact, they need to make noise. Their longest winning streak of six in mid-April was a team effort.

So instead of Alonso and Lindor, others stepped up. It was Narvaez, Harrison Bader, and Adrian Houser out of the bullpen. Trailing 3-1, Brandon Nimmo and J.D. Martinez led off the bottom of the ninth with singles. With one out, McNeil was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Harrison Bader, who has come up big in these situations, lined a game tying, two run double down the left field line.

These were the comeback types of wins the Mets had in April. Five good innings from starter Sean Manaea kept them in reach, but they needed a win and they got one that was needed.

We needed that, especially how things have been going here as of late,” Mets manager Carlos Mendoza said. “For the guys to continue to have good at-bats, especially in the ninth inning down two runs.”

He mentioned the at-bats of Nimmo, Martinez, and Bader. Mendoza said it was huge, and yes it was. The Mets have gone down quietly this month and the bullpen also has imploded, specifically Edwin Diaz blowing three of his last save opportunities.

Bader tied the game with a two-run double and seven of his 16 RBI this season have come in the eighth inning or later. So, yeah you can say this was huge. He also had a two-out RBI single in the first inning.

That was a fun game,” Bader said. “That was awesome. The game will always present opportunities.”

He said the Mets have never quit and things would eventually improve. But a needed win has to lead to consistency and Bader believes it will turn around. He was happy for Houser who earned his first win in relief and was the first Met since Trevor Williams (6.0 innings) in two years to throw four or more innings out of the bullpen and get the win.

Bader also gave Houser a helping hand when he robbed Matt Chapman (the first batter Houser faced) of a home run with a spectacular catch in the 6th that was going over the wall in center. A catch that was needed gave the Mets some room going into the ninth.

Pretty special player defensively and now we’ve seen really good results in big moments for him offensively,” Mendoza said about Bader.

A needed RBI single for Narvaez, an All-Star catcher who is in a platoon situation with Tomas Nido as the Mets also await the anticipated return of Francisco Alvarez. He ended a 0-for-27 drought at Citi Field and came off the bench to deliver a big hit. Narvaez is a career .176 hitter with the Mets since signing in December 2022, while also dealing with a calf injury that sidelined him until after the All-Star break last year.

Narvaez said, “Still a lot of moments to come. I don’t think it’s just this win. Definitely, this win is going to help. But I think moving forward, there’s a lot of things to come. All the work I’ve been putting in is going to show up.”

If the Mets can replicate more of these late inning comebacks, if the key players play significant roles, well more good things are bound to come. It’s late May and they know so much baseball remains, despite where they sit in the standings.

A win was needed. For sure it was.

Rich Mancuso: X (Formerly Twitter) @Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich 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 BoxingInsider.com, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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