On a day where emotions were running high from the news of Mets general manager Sandy Alderson restarting his battle with cancer, a victory was much needed for the disordered Mets, and it came in the form of yet another walk-off hit by Wilmer Flores.
Despite the glamorous finish, it was a turbulent contest for the Mets and the Pirates. A recovering Mets offense was able to get on the boards early with a two-run RBI single by the aforementioned Wilmer Flores in the first, but the offense sputtered out just as quickly, notching just two more hits in the next four innings. Steven Matz cruised through the first four innings without allowing a hit, but yielded the two game-tying runs in the fifth inning. Matz proceeded to give up a Gregory Polanco home run in the seventh inning, which put the Pirates in front with a 3-2 lead.
The Pittsburgh lead was short-lived, with Michael Conforto hitting a tying home run in the next-half inning. Tensions reached a fever pitch in the top of the eighth inning when the benches cleared after Jeurys Familia took exception to Josh Harrison’s slide which broke up a potential double play, despite Harrison’s unmistakably clean and reasonable slide. In familiar Familia fashion, the Mets closer walked Elias Diaz in the very next at-bat to load the bases, only work out of the bases loaded jam to end the inning.
Familia remained in the game in the ninth inning, allowing one more hit, although he was able to maintain the 3-3 tie into the bottom half of the ninth, where the Mets were unable to answer Steven Brault.
After a swift top half of the tenth pitched by Tim Peterson, the Mets came into the tenth inning hot with two base hits by Michael Conforto and Todd Frazier to put the winning run in scoring position. Although a pop-up bunt attempt by Asdrubal Cabrera ostensibly squandered much of the momentum the Mets had, Wilmer Flores came through in a position he has been all too familiar with, hitting a walk-off foul line-hugging single to give the Mets a major victory in a pivotal point in the season where the next few weeks of play will dictate whether or not they will be contending this season.
Tom’s Player of the Game: Wilmer Flores – 2 for 5, 3 RBI, Walk-Off Single
The fan-favorite Flores is beginning to build a reputation as a clutch hitter in extra-innings, with his 10th inning single becoming his third walk-off hit in this season alone. With the offense still attempting to regain its beginning of the season glory, any player that can drive in multiple runs in a win is a shoe-in for player of the game at this point.
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