It was always going to be just a matter of time before Roth’s suggestion that the Mets will never lose again would come around and bite him in the ass, and in the top of the fourth of the team’s game against the Nationals on Friday, it certainly looked like that’s what was about to happen.
The transition to the same ol’ Mets was rather quick in the frame. After Marcus Stroman allowed Adam Eaton to get on first, Washington’s Anthony Rendon followed things up with an RBI triple that was helped in part by some shallow outfield play that led to a failed attempt at defense from Michael Conforto.
Stroman then gave up a moonshot to Juan Soto, who decided to celebrate the moment with an emphatic bat-flip, and then gave up a single to Matt Adams. The recently acquired pitcher needed to be calmed down during a mound visit from the 82-year-old Phil Regan before continuing the inning. Luckily for Stroman, he was able to stop the bleeding and prevent any more runs from coming in. Even better was the fact that his offense came through for him in the bottom of the fourth and tied the game up at 3-3 thanks to homers from Pete Alonso and J.D. Davis.
As if they were setting up some kind of challenge for themselves, the Mets then allowed their opponents to build a 6-3 lead as the two teams entered the bottom of the ninth. Needless to say, they were able to overcome the obstacle. First came Todd Frazier from Toms River, N.J., who tied the game at 6-6 with a three-run homer to left field. In an act of retaliation on behalf of the sanctity of the sport, Frazier stared down the Nats dugout and quite emphatically flipped his bat.
With Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle remaining in the game after blowing the save, some Mets magic seemed inevitable. That moment came when Conforto arrived at the plate with two men on and two outs. The outfielder more than made up for his defensive blunder earlier in the game with a base hit to right center field for the first walk-off hit of his career. The team was understandably overjoyed, and showed their support by ripping off Conforto’s jersey to expose his bare torso to the New York crowd.
The win officially put the Mets at 14-1 over their last 15 games, which is the first time that they’ve accomplished such a feat since 1990. Before that, it had been done during the 1972 and the 1986 season—the latter of which most optimistic Mets fans will be focusing on given the fact that the season ended with a World Series title. While the players probably aren’t thinking quite that far ahead, the idea of reaching the postseason is certainly on everyone’s minds to the point that they couldn’t help bring up the playoffs when talking to reporters about this game.
“Today was probably the most fun I’ve had up here in the big leagues. What a game,” Conforto said. “To go down twice, to come back, to answer right back, it was special. The stadium was packed, it felt like the playoffs. The atmosphere … we fed off of that, we fed off each other, and I just happened to be the guy who was up last. I have faith that if any other guy in this clubhouse was up there, they were going to get the job done, too.”
“That was definitely a playoff-type atmosphere tonight, and the young guys stepped up and did a great job,” [Mickey] Callaway said.
“It was amazing. That was a playoff atmosphere,” Stroman said. “The second I walked out there, the crowd brought it. Extremely thankful to have their presence there, their energy. I don’t think they realize how much we feed off that and how much that gets us going and allows us to kind of elevate our game when we need to. A huge shout to the New York crowd — we’re thankful and we love it.”
Dammit, even I’m starting to believe.