The Mets have to play near-flawless baseball in the final month of the season if they’re going to sneak into that Wild Card game, and on Friday against the Phillies, even if the game threatened to go off the rails in the ninth inning, it all ended in tasty, shrimpy fashion. With the Wild Card-leading Cubs and Nationals both losing, the Mets were able to shrink their deficit from 5.0 to 4.0 games with a two-run eighth inning to go ahead 4-2, and then, when Edwin Diaz blew the save by allowing a J.T. Realmuto dinger, a walk-off walk from Pete Alonso secured the victory.
When the winning run scored, the entirety of the Mets roster justifiably acted like a team that didn’t know how much meaningful baseball they had left to enjoy. Everybody mobbed and high-fived Alonso, and at least two different people doused him with water—most notably Noah Syndergaard, who dumped a whole cooler. A different pair even worked in tandem to tear off his jersey:
Even on a chilly night in Queens, Alonso didn’t mind staying half-naked for the entirety of his on-field postgame interviews.
Going shirtless after a walk-off is now officially a Mets tradition, after Alonso himself ripped off Michael Conforto’s jersey to celebrate his first-career walk-off hit last month. New York was riding much higher then than they are now, but if Alonso—whose surprisingly powerful bat is one the biggest reasons for this team’s stubborn continued relevance—gets his way, there will be much more stripping before the season’s over.
“It’s a fun thing,” Alonso said. “Hopefully I can rip some more shirts off and they can rip some shirts off me by the end of this thing.”
Mets fans everywhere will now be breathlessly hoping not just for their team to make a miraculous run to the playoffs, but also for the next walk-off hitter to be a little less hairy.