In their first 50 years of existence, the Mets either would have gone out with a whimper or would have been the team doing the collapsing under Thursday night’s parameters.
But these aren’t your average Mets.
So there was Buck Showalter, sitting in the Mets dugout at Citizens Bank Park with his team down 7-1 in the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies toying with the idea of pulling some of his starters to give them an extra bit of rest. He held fast, though, despite the very same scoreline carrying into the ninth inning — which usually spelled certain doom for a Mets team that had been 0-330 in such scenarios (trailing by six runs or more in the ninth) over the last 25 seasons.
Again, though, these aren’t the same old Mets.
In a single half-inning, down to their last licks, the Mets scored seven runs in the ninth inning to defeat the Phillies 8-7, including plating their final four with two outs in the frame.
“Great team win, extremely special,” Francisco Lindor said. “The way everybody believed in each other, pushed each other, counted on each other was special for sure. Wins like this are huge for a ball club.”
Starling Marte singled, Francisco Lindor hit a two-run home run and Pete Alonso doubled before Eduardo Escobar lined out for the first out.
Jeff McNeil singled, Mark Canha’s grounder up the middle went off Phillies closer Corey Knebel for an infield hit to score Alonso and make it a three-run game before Dom Smith went down swinging for the second out.
“The game’s not over until the other team gets 27 outs,” Marte said.
But JD Davis came up with a pinch-hit double to make it a two-run game and Brandon Nimmo tied things up with a two-RBI single, making way for Marte to launch the game-winning double off the base of the center-field wall.
“I’m an optimist, but… I just keep going until they blow the whistle, so to say,” Nimmo, who was about to admit that even he thought his club didn’t have a chance, added. “You just never give up and you say, ‘OK when it comes to be my turn, I give it everything I got.’
“It seems like every guy on this team has that mentality. And when you do that, it allows for things like that to happen. And that’s the only way.”
It’s only May, but each game counts the same — and they’re going to be talking about this for a while. It’s also providing another inkling that something special could be right around the corner for this team.
“That was a fun 20 minutes,” Showalter admitted. “A night like tonight makes you realize what could be.”