A late-September game against the Marlins. Back in April, we probably all thought this would be one of those games the Mets might have to win to clinch their postseason bid.
Now that those games are being played, we couldn’t have been more wrong.
Games that, for the last two years, spelled disaster for the Mets are now flipped in roles. The Marlins are trying to stay alive and the Mets, far from meaningful October baseball, are trying to play spoilers.
Last night, they pulled it off.
Down three runs heading into the top of the 8th inning, the Mets tacked on one in a bizarre play. David Wright at the plate with Brian Schneider on third. Wright swings and believes he fouled off the ball as it squirts away from Ronny Paulino.
Home plate umpire Bill Hohn calls strike three as Paulino scampers back to retrieve the ball. Heads up play by Schneider who dashes home to score while Wright and Jerry Manuel begin to argue.
It was a tough call to make. On replay, in slow motion, it was hard to tell if Wright tipped it. If he didn’t, just a flat out terrible play by Paulino.
Top 9 rolls along and the Mets are down one run. Daniel Murphy and Jeff Francoeur greeted Leo Nunez with singles to start the inning. Pinch-hitter Jeremy Reed comes to the plate and is walked on four pitches, loading the bases for pinch-hitter Cory Sullivan.
Sullivan ends up slicing a ball down the third base line, scoring two and giving the Mets the lead. The Mets went quietly through the rest of the 9th, with Wright striking out for the fourth time in the game to end the inning.
Francisco Rodriguez came in for the bottom of the ninth inning, allowed a single, but closed out the Marlins in a game of somewhat revenge for the previous two Septembers.