Patrick Mazeika With Yet Another Walk-Off

With Marcus Stroman and John Means pitching, we had the hopes of a pitcher’s duel. Boy, were we ever treated to one.

The Orioles didn’t get anything going until the seventh. That was because Stroman was that good. In fact, at one point, he retired 14 of 15.

One of the reasons why is Stroman is a great fielder. When Means tried to get a sacrifice bunt down in the sixth, Stroman popped off the mound and got the lead runner.

The Mets wouldn’t get a rally going until the fourth. Part of the reason for the offensive struggles for them in this game was Means. Another was Jeff McNeil pulling up lame trying to stretch a single into a double.

In the fourth, the Mets got a pair of two out singles, but Jonathan Villar popped out to end the inning. The Mets had a bigger opportunity in the sixth go to waste.

Jose Peraza, who replaced the injured McNeil, and Francisco Lindor hit back-to-back singles to start the inning. After a Michael Conforto fielder’s choice, there were runners at the corners with one out.

Unfortunately, the Mets wouldn’t cash in. Pete Alonso, who had a very bad night, popped out. Kevin Pillar then flew out to end the inning.

The seventh inning saw one of the more unusual things you’ll ever see in a game.

The Orioles got to Stroman in the seventh. After Freddy Galvis and Maikel Franco led off the inning with consecutive singles, Rio Ruiz dropped a successful sacrifice. That led to intentionally walking Pedro Severino to load the bases.

With the game tied 0-0, the Orioles felt compelled to pinch hit for Means. What was odd was right when Means was taken out while throwing a gem, the Mets did the same with Stroman.

Stroman was keeping the ball on the ground, and the Mets needed the double play. Instead, they opted for Aaron Loup. He’d allow a sacrifice fly to Pat Valaika. The Mets got out of the inning, but they were down 1-0.

The Mets chances of responding died when James McCann hit into a double play. That wouldn’t be the Mets only back breaking GIDP of the night.

The Mets fell down 2-0 in the eighth partially due to one of the scariest plays you’ll see. Against Trevor May, Austin Hays hit a drive to deep center. Albert Almora tracked it down, caught it, and then he face planted against the wall going full speed thereby dislodging the ball.

Conforto made a heads up play to get it in and keep it to a triple. May came up huge striking out the next two Orioles, but Galvis would drop down a perfect bunt to give the Orioles a 2-0 lead.

Tomas Nido pinch hit for May in the bottom of the eighth, and he drew a lead-off walk. Peraza struck out, and Lindor walked. Conforto then hit an opposite field single to pull the Mets to within 2-1.

The Mets were well poised to not only tied but break it open. That was until Alonso hit into an inning ending double play. With the way the game was going, it seemed like the Mets blew their shot. They’d get another.

The Orioles brought in their closer Cesar Valdez, and for the briefest moment, at least until the umpires got a clue, it looked like Pillar tied the game with a homer. It was foul.

Instead, he singled, and then Villar would single. After McCann first missed badly on a bunt attempt, and then struck out.

Dominic Smith didn’t start due to the left-handed Means, and he came in when Almora was injured. As noted by Ron Darling, Smith, with his ability to hit off-speed pitches, was exactly who the Mets wanted up in that spot.

Smith hit a single which fell just in front of the diving right fielder. Pillar did a great job base running scoring just ahead of the throw. When the third got past Severino, Villar scampered to third.

With runners on the corners and one out, Patrick Mazeika pinch hit. After falling behind 0-2, he’d foul off three pitches and even the count. He’d then hit into a fielder’s choice. First baseman Trey Mancini‘s throw was nowhere near in time to get the speedy Villar walking off the 3-2 win.

Once again, Mazeika delivered a game winning RBI. On the season, he has three RBI and no hits. Certainly, the Mets will take it.

Game Notes: Alonso is 3 for his last 21 with no extra base hits albeit with seven walks. Jeurys Familia picked up the win after pitching a scoreless eighth. Notably, all of the infielders on the 40 man roster are with the team or on the IL.

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