SAN FRANCISCO – These kings of late-inning drama were just getting started as much of their East Coast fan base was fading off into a haze.
But the difference in this latest miraculous Mets comeback was a counterpunch. The Giants offered not one, but two on a wild Tuesday night in the Bay Area.
Edwin Diaz allowed two runs in the ninth, including a walk-off RBI single to Brandon Crawford that sent the Mets to a 13-12 loss at Oracle Park.
Joc Pederson was the offensive hero, with three home runs and an RBI single in the ninth that tied the game before Crawford won it moments later.
Dominic Smith tripled leading off the ninth and pinch-runner Travis Jankowski scored on Brandon Nimmo’s sacrifice fly to put the Mets ahead.
Buried in a six-run hole, the Mets created buzz in the seventh inning and then went bonkers in the eighth to take an 11-8 lead before Pederson’s third homer of the game, a three-run blast against Drew Smith, tied it.
Francisco Lindor slapped a bases-loaded triple in the eighth that put the Mets ahead, but this was a rally that had plenty of heroes. And the team’s ability to put the ball in play and pressure the defense was at the forefront in an inning the Mets had three infield hits.
With the Mets behind 8-4 (Lindor had smashed a two-run homer the previous inning), Jeff McNeil and Eduardo Escobar singled in succession to begin the epic rally. Mark Canha’s single off Crawford loaded the bases and Dominic Smith awoke from a slumber to deliver a two-run single that pulled the Mets within 8-6. After Luis Guillorme was retired on a fielder’s choice, Nimmo hit a slow grounder to third and beat Kevin Padlo’s throw, loading the bases. Starling Marte followed with a hard grounder off Padlo that brought in Smith. Lindor’s grounder past third base – which Pederson overran in left field – unloaded the bases and gave the Mets an 11-8 lead.
Chris Bassitt allowed three “bye-bye babies” to the Giants and never got through the fifth inning. The performance was a rare clunker for a Mets starting pitcher this season.
Bassitt (who arrived from across the Bay Bridge in Oakland in a March trade) surrendered eight earned runs on eight hits and three walks over 4 ¹ / ₃ innings in his worst start in a Mets uniform.
In his start against the Cardinals last week Bassitt also scuffled, allowing four earned runs over 6 ¹ / ₃ innings. But his biggest tormentors have been the Giants, who also beat him at Citi Field last month, when he allowed five earned runs over six innings.
The Mets certainly would welcome the return of the Bassitt, who was sitting 11 days ago with a 2.34 ERA (that number has since jumped to 3.91) as they try to weather recent injuries to Max Scherzer and Tylor Megill that have shortened the rotation. That’s on top of the fact Jacob deGrom hasn’t yet thrown a pitch for the Mets this season. In those spots the team has turned to David Peterson and looks ready to give Thomas Szapucki an audition. Trevor Williams has also been twice used as a starter in doubleheaders.
Bassitt allowed his third homer in as many innings, a two-run shot to Pederson in the fifth that buried the Mets in an 8-2 hole. The blast was the second of the game and ninth of the season for Pederson, who arrived last winter as a free agent after helping the Braves win a World Series title.
Tommy La Stella’s three-run blast in the fourth had extended the Giants’ lead to 6-1. Luis Gonzalez doubled in the inning and Michael Papierski walked before La Stella unloaded into the right-field seats.
In the fourth, Bassitt walked Mike Yastrzemski before leaving a cutter over the plate that Pederson blasted for a two-run homer.
The Giants jumped on Bassitt from the start. La Stella singled leading off the game and Yastrzemski doubled before Darin Ruf’s ground brought out in a run.
Logan Webb was tough on the Mets, allowing two runs on five hits over five innings. Canha stroked an RBI single in the second that tied it 1-1. The Mets got another run in the fifth on Lindor’s sacrifice fly after Brandon Nimmo was hit by a pitch leading off the inning.
Lindor launched a two-run homer in the seventh that pulled the Mets within 8-4. The homer was Lindor’s seventh of the season.
Stephen Nogosek stepped up in long relief. In his first appearance in nine days, the right-hander fired 3 ² / ₃ scoreless innings behind Bassitt. In his only other major league appearance this season Nogosek pitched three scoreless innings against the Nationals.