SAN FRANCISCO – These kings of late-inning drama were just getting started when much of their East Coast fans went into a blur.
But the difference in this latest Mets miraculous comeback was a counter-punch. The Giants bid not one, but two on a wild Tuesday night.
Edwin Diaz gave up 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 homeruns and an RBI single in the ninth that tied the game before Crawford won it moments later.
“Great game for fans,” said manager Buck Showalter. “I am really proud of our boys. That’s fun to watch. It’s remarkable to watch them battle every night.”
Diaz drove Tommy La Stella into a double play with two quick outs in the ninth, but then gave up a walk and three straight hits to destroy his second save in his last three attempts.
“When I got into the game, I said, ‘This game is over,'” said Diaz. “But after two outs, they got me today.”
Dominic Smith tripled the lead on the ninth and pinch-runner Travis Jankowski scored on Brandon Nimmo’s sacrifice fly to give the Mets a 12-11 lead.
Buried in a six-run hole, the Mets created buzz in the seventh inning, then went mad in the eighth to take an 11-8 lead before Pederson’s third homer of the game, a three-run blast against Drew Smith, balanced it.
Showalter said he didn’t use left-handed Joely Rodriguez in that spot, as the Giants likely would have countered Evan Longoria. The manager was also aware that he wanted to keep the relievers with rookie Thomas Szapucki ready for recall from Triple-A Syracuse to start Wednesday’s series finale.
“I thought Drew was one of our best pitchers,” Showalter said. “We also try to live to fight another day. We have another game [Wednesday] with a starter we don’t know how far he’s going to go.”
Francisco Lindor hit a basesloaded triple in the eighth to give the Mets the lead, but this was a rally with many heroes. And the team’s ability to put the ball in play and put pressure on the defense led the way in an inning in which the Mets had three infield hits.
With the Mets trailing 8-4 (Lindor had hit a two-run homerun the previous inning), Jeff McNeil and Eduardo Escobar singled in succession to start the epic rally. Mark Canha’s single off short stop Crawford loaded the bases and Smith awoke from a slumber to deliver a double that brought the Mets in 8-6.
After Luis Guillorme was eliminated on a fielder’s choice, Nimmo grounded slowly to third base and defeated Kevin Padlo’s throw to load the bases. Starling Marte followed with a hard grounder off Padlo that brought in Smith. Lindor’s grounder past third base – which exceeded Pederson in left field – loaded the bases and gave the Mets an 11-8 lead.
“I’m super proud of everyone here,” Lindor said. “We were down early and did what it took to come back and finish hard.”
Chris Bassitt gave up three “goodbye babies” to the Giants and never made it through the fifth inning. The performance was a rare clunker for a Mets starting pitcher this season.
Bassitt (who arrived from over the Bay Bridge in Oakland in March) gave 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 got into a tight spot, giving up four earned runs in 6 ¹/₃ innings. But his biggest tormentors were the Giants, who also defeated him at Citi Field last month, when he gave up five earned runs in six innings.
Bassitt gave up his third homer in as many innings, a two-run shot to Joc Pederson in the fifth that buried the Mets in an 8-2 hole.
La Stella’s three-run blast in the fourth extended the Giants’ lead to 6-1. Luis Gonzalez doubled in the inning and Michael Papierski walked before La Stella discharged into the rightfield seats.
In the fourth, Bassitt walked Mike Yastrzemski before leaving a cutter across the plate that drove in Pederson for a two-run homerun.
The Giants jumped Bassitt from the start. La Stella singled to start the game and Yastrzemski doubled before Darin Ruf’s grounder led to a run.
Logan Webb was hard on the Mets, giving up two runs on five hits in five innings. Canha stroked an RBI single in the second to make it 1-1. The Mets got another run in the fifth on Lindor’s sacrifice fly after Brandon Nimmo was hit by a pitch that started in the inning.
Stephen Nogosek stepped out in relief for a long time. In his first appearance in nine days, the righthander fired 3 ²/₃ scoreless innings behind Bassitt. In his only other Major League-appearance this season, Nogosek threw three scoreless innings against the Nationals.