What a difference a day makes!

After the extreme disappointment of Justin Verlander laying an egg in the series opener against the Rays, the Mets earned their first walkoff win of the season thanks to a 3-run homer by Pete Alonso, which lifted the Mets to an 8-7 win in 10 innings Wednesday night at Citi Field.

All season long, the starting pitching and the offense have left a whole lot to be desired for the Mets. But both of those groups came up big in this one. Kodai Senga got the start and he was terrific. He gave the team a strong six innings and fanned 12. The only blemish came in the fourth inning when he allowed back-to-back doubles, which gave the Rays a 1-0 lead.

It looked like Senga was going to be hung a tough loss. The bullpen immediately gave up a run, extending it to a 2-0 deficit. But newly recalled Mark Vientos delivered a bomb to straight away center field to tie the game, 2-2.

But the bullpen continued to give up runs, allowing two more in the eighth inning and another in the ninth.

The Mets came to bat and Daniel Vogelbach drew a walk and Starling Marte was hit by a pitch. But things looked bleak when Brett Baty struck out and Vientos popped up to shallow center. But Francisco Alvarez came on and crushed a homer to left to tie the game. The only thing more impressive than the blast was the bat flip that came afterwards.

But the good feelings were short lived, as the Rays continued to feast on the Mets’ pen, scoring two runs in their half of the 10th.

Jeff McNeil led off the Mets’ 10th with a bloop to put runners on the corners. Francisco Lindor struck out to bring Alonso to the plate. It seemed for a second that Alonso missed his chance to do damage, as he laid off a high breaking ball that looked prime to be clobbered. But there was no reason to worry, as he hit the very next pitch into the upper deck, giving the Mets the win.

It’s easy to trip all over yourself, exaggerating the importance of individual wins or losses. But with how bad the team has been playing for a month now, this felt like a watershed moment for the club. We’ll see if momentum carries forward, as they will go for the series win Thursday at 1:10 p.m.

8 comments on “Gut Reaction: Mets 8, Rays 7 (10 INN) 5/17/23

  • Nym6986

    So happy for you to be able to write about a great comeback win with big parts played by Vientos and Alvarez and of course Alonso. And what an arm at 3B by Vientos. And Senga was better that expected against the best team in MLB. Hope this is a building block and that Mauricio will join the team soon. If Baty can really play some OF then Vogelbach’s days are numbered.

  • Boomboom

    First win since LA that actually feels like the team we were hoping we d see this year. Who knew homeruns could actually be so useful.

  • T.J.

    Chicks dig the long ball. So do Mets fan elders. And Buck. Them things cover up a lot of blemishes.

    • Brian Joura

      I recognize that this is a weird thing to say. But I really liked Buck’s smile after Alonso’s HR last night. It was like his version of pumping his fist and yelling, “We’re back, baby!”

  • Metsense

    Gut Reaction: excellent starting pitching, clutch power hitting and they overcame the deficiencies of the bullpen. It was a great win. Can they sustain it? We will see this afternoon. LGM

  • deegrove84

    My reaction to Vientos tying the game with a clutch homer to left center and then Alvarez doing the same to left later in the game was tame. I ripped my shirt off and ran around the neighborhood screaming “I am a golden God!” like all of you. It feels good to see the prospects I’ve been touting as game changing coming up and literally changing the outcome of a game.

    Before the game I listened to Buck talking about the Vientos move and I was sick to my stomach. Buck is a veteran manager and a good one and he is loyal to “his guys” but Guillorme wasn’t moving the needle and Pham and Canha are eating at bats that could be far better used. Eppler apparently made the move to promote Vientos without much, if any, consult with Showlater and it’s time a similar move was done to bring up Mauricio.

    Speaking of Ronny, he had two more hits with a double as the talent depleted Syracuse Mets were held scoreless. The best possible Met lineup right now has all four of our top level hitting prospects in it and Escobar and Canha on the bench.

    The Mets will soon need to make a decision on Gary Sanchez staying with the team. I don’t suggest Sanchez should be the starter or that he’d be an impact player at this point in his career but he would be better than Michael Perez and give the Mets more punch on days Alvarez does not catch.

    C1: F. Alvarez
    C2: G. Sanchez
    1B: P. Alonso
    2B: R. Mauricio
    3B: B. Baty
    SS: F. Lindor
    LF: J. McNeil
    CF: B. Nimmo
    RF: S. Marte
    DH vs RHP: D. Vogelbach
    DH vs LHP+: M. Vientos
    Bench IF: E. Escobar
    Bench OF: M. Canha

    • Bob P

      I agree 100% with this roster for position players.

  • David_Hong

    What a win. This game reminded me of last year’s Mets.

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