FLUSHING, NY — Was it supposed to conclude the way it did Friday night at Citi Field for the New York Mets? A game winning walk-off single in the 10th for Francisco Lindor (Caguas Puerto Rico), a game-tying grand slam home run from Pete Alonso, and the kids including a game tying single in the tenth from Francisco Alvarez (Guatire, Venezuela).
Yes it worked for the Mets and led to a dramatic 10-9 win over the Cleveland Guardians.
BALLGAME WON!!! pic.twitter.com/fI3mSAsbFa
— New York Mets (@Mets) May 20, 2023
And it played out with Lindor. He damaged his former team, of course, recall, part of the blockbuster deal January 7, 2021, Lindor and pitcher Carlos Carrasco for infielders Andrés Giménez, Amed Rosario, and two minor leaguers.
“We’re sticking together,” Lindor said on the field that gave the Mets their second walk-off win in three games. “It’s emotional to do it against anybody, but yeah, I wanted to win that game, 100 percent. I wanted it to be me.”
What matters now for the Mets is their third straight win for the first time since April. Carrasco, back from the injured list, gave up four runs in the first two innings and the Mets overcame a four-run deficit to mark their largest comeback of the season.
Was it supposed to be? Of course, because baseball is unexpected and works in unusual ways. It was supposed to be Lindor coming up with the game winning hit. Before the game he spoke about his former team once known as the Indians.
“I want nothing but the best for them. Obviously they’re going to play against us so I’m going to do whatever it takes to beat them. I was going to a place where they loved me as well. I was scared. But at the same time it was exciting. This is one of the places I wanted to be,” he said about the Mets.
The Mets overcame deficits of 5-0 and 7-3, a team that suddenly has homered three or more times in three consecutive games for the first time since August 7-10, 2019.
In the fifth inning, he smacked a double off the wall in left center, his first hit off his former team. His 15th double is tied for third in the majors and second in the National League.
Alonso, (2019 National League LatinoMVP Rookie Award Winner) has homered in a career-high-tying fourth straight game, leading the majors with 17. And when Lindor and Alonso are hitting, the Mets can overcome deficits as they have two times this week with dramatic walk-off wins over the Rays and Guardians.
Regardless, Lindor, Carrasco (Barquisimeto, Venezuela) Rosario (Santo Domingo, Centro) and Giménez (Barquisimeto, Venezuela) were going to be the attention as the Mets and Guardians faced each other for the first time since the trade.
Carrasco overall with Cleveland 88-73, 3.77 ERA, and struck out 1.305 batters
Rosario and Giménez at one time were two top prospects with the Mets and now double-play partners. They, like Lindor and Carrasco, have moved on. Carrasco still struggles with lingering injuries, though in 11 seasons with Cleveland (2009-20) is fourth on their all-time strikeout list (1.305) behind Bob Feller, Sam McDowell. And Corey Kluber.
Rosario is coming around with three RBI in his last ten games and drove in a run with a liner to left in the fifth inning. Overall as a Guardian, Rosario has a .267 average, 23 home runs, and 19 triples.
“It’s hard to point out but best memory but when I got the call to the majors for sure it was the Mets,” Rosario said through an interpreter about his return to Citi Field. “It’s business, nothing I can have control on. Happy to be here.Very important how they welcome me. It’s good to come back to the place where my dream of being a baseball player came true”
Giménez, last year hit for average (.269) was sixth in AL MVP voting, a first time All-Star and Gold Glove winner.The trade has worked for both teams, but Friday night the Mets got the win in the first of a three-game series.
Pregame interview with Guardians 2B Andrès Giménez before he faces his for former team Mets. #LGM #ForTheLand pic.twitter.com/s4v0LSjr77
— Latino Sports (@LatinoSports) May 19, 2023
“That moment did not understand early in my career,” Giménez said about the trade. “Felt that trade was vital for my development to establish myself as an everyday player.”
Lindor struggled in his debut season with the Mets. Last year he returned as that perennial All-Star and became a fan favorite. The winning hit against his former team, a cutter pulled to right-center is what makes the game of baseball unique.
Terry Francona, his former manager said Lindor has a “pretty bubbly personality and if I had his skills, I would too.
“It’s winning games,” Lindor said. “That’s what counts and that’s what matters. It could be anybody on the other side.”
And for the Mets coming from behind again, the way it was done, let’s say the mojo has returned after a recent struggle to score runs.
Rich Mancuso Co-Editor and Senior Writer LatinoSports.com Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso.
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