Mets win slog in the fog, Marte breaks out, and Mazeika's beautiful moment of redemption
Mets blew a three-run lead late, but Patrick Mazeika's home run secured the win
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets defeated the Mariners 5-4 on Saturday night at Citi Field (box)
Chris Bassitt had to battle communication issues with Patrick Mazeika and traffic throughout the 5.2 IP he threw, but allowed only one run with eight strikeouts
After the Mets bullpen relinquished the lead in the seventh, thanks to a Jesse Winker game-tying three-run home run, Mazeika belted a solo homer in the bottom half of the inning to put the Mets in the lead for good
Starling Marte busted out of his slump with a single, double, triple, three runs scored and a stolen base
Francisco Lindor drove in two runs - he has 3 RBI this series against Seattle
The Mets have won their last 11 games following a loss
RHP Adam Ottavino is unscored upon and hasn’t’ allowed a hit in five of his six outings during the month of May
RHP Edwin Díaz has now struck out 49 percent of the batters he’s faced this season (27 strikeouts, 55 batters)
With his RBI last night, Pete Alonso continues to pace the league in that category with 29 on the year
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (23-12) vs Mariners (15-19)
Where: Citi Field - Flushing, NY
Starters: RHP Carlos Carrasco (3-1, 3.19 ERA) vs. LHP Robbie Ray (3-3, 4.22 ERA)
When: 1:40 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
Patrick Mazeika’s moment of redemption defines the beauty of baseball 📝
This game seemingly changes on a dime almost on a daily basis. Between modifications to rules, advanced metrics, hitting and pitching philosophies, the game is almost unrecognizable to that from 15 years ago.
But if there’s one thing that never has and never will change about this beautiful game is that it’s a game of redemption.
No matter what level of play, or whether it’s baseball or softball, girl or boy, manager or coach, everyone inside that dugout and in between the lines will fail, have a bad day, or make a mistake or do all of that in one game or even one inning.
Even the game’s elite makes a mistake.
Last week, I sat the players on my youth softball team down on the field before a practice and I held up pictures of former greats in the game of baseball and softball. I got to a picture of Ty Cobb, and of course none of the 15 girls knew who he was. But I explained to them what a batting average was and that Cobb’s .366 career batting average and 4189 career hits label him as arguably the greatest hitter to ever pick up a bat. But in explaining the .366 batting average, I noted this so-called greatest hitter ever failed to get a hit 64% of the time, stating, “even the best hitter ever was more likely to fail at the plate than he was to succeed,” but his ability to put failure behind him and rise to the occasion in his next available moment differentiated him in the sport.
The lesson of course is a teammate - whether it’s in baseball, softball, any other sport, or in a workplace - may not be able to help the team in one way, but can find a way to help drive success in another.
Saturday’s game served as a reminder of that discussion of consistent failure, inconsistent success and rising to the occasion in this game, and how the element of redemption is available in different ways for players when they serve up a home run, make a base running mistake, or in Patrick Mazeika’s case, struggle to communicate and call a game for his pitchers.
From the jump on Saturday, Mazeika was out of sync with Chris Bassitt, specifically with a runner on second base. They simply couldn’t get together on the signs and Bassitt became visibly upset on the mound as a result. This happened again on three or four more occasions during the game as well and not just to Bassitt.
The inability for the Mets pitchers to connect with Mazeika kept them out of rhythm and slowed their tempo during the game - it clearly left Bassitt and Chasen Shreve uncomfortable on the mound.
But just when this might have looked like a meltdown of a season debut for Mazeika and a complete 180 degree turn in a game during which Seattle apparently couldn’t wait for the Mets to win, Mazeika managed to turn a negative night into a positive one, and one he will remember for the rest of his career.
In to face Mazeika in the bottom of the seventh after the Mariners plated three runs to tie it in the top half of the inning was Mariners RHP Andrés Muñoz, a hard throwing right-handed pitcher who throws in excess of 100 mph routinely. He came in with a 97 mph heater on the first pitch and not only was Mazeika anticipating the fastball, he connected at 101 mph, sending a line drive into the right field seats to give the Mets the lead for good.
On a dime, Mazeika went from goat to hero. Talk about rising to the occasion.
“That was a great moment for him, let alone the team,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said afterwards.
Yes, the Mets won, that’s the most important thing, and the long season will simple note this as such. But players and teams need moments of redemption and forgiveness in this game because, again, they’re going to fail more often than they succeed and sometimes those failures can impact the game in ways individual players struggle to rebound from. The last thing Mazeika needed in his season debut and in his primary role was to struggle with communication with his pitchers, obviously a very important one for a catcher.
But despite that struggle, or failure as it’s being termed in this story, the artistic beauty of the sport - that of redemption - allowed for Mazeika to rise to the occasion and make a difference when it mattered most for the club.
And it’s those moments which make this game a beautiful thing to watch.
Down on the Farm 🌾
Daniel Palka (OF, AAA Syracuse): 2-for-4, HR
Dominic Hamel (RHP, No. 9 Prospect, A St. Lucie): 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 1 K
Francisco Álvarez (C, No. 1 Prospect, AA Bing): 2-for-4, 2 RBI
Around the League 🚩
P/OF Shohei Ohtani hit his 100th career home run in the Angels 9-1 rout of the A’s
The Braves rallied for four runs in the eighth inning to come from behind and beat the Padres 6-5 in Atlanta
Ronald Acuña Jr’s MRI on his sore groin revealed nothing major - he is day-to-day
For a second night in a row, the Phillies pummeled the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, this time by a score of 8-3 thanks in part to another big night from Bryce Harper
Luis Robert hit a walk-off single against the Yankees in Chicago