Welcome to the Patrick Mazeika theatrics portion of the Mets’ season.
One year and a few days after his two walk-off dribblers in one homestand turned him into a cult favorite, Mazeika lifted the Mets a 5-4 win over the Mariners – and this time it was no cheapie. He smashed a go-ahead home run off Seattle’s Andres Munoz in the seventh inning.
Edwin Diaz, facing his former team for the first time, finished it off in the ninth by striking out the side, including Jesse Winker – noted fan anti-favorite at Citi Field – for the final out.
Winker was the reason Mazeika’s blast was so dramatic. Seth Lugo (two singles) and Chasen Shreve combined to blow the Mets’ three-run lead in the top of the seventh, with Winker homering deep to rightfield of Shreve, walking halfway down the first-base line and waving to the Citi Field crowd. upon finishing his journey around the bases. That was the latest in a yearslong series of mostly playful banterings between Winker and Mets fans, who had booed him all night.
Chris Bassitt grinded through 5 2/3 innings, yielding one run, five hits and three walks. He struck out eight.
After major control issues in the first – he loaded the bases on behalf of Seattle by hitting a batter with a pitch and walking two others – he somewhat settled down, getting the Mets to the brink of the late innings on a night when their bullpen was somewhat light.
The Mariners didn’t score against him until the sixth, when Steven Souza Jr. dunked an RBI single into left.
Seattle righthander George Kirby, a Rye native appearing in his second major-league game, lasted four innings and gave up three runs (one earned), betrayed repeatedly by his defense.
Fielding miscues served as the spark for both Mets rallies while Kirby pitched.
In the first inning, Starling Marte’s line drive to right-centerfield was ruled a triple after neither centerfielder Julio Rodriguez nor rightfielder Souza Jr. cut if off cleanly despite both trying. Rodriguez bobbled it, allowing Marte to get to third on his would-be two-bagger. Francisco Lindor followed with an RBI single to center.
A similarly ugly sequence unfolded in the third, when Brandon Nimmo led off by rocketing a grounder off the glove of third baseman Eugenio Suarez. It was ruled an error. Marte followed with a line drive to left-center, but it deflected off the glove of a diving Rodriguez for a double, putting two runners on scoring position. Lindor and Jeff McNeil followed with sacrifice flies.
Rodriguez, 21 years old and generally considered a top-three prospect in all of baseball, also appeared to forget how many outs there were in the fifth, not realizing the inning was over upon catching McNeil’s fly ball for the third out. He went 0-for-3 and is batting .240.