“Don’t Call It a Comeback! … ” (Giants at Mets; 05.24.24)

Robert Cole/ALOST


akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

NEW YORK — It has been long held that one of the keys for any team to have a successful season in sports is to build an identity. Though the San Francisco Giants are just a .500 team at the moment, their identity seems almost set in stone after the past three games: go down four runs before coming back to win, and make more Major League history in the process.

Another identity-building characteristic has started to crystallize for the New York Mets as well: hit three home runs before losing games in gut-wrenching fashion.

The Giants and Mets are nothing, if not consistent.

After a series of high-wire acts in winning their last series in Pittsburgh, the Giants continued their trend of yanking wins from the jaws of defeat after Patrick Bailey’s two-out grand slam in the top of the eighth inning capped a five-run frame in San Francisco’s 7-6 victory over the New York Mets in Citi Field on Friday evening. Mike Yastrzemski added an insurance run in the ninth with a solo homer, which was necessary when New York scored in the bottom of the inning — on a Francisco Lindor double that missed leaving the yard for a game-tying home run by about two feet — and left the bases loaded.

Adding an extra gust of wind to the tightrope the Giants walked this evening, third baseman Matt Chapman was forced to make a do-or-die bare-handed play on a roller down the line by Mark Vientos, and first baseman Lamonte Wade Jr. had to pick up the throw from the dirt on a backhand to secure the out and end the game in one fell swoop.

Oh, and closer Camilo Doval had to come back from being down 3-0 to Vientos, with the bases loaded, in that at-bat.

The Giants, who have now won seven of their last eight games to move to .500 (26-26) for the first time since they were 2-2, were coming off a series in which they won two of three in Pittsburgh, winning each of the final two games after falling behind by four runs. When adding the Pirates’ victory in the opener on Tuesday after they trailed by four runs heading into the bottom of the ninth, it marked the first three-game series this century in which the winning team came back from a deficit of four or more runs in each of the three games.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, there had never been a three-game stretch in the history of the Giants franchise (founded in 1833) where they came back from a deficit of at least four runs to win three consecutive games.

That was, until tonight.

The Giants’ comeback in the eighth started when Yastrzemski and Marco Luciano singled off Mets reliever Reed Garrett to begin the inning, one in which San Francisco went into it down 6-2. Luis Matos popped out before Wade Jr. hit into a fielder’s choice that brought the second out of the inning at second. Thairo Estrada doubled to right-center to score Yastrzemski and cut New York’s lead to 6-3, and Chapman followed by working a walk to load the bases.

Barrett fell behind 2-0 to Bailey, the team’s leader in OPS, before the latter leaned on a fastball and sent it over the 370-foot sign in right-center field for his first career Grand Slam.

The Mets fell to a season-low eight games below .500 (21-29) despite hitting three homers for the third consecutive game, including back-to-back shots from J.D. Martinez and Vientos in the fifth inning to give New York a 5-2 lead. Pete Alonso added a solo shot in the seventh to open up the Mets’ four-run lead.

It’s the second time in six days that New York has blown a four-run lead, adding to New York’s 10-9 10-inning defeat in Miami last Saturday when Edwin Diaz allowed four runs to the Marlins in the ninth that tied the score at 9-9. New York had a 3-0 lead in the final game in Cleveland on Wednesday before the Guardians stormed back to win and complete the three-game sweep, and the Mets have blown leads of at least three runs in three of their last seven games. (New York has gone 1-6 during that stretch.)

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Friday evening’s game, with photos taken by ALOST photo editor Robert Cole. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 24 pictures in total.

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Tags : Major League BaseballNew York MetsSan Francisco Giants

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