Patrick Mazeika wins the home game against the Mets

Patrick Mazeika wins the home game against the Mets

NEW YORK – Citi Field had its super-bad. He needed a superhero.

For halfway through Saturday night, Jesse Winker had fun, rocking the Citi Field crowd following his three-row Homer tie at the top of seventh. Years ago, Winker had upset fans in Queens. He was the last person the home crowd wanted to see succeed.

Only this time, the Mets had an answer for him. Patrick Mazeika, who won a cult last year for his multiple RBIs, smashed a solo hostage at the bottom of the seventh to bring the Mets to a 5-4 win over the Mariners. Two innings later, Edwin Díaz hit Winker on a fast 101 mph ball to finish it off.

“Obviously, I felt really good,” Mazeika said. “Big moment. Victory of the big team. It was also an electric crowd. Overall, a wonderful night. “

For hours, it did not seem that things would end so well for the Mets. Only after an hour and eight minutes of rain delay did the bowl of Citi Field seats begin to fill as fans wiped their plastic seats with paper towels. Many of those stuck were sidelined when original pitcher Chris Bassitt loaded the bases in the first inning, allowing two more baserunners in the third and two more in the fifth. In the sixth, Bassitt allowed his first run. In the middle of this inning, he was out of the game.

In all of this, an announced crowd of 37,140 remained strong, largely due to Winker – a player who initially drew the rage of the town hall in 2019, when he made a game at the end of the game for the Reds in front of a highly moving fan section. . As he was leaving the field that day, Winker playfully shook the Citi Field crowd, which returned his favor later in the series when he was sent off for bouncing balls and kicks.

With this, Winker became persona non grata in Flushing, in the legacy of Chipper Jones and Chase Utley. As Bassitt put it: “New York fans are a little different.” So when Winker hit Homer, who equalized in the seventh, looking down before the crowd shook again, the home side’s fans – many of whom had shouted at Winker earlier in the game – were upset. So did reliever Chasen Shreve, who screamed at Winker for his slow pull around the bases, saying “it’s a little too much.”

Winker was more confused with the situation.

“I will be honest with you, I love them,” Winker told Mets fans. “It’s an amazing group of people. They are very passionate about their team and their city. And from a guy who, born in upstate New York, is a big fan of this football team up there, I can understand the passion and respect it. “This thing we do is special.”

The Mets fans could say the same about their relationship with Mazeika, a long-time organizing catcher who hit a pair of home-pickers for five days last season. Mazeika returned to the Mets on Friday when James McCann was injured and was in the starting line-up the following night. During the early days of the game, Mazeika and Bassitt seemed to have difficulty communicating, as they had never worked together in a game. But none of this mattered when Mazeika went to the plate to lead the seventh, launching Andrés Muñoz’s first pitch, 97 mph fastball over the fence for a Homer.

“If anything has been taught to us in recent years, it is that you have to be prepared for anything,” Mazeika said. “It simply came to our notice then. I will always be ready to play whenever. This mentality allowed me to go in and try to make the transition a little smoother. ”

With Mazeika’s green light in the books, the Mets had just one more challenge to overcome, and of course he came in the form of Winker. After Díaz struck the first two strokes of the ninth inning, Winker gave more battle, eliminating multiple 90+ mph sliders as the crowd hung in each of them.

“I wanted to get him out,” Diaz said. “It was a big surprise for us. He took us to the seventh. “I did not want to be the guy who left Homer’s draw, so I made sure my pitches were bad for him.”

Finally, on the eighth pitch of the at-bat, Díaz launched a 101 mph fastball over Winker for the final match. The bad guy had been defeated. The hero had prevailed. The last chapter in the battle of the comics is over.

“That’s why you get up in the morning,” said manager Buck Swalter. “You never know what the game holds in store for you.”

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