Mets players and fans reacts after a run-scoring double by...

Mets players and fans reacts after a run-scoring double by Starling Marte during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Thursday, May 5, 2022, in Philadelphia.  Credit: AP

PHILADELPHIA — Even the Mets couldn’t believe what the Mets pulled off Thursday night. 

They scored seven runs in the ninth inning to beat the Phillies, 8-7, the latest dramatic win in an early-season sequence of them, a series of improbable events that turned Francisco Lindor, Brandon Nimmo and Starling Marte into momentary heroes and turned rookie righthander Adonis Medina into a first-time major-league winner. 

The feeling in the postgame clubhouse: jubilant shock. 

“I’m an optimist, but . . .” Nimmo said, trailing off after offering an accurate self-assessment. “I just keep going until they blow the whistle, so to say. You just never give up and you say, ‘OK, when it comes to be my turn, I give it everything I got.’ It seems like every guy on this team has that mentality. And when you do that, it allows for things like that to happen. And that’s the only way.” 

Lindor added: “You don’t have too many nights like this.” 

And manager Buck Showalter: “That was fun. The last 20 minutes or so.” 

Over the past quarter-century, the Mets had been 0-330 in games in which they trailed by six or more heading into the last inning. The most recent occasion in which they won under such circumstances was Sept. 13, 1997 (the day Carl Everett hit a tying grand slam with one out to go against the Expos, whom the Mets beat in extra innings). 

This one had all the makings of an unremarkable blowout. The Phillies (11-15) led by four following the first inning, by seven after the fourth inning and by six heading into the late innings. Showalter mulled which of his regulars to remove from the game for rest, which he said he would have done had the Mets (19-9) given up an additional run or two. MLB’s game-tracking technology gave the Mets a 99% chance of losing as early as the halfway point. 

But then Marte led off the top of the ninth with a soft single to shortstop. Lindor followed with a two-run home run — snapping an 0-for-18 funk — against James Norwood to make it a four-run game. The Mets started to believe. 

“I got excited almost as if it was me who hit that home run,” Marte said through an interpreter. 

Nimmo said: “It’s nuts. The stats can say all they want, and they can say that it can’t be done, but that’s why we play this game. And that’s why people love this game. Sometimes the unexpected happens.” 

The unexpected happened — repeatedly. Pete Alonso doubled to keep the pressure on. Eduardo Escobar lined out to second baseman Jean Segura, leaving the Mets with two outs to go. Jeff McNeil singled through the right side of the infield. 

That was when Phillies manager Joe Girardi turned to closer Corey Knebel, a former All-Star and the centerpiece of Philadelphia’s latest attempt to remake its bullpen. It didn’t help. 

Mark Canha hit a hard grounder off Knebel for a single, a break for the Mets because it might’ve been a game-ending double play if it had gotten past the pitcher. That made it a three-run game. 

Dominic Smith struck out swinging, pushing the Mets to their last out. J.D. Davis provided a pinch-hit double, cutting the deficit to two and putting the tying run in scoring position. 

Nimmo lined a two-run single to centerfield. Pinch runner Travis Jankowski scored with ease to tie it. 

“This doesn’t happen every day,” Nimmo said, rattling off some of the Mets’ other feats. “No-hitters don’t happen every day. Five-run ninth innings don’t happen every day. Seven-run ninth innings don’t happen every day.” 

Marte, batting for a second time in the inning, drove the go-ahead double off the wall in left-center. Nimmo raced home from first base. 

“Shouldn’t have happened,” Knebel said of the whole unraveling. “Got to be better. Offense did their job tonight. [Aaron] Nola, awesome outing. The game’s on me. We’ve got a seven-run lead, six-run lead going into the ninth. It can’t happen.” 

The wild ninth turned outings from Nola (seven innings, one run) and Taijuan Walker (four innings, seven runs) into footnotes. 

“Getting through four innings, it may not sound like much now, but it looked like he wasn’t going to be able to even get there for a while,” Showalter said. “You get down that much early, and you got Nola out there, you don’t like your chances.” 

Medina, a 25-year-old former Phillie, tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings to give the hitters a chance, however low.

“A night like tonight,” Showalter said, “makes you realize what could be.”


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