OAKLAND, Calif. — Let’s just call the Mets’ 17-6 win over the Athletics on Friday night what it was: a walk in the (ball)park.
Oakland’s generous pitchers issued 17 free passes, setting a Mets single-game record (breaking the previous mark of 16 that they set in 1962, their first season of existence).
Every member of the starting lineup had at least one walk. The Nos. 8 and 9 hitters, the light-hitting Luis Guillorme and even-lighter-hitting Tomas Nido, had a combined five. Four of the Mets’ walks came with the bases loaded.
The Mets became the first team to score six runs on one or zero hits in two different innings in a game since at least 1957, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, which specializes in such statistics. And their 17 walks tied for third- most in a nine-inning game in major-league history.
Francisco Lindor had a grand slam and seven RBIs, tying his career high.
After former Mets closer Jeurys Familia walked four consecutive batters in the ninth inning, the Athletics brought in backup catcher Carlos Perez to get the final two outs. His first pitch, a called strike to Eduardo Escobar, drew sarcastic cheers from what remained of the announced crowd of 11,102. Escobar wound up doubling, upping his average to .114.
The A’s outhit the Mets 13-11.
“When we’re going well, we’re real selective,” manager Buck Showalter said. “Tonight was a good example of that.”
Mets righthander Stephen Nogosek exited with an athletic trainer in the sixth inning after getting hit in the right elbow by a 104-mph line drive off the bat of Jace Peterson. Showalter said X-rays were negative but wasn’t sure when Nogosek will be available again.
The Athletics’ trouble began when righthander James Kaprielian encountered a certain kind of helplessness in the second inning, suddenly unable to do the one thing he is supposed to — throw the little white ball over the flat white pentagon 60 feet, 6 inches away.
He walked Daniel Vogelbach, then Guillorme (on four pitches), then Nido (also on four pitches) to load the bases. Then Brandon Nimmo to force in a run. Then Starling Marte to bring in another. Lindor punished him with a grand slam to centerfield.
“The same approach everyone before me had: Get a good pitch and try to hit it, try to drive it,” Lindor said. “They just didn’t get the pitch. I got the pitch.”
Kaprielian — a first-round draft pick of the Yankees in 2015, sent to Oakland in the 2017 Sonny Gray trade — managed to get through 3 2⁄3 innings, having held the Mets scoreless outside of their one-hit, six-run rally in the second inning.
“He lives off hitters chasing, and today we didn’t,” Lindor said.
But Oakland, which at 3-11 has staked legitimate early claim to being the worst team in the majors, was just getting started. The Mets (8-6) scored another half-dozen runs in the fifth inning off Hogan Harris, a lefthander making his major-league debut.
Harris’ ugly sequence was similar to Kaprielian’s: Escobar, Guillorme and Nido walked to load the bases and Nimmo got hit by a pitch for another hard-earned RBI. Marte also walked. Lindor’s line drive to left turned into a three-run double, re-blowing open a game that Kodai Senga had allowed to get close.
Although it barely mattered because Oakland’s pitching was so much worse, Senga was mediocre in facing a team other than the Marlins for the first time. He yielded four runs, seven hits and four walks in 4 2⁄3 innings, striking out seven.
Showalter said the cool weather — temperature at first pitch was 56 degrees and dropping — and the Mets’ long half-innings at-bat negatively impacted Senga.
“He was frustrated a little bit probably with his command, but it just got to a point there where I didn’t like It,” Showalter said.
Senga said through an interpreter: “I don’t think I was able to pitch my own game. It dragged on from the other side and I let that bring me down a little bit . . . Because the game went like that, I needed to concentrate even harder than usual, which I wasn’t able to do.”