SAN FRANCISCO — The final scene of the Mets’ transcontinental three-city, nine-game road trip was a suddenly familiar one: the Giants forming one large mob, hopping happily around their game-winning teammate, while the Mets jogged in from their positions, filtering into the dugout collectively stunned.
The Mets lost to the Giants, 3-2, in 12 innings Sunday, their third extra-inning, walk-off loss in the four-game series. This one ended on a home run by Mike Yastrzemski — grandson of Hall of Famer and Long Island native Carl Yastrzemski — off Robert Gsellman.
The Mets finished 5-4 on their road trip to Miami, Minnesota and San Francisco. They are 45-54 overall and still ahead of only one team, the Marlins, in the National League standings.
“Better than we’ve been,” manager Mickey Callaway said. “But we could’ve been a lot better. And we wanted it to be a lot better.
“You win one of them, you go home 6-3 on the road trip and you’re feeling really good about yourself on the off day [Monday]. It’s really tough.”
Gsellman — who cleaned up Jeurys Familia’s two-on, none-out mess in the 11th — had no regrets about the game-ending pitch. It was a full-count, 89-mph changeup that painted the outside edge of the strike zone. The lefthanded-hitting Yastrzemski, a rookie and the No. 8 hitter, sent it the other way, and it landed in the first row of seats in leftfield.
“Right where I wanted it,” Gsellman said of the pitch, not the batted ball. “Maybe I should’ve gotten it down a little more, but he got the ball up in the wind and it went out.”
Did Gsellman think it was gone?
“Absolutely not,” he said. “That was a pop-up.”
Callaway, who also was surprised it got out, said: “He stayed on it well, got it up in the air, to the right part of this ballpark, and it kept on going. We’ve seen it over and over again. Balls keep on traveling.”
Dooming the Mets again was their lineup. They had only three at-bats with runners in scoring position and went hitless. After Michael Conforto (into McCovey Cove beyond rightfield) and Amed Rosario homered in the second, they didn’t get another hit until the 11th, when J.D. Davis singled. San Francisco lefthander Conner Menez, making his major-league debut, lasted five innings and allowed two runs.
The Mets’ bats were quiet on Thursday (3-2 loss in 16 innings) and Friday (1-0 loss in 10 innings), too. A blowout win Saturday meant the Mets outscored the Giants 15-11 in the series but came away with only one win.
The frustration started to boil over Sunday afternoon. Conforto and Jeff McNeil (0-for-5) expressed their displeasure with plate umpire Mark Ripperger (who ejected the Giants’ Kevin Pillar, who also argued balls and strikes). After Pete Alonso swung through a fastball up to end the top of the third, he snapped his bat over his knee.
“I shouldn’t have swung at that pitch. It was a ball,” Alonso said. “I know I’m better than that. I hold myself to a high standard and I was just frustrated.”
Steven Matz, at least, headed back to New York with reason to feel good. He held the Giants to two runs in six innings, his best start since at least early June.
Matz allowed six hits and one walk and struck out six. The Giants went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position and stranded five baserunners against him.
After Zach Green’s tying RBI double in the fourth, Matz concluded his start by retiring eight of his final 10 batters. He struck out the side in the sixth (all swinging) to double his strikeout total.
“I definitely felt like I was getting better as the game went on,” Matz said. “It’s been a long stretch since I’ve had these results, so it’s definitely a step in the right direction.”