Francisco Alvarez #4 of the Mets celebrates at second base after...

Francisco Alvarez #4 of the Mets celebrates at second base after hitting a two RBI double during the eighth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field on June 18, 2024 in Arlington, Texas. Credit: Getty Images/Sam Hodde

ARLINGTON, Texas — After the penultimate play of the Mets’ 7-6, come-from-behind win over the Rangers on Tuesday night, Brandon Nimmo practically floated from leftfield to second base.

Jose Iglesias had just turned a key double play for the first two outs in the bottom of the ninth. He received a feed from shortstop Francisco Lindor, stepped into the baseline toward first base to slightly shorten the distance of his ensuing throw, then made that relay perfectly to Pete Alonso.

Davis Wendzel, freshly into the game as a pinch runner, slid hard into second — and into Iglesias. The runner’s left knee caught the fielder’s left ankle/foot. Iglesias flipped into the air and hit the ground. Nobody did anything wrong, it was just the sort of sequence not often featured in modern baseball.

All of a sudden, the Mets were one more out away from their season-high seventh win in a row. As Iglesias dusted himself off, Lindor was there for a hug and encouraging word. And right behind them was Nimmo, an outfielder appearing on the infield dirt, kind of concerned but totally pumped.

“They care and I love that,” Iglesias said. “That’s how tight we are. That’s how we’re playing nowadays as a team. Nimmo is just fired up. I love to see that. When I looked up and I saw Nimmo there, it means the world to me. He’s a great teammate, but that right there was special.”

For Nimmo, Iglesias’ turn reminded him of his high school football days, like a quarterback taking a hit to sling a touchdown pass to his receiver up the middle.

“He stood in there — actually stepped into it and took the hit,” Nimmo said. “First of all, I came running in to make sure he was OK. Second of all, I just wanted to show him how important that was. Because it looks easy. But it hurts . . . That was a huge point in the game.”

 

Iglesias, a late-game replacement for Jeff McNeil, added: “I got to do what I got to do to make the out at first.”

It sounds corny, but they seem to mean it. These Mets are hot. They’re having fun. They like each other. They are 35-37 and have won or split six consecutive series, a June bloom that is a total reversal of their May malaise.

This victory was different from the others by virtue of the large comeback. In Luis Severino’s worst start in at least a month, he lasted 6 1/3 innings and gave up a season-high six runs — five in the bottom of the fifth.

That put the Mets down by four with four innings to go. They scored in every turn at bat the rest of the way.

“Every bit of us could’ve just rolled over and been like, well, we’re playing good baseball right now. We’ll get them again some other time, tomorrow,” Nimmo said. “No. The guys stayed on it and kept fighting to the very end. And we got into situations where we put pressure on them and we were able to come through.”

Manager Carlos Mendoza said: “I never felt like we were out of that game. I think that was the feeling for everybody.”

Nimmo provided the first tangible hint of hope. As the Mets’ first batter after the big inning from the Rangers (33-40), he blasted a solo home run off Michael Lorenzen (six innings, three runs).

“Nimmo goes out there and hits that homer,” Mendoza said. “It’s like, all right, I got a good feeling about this one.”

Then came Francisco Lindor’s RBI fielder’s choice, a would-be inning-ending double play ruined by Corey Seager’s poor throw. Francisco Alvarez smashed a tying two-out, two-strike, two-run double off David Robertson in the eighth. Pete Alonso had the go-ahead double off closer Kirby Yates in the ninth.

“It’s a really special place we’re in right now,” Nimmo said. “Everybody is pulling for each other. We’re trying to be there for each other. It’s that fight. You’re trying to stay in the fight the whole game, be relentless and never give up. I love that. I’m all about it.”

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