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Patrick Mazeika the unlikeliest of Mets legends

Patrick Mazeika #76 of the New York Mets

Patrick Mazeika #76 of the New York Mets celebrates his ninth inning game winning fielders choice against the Baltimore Orioles with his teammates at Citi Field on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 in the Queens borough of New York City. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Patrick Mazeika probably didn’t know what to think when he walked to the plate as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning of the Mets’ 7-1 victory over the Orioles at Citi Field on Wednesday.

It wasn’t a big spot. There was no one on base. There was no one to drive in with a game-winning fielder’s choice.

The only way Mazeika was going to get an RBI was to hit a home run.

Still, the crowd of 8,035 went nuts when Mazeika was announced into the game. A legend has been born.

 

Mazeika, a 27-year-old catcher, had four big-league plate appearances before Wednesday with three RBIs. Two of them were walkoff fielder’s choices, on Friday and Tuesday.

On Wednesday, facing righthander Tyler Wells, Mazeika swung mightily. But instead of a run-scoring dribbler, he hit a fly ball to center to make him 0-for-4 in his career.

Unlike his two previous at-bats, the Mets did not mob Mazeika after this one and did not rip off his jersey.

Mazeika is the first player since the RBI became an official stat in 1920 with more than one walkoff RBI in his first four career games. He is the first player since 1955 with three RBIs before his first hit. The only other Mets player with two walkoff fielder’s choices is Carl Everett, who had his on Sept. 1 and Sept. 4, 1996.

Almora to IL

The Mets placed Albert Almora Jr. on the 10-day injured list with a left shoulder contusion after he crashed into the centerfield wall on Tuesday going after a triple by Austin Hays in the eighth inning. Almora also banged up his right knee, but there was no indication he suffered a concussion, manager Luis Rojas said.

"Right after the collision, he was talking, he was moving," Rojas said. "But after the game when I saw him, you could see that he was holding his left shoulder a little bit. He just looked very, very tight, just holding that area, like tentative to move. Today, he’s walking slow."

The Mets called up 22-year-old outfielder Khalil Lee from Triple-A Syracuse. The Mets acquired Lee from Kansas City in the offseason as part of a three-team trade. He was 4-for-16 at Syracuse.

The Mets already have multiple players on the injured list: Brandon Nimmo, J.D. Davis, Luis Guillorme and, of course, Jacob deGrom.

Nimmo, who has a bruised index finger, is eligible to come off the IL on Friday, so Lee’s stay could be a short one.

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