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SportsColumnistsAnthony Rieber

Down for the count, Mets deliver two Rocky-esque comebacks in win

Asdrubal Cabrera #13 of the New York Mets

Asdrubal Cabrera #13 of the New York Mets celebrates his game-winning three-run home run in the 11th inning of a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Tired of long, tedious meetings that go nowhere? You might want to hire Terry Collins to run your next one.

Collins held one of the shortest clubhouse meetings in baseball history yesterday afternoon. Speaking to a packed house that included the Mets’ entire roster plus coaches and staff, Collins walked in, spoke for about a minute, and then walked out.

Here’s an exclusive transcript of the conversation obtained by Newsday:

Collins: “There’s one thing I want you to do for me.”

Mets players: “What?”

Collins: “Win . . . Win!”

A grizzled Mets coach (played by Burgess Meredith): “What are we waitin’ for?! Take this!”

OK, so that actually was the hospital scene from “Rocky II” that is played in just about every stadium when the home team is trailing in the late innings.

The Mets made their own Rocky-esque comebacks against the Phillies last night. Twice.

First, Jose Reyes hit a game-tying, two-run home run with one out in the ninth inning.

Then, after the Phillies took a two-run lead in the 11th, Asdrubal Cabrera smacked a game-winning three-run home run to right to give the Mets a rousing 9-8 victory at Citi Field.

As soon as he hit the ball off Edubray Ramos, Cabrera turned to the Mets’ dugout, did a Hall of Fame bat flip, and thrust his arms into the air.

The Mets and Giants are tied atop the wild-card standings. They took a half-game lead over the idle Cardinals.

The Mets have the easiest schedule of the three combatants. But they had that before dropping three in a row to the Braves. They were truly shocked by Atlanta, with the final indignity being Ender Inciarte’s incredible game-ending catch to rob Yoenis Cespedes of what would have been a game-winning three-run homer on Wednesday.

That’s the kind of play that makes you think this isn’t the Mets’ year, or Collins’ for that matter. Even when the manager pushes the right buttons, the Mets just seem to be a little off.

Yesterday, Collins called on Lucas Duda to pinch hit in the 10th inning. Duda sent a drive to right that missed the foul pole by inches. In 2015, it would have struck the foul pole dead center and the Mets would have celebrated in a dogpile on the field.

In 2015, Cespedes’ drive to center would have been 10 feet over the fence, not a couple of inches.

But Cabrera brought back the spirit of 2015 and the Mets’ run to the World Series with his 22nd home run of the season.

Before the slugfest with the Phillies, general manager Sandy Alderson walked into Collins’ pregame news conference.

“This is one of those uh-oh moments,” Alderson deadpanned.

He was there to announce the latest bit of bad Mets injury news. Like Jacob deGrom before him, Steven Matz was scratched from a start a day before he was supposed to take the mound.

With deGrom, it was an elbow, and he’s lost for the season after surgery. Matz’s shoulder started barking again, so the Long Island lefty is probably gone for the season as well.

“When the trainer walked into my office,” Collins said, “I just kept shaking my head.”

It was the latest blow to the Mets, which could be why Collins decided to get the team together for a pep talk. Apparently it worked, because the Mets kept fighting even after they seemed down for the count twice.

Yo, Adrian! The Mets did it — and Cabrera landed the knockout punch.


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