New York Mets' Brandon Nimmo gestures in front of Cleveland...

New York Mets' Brandon Nimmo gestures in front of Cleveland Guardians catcher Mike Zunino after his solo home run during the seventh inning in Game One at Citi Field on Sunday. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

You know how the crowd at a makeup game — especially if it’s the first game of a day-night doubleheader — can be kinda sparse?

That was not the case at Citi Field on Sunday afternoon for the Mets’ thrilling 5-4 comeback victory over Cleveland.

The stands were packed from Max Scherzer’s first pitch to David Robertson’s final one. A crowd of 39,995 shifted their plans after Saturday’s early-called rainout and came out on Sunday for two reasons:

The Francisco Lindor “Grass Growing” bobblehead giveaway;

To see the Mets, who are playing truly exciting baseball.

The Mets won thanks to a go-ahead two-run homer by Starling Marte in the bottom of the eighth after Adam Ottavino and Robertson blew a 3-0 lead in the top of the inning.

Robertson was booed off the mound after he got the final out of the eighth with the Mets trailing 4-3.

The Francisco Lindor bobblehead doll that was given out at todays game on Sunday, May 221, 2023. Credit: Anthony Rieber

“Kinda harsh, no?” was a fair thought. Robertson had just given up a go-ahead two-run homer by Jose Ramirez, but he has been a stalwart in the bullpen after the season-ending injury to Edwin Diaz.

From this corner, the loud, sustained booing meant there was another reason fans filled the stands with one day’s notice for a makeup game:

To see the Mets win. Not just to play. But to win.

The Mets came back again and took the night game, 2-1, for their fifth victory in a row (each by one run). There was no giveaway for the 29,862 who attended the nightcap. Just a great pitching duel between Cy Young Award winners Justin Verlander and Shane Bieber and another Mets rally.

Verlander allowed one run in eight innings. The Mets were trailing 1-0 when Lindor hit a tying homer off Bieber in the sixth. Jeff McNeil hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the eighth, again off Bieber.

Winning streaks that are forged on comeback victories generate their own momentum. Fans feel it, and they want to be a part of it.

If the Mets go on to great success this season, this week’s comebacks easily will be identified as the turning point.

It all started with Wednesday’s 8-7, 10-inning victory over Tampa Bay that featured dramatic late home runs by Mark Vientos, Francisco Alvarez and Pete Alonso.

After a more conventional 3-2 victory over Tampa Bay on Thursday (for the Mets’ first series win in a month), the Mets came back from 5-0 down on Friday to beat Cleveland, 10-9, with three runs in the bottom of the 10th. That rally was capped by Lindor’s walk-off single in his first game against his former team.

Lindor had little to do with Sunday’s Game 1 victory as he went 0-for-4. But the first 15,000 fans got to enjoy a smiling Lindor reaching for a ground ball on one of the most innovative (and odd) bobbleheads you’ll ever see.

Sadly, the “Grass Growing” bobblehead is not a Chia Pet, so the grass doesn’t grow on Lindor’s head. It’s unclear if Lindor himself has a green thumb, but he is sporting green hair on his bobblehead, something he also does in real life.

The bobblehead does include real live grass seeds and instructions from Bill Deacon, the Mets’ executive director of field operations and landscaping, on how to make those seeds sprout “in approximately 15 days.”

The Mets’ season has taken less than that to finally sprout. They are 25-23, the first time they have been two games over .500 since May 3.

In Game 1, with Scherzer throwing six shutout innings despite a gnarly split callus on his right thumb, the Mets held a 3-0 lead after seven. But Ottavino and Robertson gave up four in the eighth.

If this had been a week or 10 days ago, the Mets could have been staring at a deflating defeat.

That negative thought lasted eight pitches into the bottom half, when Marte sent a two-run homer to the opposite field in right to put the Mets back on top for good.

“I think we have to think in our world that every day is the start of something special,” manager Buck Showalter said. “And then when it does happen, you try to do everything possible to maintain it.”

To put it another way: Something good is finally growing at Citi Field.

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