Omar Narvaez winning base hit with Mets teammates on Sunday.

Omar Narvaez winning base hit with Mets teammates on Sunday. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Omar Narvaez clutched two halves of his shattered bat after Sunday’s game, but this time the wooden shards were not symbolic of what has been a broken season for the Mets. Rather than toss them on the growing bonfire of Flushing frustration, Narvaez held them up as a trophy, a souvenir from arguably the Mets’ biggest victory to date, an actual must-win on the eve of Memorial Day.

Moments earlier, Narvaez used that bat for the walk-off single that pushed the Mets past the Giants, 4-3, before a sellout crowd (41,016) at Citi Field. As unlikely heroes go, it took a series of moves to put Narvaez in that spot, with Tomas Nido drawing the starting nod at catcher, Tyrone Taylor entering as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning and Brett Baty getting an intentional free pass to set him up for the ninth.

And as shocking as the Mets’ first two losses in this series were, blowing a big lead late Friday followed by Edwin Diaz’s meltdown Saturday, having Sunday’s improbable comeback finished by the .150-hitting Narvaez was equally stunning. Only this time in a feel-good way.

Narvaez teamed with Harrison Bader, who smacked a tying two-run double in the ninth before the Baty walk and also supplied the most spectacular defensive play of the afternoon, leaping high to rob Matt Chapman of a leadoff homer in the sixth.

On a day the Mets got next to nothing from the top of the lineup, Narvaez and Bader (three RBIs) almost singlehandedly stopped the five-game losing streak in delivering the team’s third win in 13 games.

“We needed that,” manager Carlos Mendoza said. “Especially with how things have been going here as of late.”

In case you just tuned in, the Mets seemingly had begun the countdown to the trade deadline, with the narrative already looking toward 2025. Though this season was supposed to be an evaluation year from the jump, no one expected a transition to oblivion, and Steve Cohen’s $334 million roster appears to be on a crash course.


Sunday’s desperate game-winning rally didn’t necessarily wipe all that out. It’s only one W, and the Mets have plenty of issues. But they at least got to hit pause on the doomsday clock and change the conversation for 24 hours — until the banged-up Shohei Ohtani and the slumping Dodgers show up Monday in Queens. Ohtani is dealing with a bruised hamstring and the L.A. juggernaut has lost five straight after getting swept in Cincinnati over the weekend.

Maybe the Mets are catching Shohei & Co. at the right time. Perhaps Sunday’s emotional victory can act as a springboard. Stranger things have happened. There’s still two solid months before the trade deadline, so it’s not as if general manager David Stearns is on the brink of breaking up this group for parts like a Seaver Way chop shop. Not right this minute, anyway. The Mets at least showed a spark Sunday by climbing off the mat in the ninth. And it’s not quite June.

Of the Mets’ 11 home wins, five have been the walk-off variety, so I asked Bader if this one was bigger than the rest, given the sorry circumstances around this team. It was hard to deny that being the case.

“Because of the last couple of games,” Bader said. “We don’t want to dwell on the past, but it is what it is. It’s baseball. Coming through in these situations is big for us. But it just speaks volumes that we’re just not out of it. Yeah, it [stinks] at times and this game will eat you up for sure. But there’s an opportunity every inning. There’s a job to do. And no one but yourself is going to save you in those situations.”

Are the Mets truly capable of saving themselves? The recent evidence would suggest otherwise. They’re still eight games under .500 (22-30) with a $102 million closer (Diaz) on the fritz, a $341 million shortstop (Francisco Lindor) hitting .209 and a hurting ace (Kodai Senga) who’s given little indication that he’ll make it back this season.

Those defects alone shouldn’t be enough to tank an entire team. But every night typically features some degree of baseball malfeasance, including errors both physical and mental in nature. Even Sunday had Nido airmailing a two-out pickoff attempt over Baty’s head at third base, gift-wrapping the Giants’ first run. As for Lindor, who was last seen Saturday giving up on a full-count strike three, he whiffed two more times Sunday -- but hey, at least he swung the bat (the second time was a check swing).

The expectations for the ’24 Mets have cratered to the point that a revival over the next four months doesn’t seem plausible. But there’s also way too much season left to be mailing it in or crafting a blueprint for 2025.

If Bader’s right, and the Mets still believe they have a job to do, prove it against the mighty-but-malfunctioning Dodgers this week.

“I think everybody is putting in the effort,” Narvaez said. “And we are giving everything we’ve got.”

Too often this season, that hasn’t been enough. But on the final Sunday in May, the Mets gave their fans a reason to be happy other than a Hello Kitty bobblehead. That’s something.


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