The New York Mets may not be at their best yet this season, but six straight wins say otherwise as they took another W by a score of 3-2 over the Baltimore Orioles. Patrick Mazeika continues to be an unlikely hero for the Mets as his fielder’s choice once again leads to a walk-off victory. Mazeika still does not have a big-league hit yet but has two walk-off wins to his name.
— New York Mets (@Mets) May 12, 2021
The Mets almost tied it up in the ninth of Orioles’ closer Cesar Valdez, but Kevin Pillar missed the foul by a couple of feet. He combined singles with Jonathan Villar to set the table for a Dominic Smith pinch-hit single to tie the game and allowed Mazeika’s grounder to seal the win.
The walk-off win overshadows the Mets and Orioles pitchers duel on par with the classic Tom Seaver vs. Mike Cuellar duels from the 1969 World Series. John Means made his first start after his no-hitter and was as good as advertised. Means pitched six shutout innings, working around six hits, striking out three, and needing just 74 pitches. Marcus Stroman was once again dominant, holding the Orioles to one run on 6.1 and recording a typical 11 ground outs.
Before the ninth, a key moment of the game came in the top of the seventh inning when the Orioles had the bases loaded and one out. Means’ spot in the order was up, and Orioles skipper Brandon Hyde sent up D.J. Stewart to pinch-hit. Mets manager Luis Rojas counted by pulling Stroman and bringing Aaron Loup for the lefty on lefty matchup. Hyde once again countered with righty, Pat Valaika, and it was checkmate for the Mets. Valaika attacked the first pitch for a sacrifice fly to break the scoreless tie.
When Rojas met Stroman on the mound, both had a lengthy conversation before exiting. It likely had to do with Stroman’s disappointment of leaving a matchup he felt he could have won. Stewart was a slow runner, nursing a hamstring injury, and Stroman’s sinker could have induced the double play to escape the inning. Hindsight is always 20/20, and Rojas can be at fault for past moves, but this one was very reasonable.
Of course, their concerns shift to Jeff McNeil and Albert Almora Jr., who left with injuries. McNeil had a leg cramp but should not miss more than a game and could be available for Wednesday’s game. On the other hand, Almora left the game after crashing into the fence while attempting an incredible catch. He has shoulder pain, and his x-rays came back negative. Almora let fans know he was okay while walking off the field but should be out of commission for a few days.
When teams go on winning streaks of five or more, it takes some tough wins and clutch moments to get it there. They had their tough wins over the weekend with the help of their bullpen, and now they have their clutch win. They will aim for lucky number seven against a familiar face as Matt Harvey makes his first start at Citi Field since leaving the Mets in 2017. Taijuan Walker will start for the Mets at an early 12:10 p.m. ET first pitch.