My first post for the site was a review of the 2017 Mets’ season, and in that post I briefly talked about the bright spots of an otherwise disappointing season. With baseball season still a few months away, I felt the need to feed my void by re-watching some 2017 Mets’ games and moments. I started to realize there were a lot of moments and games in general that I had completely forgotten about. There were even a few games that the team lost but had some of my favorite moments. So with the list building, I figured “what the hell?” and decided to cut it down to 10 and make a top 10 list. And, here we are. Before I begin with the list, I tried picking moments rather than full games, but there are a few games that were just so good it was hard not to pick the whole thing. Without further ado, I give you my Top 10 moments from the 2017 Mets’ season.
*Honorable Mentions: Jacob deGrom stealing his first base, Jose Reyes’ 500th career stolen base, Keith Hernandez saying “tits lit up” on TV*
10. Dominic Smith’s 1st Major League Home Run – August 15th
I actually just recently discussed this home run in my post about who should be the Mets’ first baseman. Dom Smith had been in the Major Leagues for only 4 days before he cracked his first home run. Dominic Smith had 16 home runs while playing in Vegas and his power had been talked about a lot amongst fans and management. Coming to bat in the top of the 7th inning, down by 4 runs with a runner on first, Dominic Smith launched a 2-run homer to opposite field. Not only did he leave Aaron Hicks on his rear end trying to stretch and grab the ball, but he knocked Sonny Gray out of the game after 6 scoreless innings. It was Gray’s first game in his new home of Yankee Stadium and Dominic Smith made it memorable for them both. Not only do I love this moment because it was the rookie’s first home run, but because it was off of the Yankees…in front of Yankee fans. It doesn’t get much sweeter than that. The Mets’ lost the game anyway, but for the moment it was a great feeling that a Mets’ rookie, only 4 days in the majors was able to homer off of the Yankees’ newest pitcher.
9. Noah Syndergaard’s return from the DL – September 23rd
When Noah Syndergaard left a game early on April 30th with an apparent injury, I was hoping it wasn’t as bad as it ended up being. But, sure enough he was placed on the 60-day disabled list a week later, with his return timetable up in the air. It was an absolute low point for the Mets. Syndergaard had refused an MRI for tightness in his right bicep only a few days earlier and while the MRI wouldn’t have stopped the injury from occurring, it wouldn’t have looked so bad for the Mets. With is official diagnosis as having a partial tear of his right lat muscle. The idea of Syndergaard returning to the mound in any capacity seemed bleak but the real life superhero did just that. While it was only 1 inning, Syndergaard threw his first pitch for a 99 mph slider, showing the world he hadn’t missed a step. He gave up a single to Jayson Werth, but a double play ball hit by former Met Daniel Murphy got him out of the inning with only having to throw 5 pitches. The game ended up as a loss for the Mets but it was refreshing to see Syndergaard back on the mound and doing what he does best, throwing a baseball…hard. It was a good feeling for Syndergaard and every Mets fan knowing he was heading into the off-season healthy.
8. Jacob deGrom’s complete game against Cubs – June 12th
Jacob deGrom was an absolute highlight reel in 2017. With Noah Syndergaard out for the season, deGrom used the opportunity to reestablish himself as the Ace of the rotation, and he did not disappoint. On June 12th, the Mets opened up a 3 game series against the defending World Series Champions, the Chicago Cubs. Both the Cubs and Mets were sporting losing records, but the Cubs were still a dangerous ball club and the Mets knew it. deGrom would start the game for the Mets while John Lackey started for the Cubs. The Mets started scoring early giving their pitcher some insurance to work with. Cabrera led off the bottom of the 2nd with a home run to deep right field to get the Mets rolling. deGrom would keep the Cubs scoreless as the Mets added on to their lead. In the bottom of the 3rd, Jay Bruce would hit a 2-run homer to give the Mets a 3-0 lead. Cabrera would hit another home run in the bottom of the 4th to give his pitcher even more runs to work with. deGrom’s only blemish on the night was a home run given to Addison Russel in the top of the 7th. He finished the game throwing only 116 pitches and striking out 6. It was the only complete game thrown by a Met pitcher in 2017, but deGrom’s brilliance continued to shine for the entire season. Maybe we’ll see more of it later on the list.
7. Mets out hit the Rockies in New York – July 14th
The Mets offense had been pretty consistent in 2017, something that wasn’t the case a year prior. Unfortunately, the pitching and defense couldn’t match up but that’s a whole different story. On July 14th, the Mets took on the Colorado Rockies who were playing better than they had in a while and were looking to be play-off contenders if they kept it up. It looked like the Mets, who were under .500 by 7 games at this point were going to have a tough task in beating the Rockies. But it wouldn’t be the case. The Rockies’ scored 1st on 3 hits and 1 error during the top of the 1st inning. The Mets would answer back during the bottom of the 2nd inning when they scored 2 runs on 4 hits off of Jon Gray. The Mets weren’t d1 there though, in the bottom of the 3rd inning they were able to put up 6 runs on 6 hits. Cespedes led off the inning with a double, followed by a single by Bruce, a double by TJ Rivera, a walk to Duda, a single off of Reyes and a walk to d’Arnaud. After the walk to d’Arnaud, Gray was pulled from the game and replaced with Zac Rosscup who wasn’t greeted too kindly either. Conforto grounded out and scored a run, Cabrera singled and scored 2 more runs. Cespedes came up again to single until a strikeout to Bruce ended the inning. The Mets’ batted around and it was that 3rd inning that set the pace for the night. By the time the game was over the Mets had 19 hits and 14 runs. TJ Rivera and Michael Conforto both had home runs, Cespedes had 4 hits and deGrom allowed 1 earned run over 8 innings. The Mets won the game 14 to 2 and shut down the Rockies, who they’d go on to win the series against 2 games to 1.
6. Flores’ Walk-off home run – July 22nd
When the Mets played the Oakland Athletics for some interleague play in 2017, they took the first game by 2 runs but the A’s looked to strike early in game 2. Scoring 4 runs in the 1st off Zack Wheeler, and another in the 3rd. With the Athletics already up by 5 runs and facing an obviously struggling Wheeler, it looked like they were going to run away with it. Wheeler however was able to hold them scoreless until he left the game in the 6th inning, where Josh Smoker threw a scoreless top of the inning. In the bottom of the 6th, the Mets finally got on the board. A double by Flores and a monster home run by Bruce put the Mets within 3 of the A’s. Jose Reyes followed it up with a 1 out triple and was quickly brought in to score by d’Arnaud. Conforto drove in Granderson to put the Mets within a run heading into the 7th inning. Josh Edgin threw 2 scoreless innings to keep the Mets within a run heading into the bottom of the 8th inning. A leadoff double by Travis d’Arnaud put a runner in scoring position for Lucas Duda to hit a pinch hit single and tie the game. The Mets would bring in Hansel Robles in the top of the 9th with the responsibility of keeping the game tied. Robles wasn’t exactly the ideal guy for such a high pressure situation but he did what he had to do and kept the game tied. In the bottom of the 9th with no 1 on base and 2 outs, the ‘Friends’ theme song played and up came Wilmer Flores. On the second pitch he saw, Wilmer smacked a ball to deep left field as Gary Cohen echoed his famous home run call “It’s outta here, outta here!” The crowd went crazy as Wilmer rounded the bases trying to conceal his smile, as he rounded third base and came home, he was greeted by his teammates who huddled around him and poured whatever they could find on him. With the Mets still owning a losing record, it gave the fans something to cheer for and showed why Wilmer can be Mr. Clutch when needed.
5. Amed Rosario’s First Major League Home Run – August 11th
Amed Rosario made his MLB debut on August 1st and had shown Mets fans the speed he can bring to the table. He was actually faster than scouts had first thought. On August 11th, only 10 days after his debut, Amed Rosario hit his first Major League home run, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. The Mets were playing the Phillies in Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies had jumped out to a 3 run lead in the first inning off of Seth Lugo. The Mets would get on the board in the 2nd inning off of a home run by Michael Conforto. Amed Rosario would lead off the 3rd with a single, followed up by a walk from Neil Walker. Cespedes would drive them both in with a 3 run homer, giving the Mets the lead. Tommy Joseph would double to tie the game again in the bottom of the 3rd. Rosario would single again in the 5th and get driven in by Walker. Cespedes would then drive in Walker giving the Mets a 2 run lead. In the bottom of the 6th, Odubel Herrera would drive in a run trimming the Mets lead to 1 run. In the bottom of the 8th, the Phillies struck again. Cesar Hernandez hit a game tying home run off of Jerry Blevins to send the game into the 9th inning tied at 6 runs apiece. Amed Rosario would lead off the inning for the Mets. Rosario was 2 for 3 for the night with a pair of singles. On the 4th pitch from Hector Neris, Rosario would crank a fly ball to deep Right Center Field to give the Mets the lead. AJ Ramos would shut down the Phillies in the bottom of the 9th and Mr. Rosario was the hero of the game. Going 3 for 4 at the plate, and scoring 3 times, the top prospect was showing what he had to offer and boy, was it impressive.
4. Cespedes 3 Home Run Game – April 11th
Cespedes had another 3 run home run game later in the season, but I prefer the 1st because it wasn’t in Coors Field where home runs happen more than anywhere else. The Mets were in Philly for some early April baseball. Clay Buchholz was taking the mound for the Phillies, but he wouldn’t last long in the game. A lead-off walk to Granderson, and a double by Cabrera put the Mets in business early. Cespedes came up to the plate and on an 0-2 pitch, he drove a homer to DEEP Center Field. It was a monster home run and got the Mets on the board early. Bruce would drive in a pair of runs in the top of the 2nd giving the Mets a 5 run lead. After a double by Reyes in the 3rd, Buchholz was out of the game and it was up to the Phillie’s bullpen to try and cool down the Mets. d’Arnaud would drive in another run. In the top of the 4th, Cabrera and Cespedes went back to back with Home Runs. Cespedes hit his 2nd of the game, this time to deep Left Field. He’d follow it up with ANOTHER home run in the top of the 5th to deep Left Field again. He hit a double in the 7th and grounded out in the 8th. But he finished the game 4 for 5 at the plate with 3 home runs to his credit. The Mets would shut the door on the game and left the Phillies with a 14-4 defeat. More importantly, Cespedes was making up for lost time from last season and quickly. (Sadly, that didn’t last long. But this is a ‘Best of’ list, not a disappointing moments list)
3. Jacob deGrom’s outstanding Father’s Day – June 18th
Remember how I said earlier that maybe we’d see more Jacob deGrom on this list? Well, here he is. Out of the Met’s pitchers in 2017, deGrom had the best season without a doubt. On June 18th, Jacob deGrom was celebrating his first father’s day as a father by starting a day game against the Washington Nationals. (*Side note: I was at the Father’s Day game in 2016 and deGrom got his ‘tits lit up’ by the Braves and the Mets lost 6-0 in a shutout victory by Julio Teheran. It was NOT a good day). But, 2017 was a much different story. Jacob deGrom didn’t just pitch a brilliant game, going 8 innings, only giving up 1 unearned run and 3 hits, but he also hit his first ever career home run. Jacob led off the bottom of the 3rd inning hitting a first pitch home run to deep Left Center field off of Joe Ross, tying the game for the Mets. I’m sure Jacob deGrom will make sure his son Jackson sees that game and hopefully gets that ball. If there was any doubt that Jacob deGrom was the real deal, he shut up any doubters that day. The home run was really the icing on the cake. deGrom struck out 6 and earned his 6th win of the year. It was a feel good moment for all the fans, the team and most importantly, Jacob and his family.
2. Mets don’t need the long ball! – May 3rd
The Mets faced off against former teammate, the beloved, Bartolo Colon. But there was no love lost on the ball field that night. The Mets absolutely went to town on Big Sexy, scoring 5 runs off of him during his 4 innings of work. The best part about this game was that the Mets scored 16 runs without hitting a home run. The Mets have been known to rely on the long ball, but they showed that they were able to score off small ball too. The game started off with back to back doubles by Conforto and Cabrera, quickly giving the Mets a 1-0 lead. A walk to Jay Bruce and another double by Neil Walker would score another run. The Mets had quick 2-0 lead after 1 inning. It was the top of the 3rd where the game got away from Colon. He hit Cabrera with a pitch, walked Neil Walker and then allowed a double to Granderson and back to back singles by Jose Reyes and Rene Rivera. The Mets had scored 5 times off of Big Bart after 4 innings pitched and he was taken out of the game. Josh Collmenter would be the first out of the Bullpen for the Braves. He wasn’t greeted very kindly. A single by Walker, a double by Granderson, a Sac Fly by Reyes, a single by Rene Rivera, a double by TJ Rivera and then a single by Jacob deGrom would give the Mets a 4 run inning, giving them a 9-3 lead. The Atlanta bullpen looked to have shut down the offense for the time being, but when Eric O’Flaherty came into the game during the 8th inning, the Mets got right back in it. A single by Conforto would lead off the inning, a walk to Cabrera and a single by Bruce would load the bases. Granderson would ground out and a play at the plate would shut down a run from scoring. Jose Reyes came up and doubled to Left Field, clearing the bases in the process. Matt Wisler was brought in for damage control but couldn’t stop the offense from hitting. Another single by Rene Rivera would score Jose Reyes. TJ Rivera would come up and double once more. Juan Lagares pinch hitting came up and singled to score Rene Rivera. Conforto would double to drive in TJ Rivera. The Mets put up a 7 spot in the 8th inning, extending their lead to 16-5. Both team’s bullpen did what they had to do and kept the other team from scoring, unfortunately for the Braves it was far too late as the Mets finished with 20 hits and 16 runs. 9 of those hits were doubles and 10 of them were 2-out RBIs. This was a good sign to see. Not only were the Mets scoring without the long ball, but they were also able to score with 2-outs, which is something that had plagued the team quite a lot.
1. Travis d’Arnaud scores late to give the Mets the win – April 13th/April 14th
Picking a number 1 moment was actually a lot harder than I thought. I enjoyed all of these moments I listed. But the 1 that I really remember jumping out of my seat for was the 5-and-a-half-hour game against the Marlins back in the beginning of the season. There’s a few games I remember watching and considering turning off, this was 1 of them. Not because I didn’t think the Mets would win, but because I was ridiculously tired. Thankfully, I stuck through it and it was 1 of the more exciting moments of the season. I’m slightly biased because I really love extra inning baseball. I think it’s 1 of the most exciting things in sports and I think it’s what makes baseball so damn great. Both teams play until 1 of them loses, no time limits, no tie games, it’s such a thrill. But, anyway, to the game. Marlins put up a 4 spot in the 1st inning when Marcell Ozuna hit a grand slam off of Robert Gsellman. The Mets weren’t going down without a fight though. Leading off the 2nd inning with 3 back to back singles and a single by d’Arnaud quickly got the Mets within a run. Granderson would single to tie the game up for the Mets. In the 3rd, Cespedes and Flores went back to back with home runs and gave the Mets a 6-4 lead. Another home run by Cespedes in the 5th gave them another run to work with. The Marlins would knock Gsellman out of the game in the 5th after allowing 2 unearned runs to score. Josh Edgin came in and gave up a double and a single to allow 2 more runs to score, giving the Marlins an 8-7 lead. Both team’s bullpens kept the other team scoreless until the top of the 8th when Conforto doubled to drive in the tying run. That would be the last time a team scored until the 16th inning. Travis d’Arnaud, who had been crouched behind the plate all night, came up for his 6th at bat of the night and on the 2nd pitch he sent a line drive ball to deep left field and gave the Mets the lead. That would be all the Mets needed to close the door on the late night baseball, winning the game 9-8. It was a brilliant game by both teams and an exceptional performance by d’Armaud. Not only did he score the game winning run after being crouched behind the plate for almost 5-and-a-half-hours, but he also had 4 hits and 4 RBIs, earing himself the plastic crown for being the King of the Game.
And that’s my list. I’d love to hear what your top 10 moments were; do you agree with my list? What would you change? Let me know by leaving a comment or contacting me via email or twitter! Thank you for reading, look for some more articles coming very soon!
(I wanted to add video for each moment but copyright issues along with cluttering of the post made that difficult and I opted not to do it at the moment, I may add them in later if I find a solution)