Some fun series heating up this weekend in the baseball world:
- Houston left their New York rivals and the latter’s frustrated fanbase as they headed up north to rip apart the Jays. The Yankees, meanwhile, fell apart against the NL East’s last-place Nationals, who refuse to die. The Bombers currently sit at a tense .500 in fourth place in the AL East.
- Philly and Atlanta faced off for the heart of the NL East, with Philly vying to keep the top spot and Atlanta looking to surpass the Mets and grab second place. (That did not happen, because the Phillies are – to my displeasure – good and the Mets are – to my pleasure – incorrigible.)
- Boston, fresh out of a fierce series against the Tigers, held off the Orioles, who were empowered by John Means’ almost-perfect game on Thursday. The Birds got a couple of runs, but Boston has simply dominated in the beginning of this season.
- The Dodgers, who suffer from post-postseason depression in third place in the NL West, faced their crosstown rivals the Angels for some much-needed ego boosting. But the Angels worked in lockstep to rip the Dodgers apart, even though Mookie tried to start a rally in the ninth.
- And then there was the battle for Ohio. Cleveland and Cincinnati faced each other to see which team would win bragging rights over the entire state. (The answer to that question is – of course – the Buckeyes.) But the Reds’ Wade Miley blanked Cleveland to notch the MLB’s fourth no-hitter this season, the second this week, and the second this year that has resulted in a loss to Cleveland.
- Speaking of no-hitters: The Athletics’ Sean Manaea was perfect through six, and held a solid no-hitter bid through seven. The fact that a two no-no night almost happened is historic, even if it didn’t come to pass.
Perhaps the evening’s strangest game took place between the Diamondbacks and the Mets, where Citi Field ran through the emotional gamut. A night of surefire disappointment became one of celebration for a struggling star, then concern for the Mets’ cohesion, then chaos as the Mets came from behind to walk off with a win.
David Peterson barely made it through two innings before giving up three runs, forcing Robert Gsellman to take over. He allowed another run, putting Arizona up 4-0. Zac Gallen pitched well in the first five innings, but gave Francisco Lindor another much-needed base hit in the third, which turned into a Michael Conforto RBI.
The four runs would be the only ones that Arizona would score. Gsellman and Tommy Hunter pitched well through the sixth, and when the Mets came back up to bat, Big Meat Pete Alonso walked so that Jonathan Villar could knock in a RBI single. Thus began the start of real trouble for the Diamondbacks.
After a clubhouse tunnel situation between Jeff McNeil and Lindor in the seventh inning – rat? rodent? rumble? – Lindor beamed his first Citi Field home run to deep left field, bringing home himself and Tomas Nido to tie the game. As Gary Cohen said: “Nobody ever needed one more.” Citi Field erupted into cheers for the shortstop, who until recently has drawn only boos.
The game became tense near the end; Miguel Castro and Edwin Diaz kept Arizona from scoring, but Joakim Soria held off the Mets in the ninth, bringing the game to extra innings. Aaron Loup made quick work of Arizona in the tenth, which brought Stefan Crichton to the mound to try and hold off the Mets.
Crichton intentionally walked Dom Smith and Jonathan Villar in an attempt to get the Mets’ weaker batters out and continue the bases-loaded curse that has plagued the Mets. Little did he know he’d have to face Patrick Mazeika, a Binghamton call-up who has hit well in the minors. Mazeika, on a 2-2 count, connected with a slow curveball, bringing home Pete Alonso and notching the game for the Mets in wonderland walk-off fashion, 5-4.
For his first major league hit, for winning the game for the Mets, and for shocking everyone in the stands, Pat Mazeika got his shirt ripped off on the field by his teammates. Welcome to Queens.
More weird baseball this weekend. Jake deGrom hopefully takes the mound this Sunday. The Yankees will try not to hit rock bottom again. Who knows? Maybe we’ll get another no-hitter. At this rate, we might as well.