Instead of cramming all the goodness together in one post, we're gonna spread it out over the next couple days. Tonight, we'll be covering top games 10-6, then after tomorrow's reflection on the bottom five games of the year (sad, but we have to do it), we'll finish off the weekend with the top five games of 2011.
Let's let the good times roll:
#10: Game #93: Mets 11, Phillies 2
|Saturday, July 16. Citi Field, Flushing, NY|
Who didn't think they would put up an 11-spot?
Scott Hairston led the charge from the 3-hole, finishing the afternoon 3-5 with a home run, 2 doubles, and 5 RBIs. Daniel Murphy, not to be outdone, also went 3-5 with a home run and 2 RBIs, the solo shot coming in the 5th, the same inning Hamels was knocked out of the game. On the other side of the hill, Jon Niese turned in a superb pitching effort, limiting Philadelphia to one earned run (2 total) in 7 innings. New York would lose the series, dropping games the previous day and next day, but I'd say embarrassing your archrivals on national TV with the ultimate makeshift lineup makes up for that.
#9: Game #28: Mets 2, Phillies 1 (14)
|Sunday, May 1. Citizens' Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA|
U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!
As the news of the death of Osama bin Laden spread through the crowd at Citizens' Bank Park, the action on the field seemed less important, and these two bitter rivals looked less like enemies. While people will remember where they were when they first heard the news, what gets forgotten is that the game being played was a real dandy. Ronny Paulino capped a 5-7 night with the game-winning single in the top of the 14th, and as it was in 2001 in the aftermath of 9/11, the Mets won the game blended together with the bigger story.
#8: Game #97: Mets 6, Cardinals 5 (10)
|Wednesday, July 20. Citi Field, Flushing, NY|
ESPN was in the booth, and Gary, Ron, and Keith were on the Pepsi Porch for this Wednesday Night affair. R.A. Dickey didn't have his best outing, falling behind 4-0 in the 3rd, but the team got back into it that next half inning. New father Josh Thole doubled in Lucas Duda, and Dickey himself bounced a grounder into left to score Thole. In the 5th, with Jose Reyes on base, Carlos Beltran sent one towards the SNY crew in right with his 15th home run (and last with the Mets). The Cardinals re-took the lead in the 8th, but Thole, still sky high with excitement, laced a 2-out single to tie the game. After Jason Isringhausen tore through the heart of the St. Louis order, Angel Pagan blasted the first pitch he saw in the 10th, sending it literally a couple feet from Gary, Ron, and Keith, giving the Mets their first and only walk-off home run of 2011, and receiving one of many whipped cream pies in the face Willie Harris would dole out through the summer.
#7: Game #156: Mets 8, Cardinals 6
|Thursday, September 22. Busch Stadium, St. Louis, MO|
Ruben Tejada singled in the 8th, then went to second on an error, third on a wild pitch, and came home on a passed ball. In the 9th, Willie Harris walked. Then Nick Evans reached on an error. Josh Thole flew out. Jason Pridie walked. Justin Turner walked, forcing in a run. 6-3. Jose Reyes singled, one run scored. 6-4. Ruben Tejada, "Mr. Bases Loaded," doubled home 2 runs. 6-6. The man who started the whole rally, Willie Harris, singled home 2 more runs. 8-6, Mets win.
New York was supposed to fold up and go home, being down so many runs with so few outs left. But Terry Collins helped to instill a never-say-die attitude in his young Mets this season, and this Thursday afternoon in St. Louis was the last, and one of the finest, examples of that winning attitude.
#6: Game #79: Mets 14, Tigers 3
|Tuesday, June 28. Comerica Park, Detroit, MI|
Riding a title wave of runs all the way from Texas, New York got started early. Doubles from Daniel Murphy and Angel Pagan brought home the first 2 runs in the 1st. After two quick outs in the 4th, the Mets really blew it up. After already plating 3 runs and loading the bases, Jason Bay stepped up hoping to end the team's 299-game grand slam drought. With a towering shot down the left field line, Bay made sure it wasn't 300 games. In the 5th is when things got really freaky: after waiting almost 2 years between grand slams, New York had to wait just 2 outs, as Carlos Beltran lifted the second grand salami of the night into the Detroit night.
There weren't too many times when Mets fans could feel on top of the world this season, but this game in Detroit was one of them. The next night the team scored 16 more runs (all without a home run), making it a team-record 52 runs in 4 games and catapulting the team back into the win column.
And that's it for now. Tomorrow we'll get the bottom five out of the way; check back on Sunday for the top five games Mets games of the year.