NEW YORK (AP) — Plagued by injuries, obstinance and absenteeism, the New York Mets have managed to win seven of 10 following a six-game losing streak.
“Considering all that’s going on around here, we’re doing a really good job of compartmentalizing and focusing on what’s going on on the field,” Neil Walker said after his two-out single in the ninth inning lifted the Mets over the San Francisco Giants 4-3 Monday night.
Down 2-0 and 3-2 against the team it lost to in last year’s NL wild-card game, the Mets rallied to put aside their constant controversy. New York has been dealing with drama all homestand, from an injury that will likely keep star pitcher Noah Syndergaard out until after the All-Star break to a suspension of pitcher Matt Harvey, who failed to show up for a game.
Star slugger Yoenis Cespedes and first baseman Lucas Duda also are on the disabled list, and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera likely is out of the starting lineup until at least Wednesday after injuring his thumb last weekend. Even before the homestand, the Mets were roiled when Syndergaard refused the team’s request to have an MRI, then tore a muscle in his next outing.
“We needed it,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “We’ve had some turmoil go through, but you’ve got to learn how to just deal with it, and they know how.”
Hunter Pence’s two-run homer in the first and Buster Posey’s tiebreaking shot in the sixth put the Giants ahead against Jacob deGrom
Walker, hitting just .207 coming in, had an RBI double in the first against Matt Moore. T.J. Rivera’s fifth-inning double scored deGrom, who had reached with his fourth hit this season, and pinch-hitter Curtis Granderson had a run-scoring double in the sixth off George Kontos.
Michael Conforto reached base for the third time when he walked leading off the ninth against lefty Josh Osich (0-1), and Wilmer Flores singled off reliever Hunter Strickland’s calf with two outs.
Walker fell behind in the count 1-2, fouled off a breaking pitch and a fastball, then hooked a low slider into the right-field corner for New York’s first walk-off win this season. Mets teammates mobbed Walker on the infield.
“A lot of the young guys will look for body language, look for signs from guys,” Walker said. “When injuries happen or things happen like with Matt, they look for a deflated sign, and we don’t have that in here. We’ve got guys that have been around the game a long, long time, and guys that have seen a lot of stuff.”
Jeurys Familia (1-0) needed just five pitches in a perfect ninth, finishing a five-hitter started by deGrom, who struck out 11 to reach double digits for the fourth time in five games. He also walked three in six innings.
San Francisco, which has lost five of six, was playing at Citi Field for the first time since its 3-0 wild-card win on Oct. 5. Conor Gillaspie hit a three-run homer in the ninth off Familia that night, and Madison Bumgarner pitched a four-hitter to outlast Syndergaard.
“What happened last year is what happened. I’m just trying to move forward always,” Familia said.
San Francisco entered an NL-worst 11-21 after getting swept at Cincinnati in a weekend series and getting outscored 31-5, the Giants’ worst run differential in a three-game series since 1894 against Boston, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
“You’ve got to be careful that you do assume the attitude that, hey, we’ll be fine. We’ll be fine,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “But, we’re not fine now, and it’s time for us to do something.”
Conforto also scored following a walk in the first.
“The leadoff walks, they’re dangerous,” Bochy said. “We walked 12 in Cincinnati in one game, so this is something we’ve got to fix and keep from shooting ourselves in the foot.”
Harvey is set to rejoin the Mets on Tuesday and return to the rotation Friday at Milwaukee after serving a three-day suspension for not showing up at Citi Field for Saturday’s game.
Collins managed his 1,003rd game with the Mets, tying Bobby Valentine for second on the franchise list behind Davey Johnson (1,012).
Giants: SS Brandon Crawford, on the DL since April 26 because of a strained groin, was 1 for 3 with a double in six innings for Double-A Richmond and is to play another rehab game Wednesday. … INF Aaron Hill (right forearm strain) had an MRI that according to Bochy “still shows something going on the forearm; he’s not as close as we were hoping.” Hill has been on the DL since April 24. … CF Denard Span (sprained shoulder) is to start a rehab assignment Tuesday with Class A San Jose.
Mets: Cespedes, who injured his hamstring April 27, underwent tests and likely will start baseball activities this week. “Get him back here in maybe around two weeks,” Collins said. … Lucas Duda (hyperextended left elbow) played five innings at first base for Class A St. Lucie and was 1 for 2 with a walk at the plate. … Cabrera pinch hit with the bases loaded in the eighth and grounded into an inning-ending double play in his first appearance since getting hurt Saturday.
Giants RHP Jeff Samardzija (0-4) is scheduled to start Tuesday night against Mets RHP Zack Wheeler (1-2). On May 3 at the Los Angeles Dodgers, Samardzija allowed an unearned run and three hits in the Giants’ 4-1, 11-inning win, striking out 11 and walking none.