Top 10 Games of the New York Mets 2013 Season
By Russell Roubin & the Flatiron Hot! Editorial Staff
There are fans of many different teams at the New York City Seminar and Conference Center and varied allegiances among the contributors to Flatiron Hot! News & Bulletin But we’ll admit to a special fondness for the New York Mets. Perhaps it’s their status as constant underdogs, or maybe it’s their capacity to deliver surprise victories that fly in the face of expectations (exhibit A: sweeping the New York Yankees in the subway series).
Whatever the reason, our blood has more than a little bit of a blue and orange tinge. The Mets may not play in the Flatiron District, but until we have our very own baseball team (probably around the year 3013), Let’s Go Mets! Without further ado, here’s our list of the top 10 games of the 2013 season.
10. April 1st: Padres @ Mets “Opening Day!”
On the day David Wright was introduced as the 4th team captain in Mets history, it was Collin Cowgill’s 7th inning grand slam that stole the show on opening day. Jonathon Niese stepped in as the opening day starter because of Johan Sanatana’s season-ending injury during spring training, pitched 7 solid innings and earned the win. The Mets improve to 34-18 on opening day.
9. June 8th: Marlins @ Mets “Let’s Play 20”
On April 29th, Mets starter Matt Harvey and Marlins starter Jose Fernandez faced off in Miami. Neither pitcher would factor in the decision because the game went 15 innings. In the highly anticipated rematch of 2 rising stars, they topped it by playing 20 innings, clocking in at 6 hours and 25 minutes. The Mets would lose the game 2-1 on an Adeiny Hechavarria RBI single off of Shaun Marcum, a starting pitcher who came in the 12th inning and pitched 8 innings of relief.
8. June 18th: Mets @ Atlanta “Harvey/Wheeler Day”
The Mets and Braves played a double header, and for the Mets the two games symbolized that the future had come. In game 1, Matt Harvey pitched 7 innings and struck out a career high 13 for his 6th win of the season. In the nightcap, Mets prized rookie Zach Wheeler started his first MLB game, going 6 scoreless innings for his first professional win. After the game, Manager Terry Collins gave Mets fans a reason to believe in the future aces of the club: “I hope people saw this… Certainly they’re going to enjoy watching these two guys for a long time. They’re going to be around.”
7. June 17th: Mets @ Braves “Gee loses a heartbreaker”
A day before the Harvey/Wheeler much-anticipated double header, Dillon Gee showed Mets fans that he would also be a strong pitcher at the end of the rotation. For 8.1 innings, Gee shutout the Braves, a team that was 23-8 at home. Gee had also driven in the only Mets run in the 7th inning with an RBI single. Nursing a 1-run lead in the 9th, Gee was set to pick up his first complete game shutout, until Freddie Freeman launched a 2 run walk-off home run over the right field wall. A heartbreaker for sure, but Gee’s would be one of the best pitching performances by a Mets starter in 2013.
6. September 18th: Giants @ Mets “Mets 9th inning comeback”
The Mets starting lineup on September 18th only had 3 starters remaining from opening day, but the makeshift group of September call-ups overcame the defending World Series champions for an exhilarating win. Giants starting pitcher Matt Cain went 7.2 innings without allowing an earned run. The large gathering of Giants fans behind the visitor’s dugout gave Cain a standing ovation as he walked off the field, making Citi Field feel like San Francisco. Trailing 3-0, the Mets scored once in the 8th and 3 in the 9th off All-Star closer Sergio Romo for the walk-off win.
5. July 26th: Mets @ Nationals “Mets pour it on the Nationals, Mejia dominates in return”
Before there was Matt Harvey or Zach Wheeler, the next great pitching prospect for the Mets was Jenrry Mejia. Mejia was an international free agent signed to the Mets when he was 17 years old. He made the opening day roster back in 2010, but since then has missed a significant amount of time due to injuries. Pitching for the first time in a MLB game since 2010, Mejia shut down the Nationals for 7 scoreless innings. Daniel Murphy hit home runs in his first two at-bats as the Mets won 11-0.
4. April 24th: Dodgers @ Mets “Walk-off Grand Slam”
Matt Harvey started the game for the Mets, but he was roughed up for the first time in 2013. Matt Kemp hit a 2-run homer in the 6th inning against Harvey, which gave the Dodgers a 3-1 lead. Harvey was on the hook for his first loss of the 2013 season until the 9th inning, when David Wright tied the game with an RBI single. In the 10th inning, Jordany Valdespin sent Mets fans home happy with a Walk-Off Grand Slam.
3. May 7th: White Sox @ Mets “Harvey’s One-Hitter”
If it wasn’t for Alex Rios beating out an infield single and a lack of run support from the Mets, Matt Harvey could have had a perfect game. Early on a cold May night, Harvey completely shut down the White Sox lineup. He had left the 9th inning only allowing 1 hit to Rios, striking out 12 and walking none. After no score in the 9th, a Mike Baxter 10th inning walk-off single delivered a win for the Mets.
2. May 28th: Yankees @ Mets “Mets beat Mo”
The Mets took all 4 games of this year’s edition of the subway series for the first time in franchise history, sweeping their neighbors from the Bronx. Of all the games, this one was the most exciting. Matt Harvey and Hiroki Kuroda showcased a classic pitching duel. Kuroda pitched 7 scoreless innings while a Lyle Overbay RBI single in the 6th was the only run the Yankees would get off Harvey. In the 9th, the Yankees gave the ball to Mariano Rivera, who had converted every save of the season so far. He didn’t even record an out. A double by Daniel Murphy, an RBI single by David Wright, and an RBI single by Lucas Duda won the game for the Mets on Rivera’s final appearance against the Mets in his historic career.
1. April 19th: Nationals @ Mets “Harvey’s Better!”
In an early season matchup of two highly-regarded future stars, Matt Harvey faced off against Nationals stud Stephen Strasburg. The game didn’t turn into the pitchers’ duel many envisioned, as the Mets knocked out Strasburg after 6 innings. The Mets’ Ike Davis & Lucas Duda connected on back-to-back solo home runs off of Strasburg. It was after the Duda home run that Mets fans would let everyone know who they considered the superior pitcher. “Harvey’s better!!!” chants rained down from the Citi Field crowd as Strasburg labored to finish the inning. For once, Mets fans could get behind a power pitcher of their own, one who would go toe-to-toe against anyone who dared get in his way. Harvey started the season with a 5-0 record and ended up as the starting pitcher for the National League at the All-Star Game in his home park. He was the talk of the baseball world. And as any pitcher who tried to go up against him would learn, Harvey was better.