Do the Mets have themselves a lucky charm?
Or is Patrick Mazeika’s true sorcery the easy means to make contact in an period of three true outcomes?
Either approach, this has confirmed one hell of a homestand for the Mets’ rookie.
The third-string catcher delivered his second walk-off fielder’s selection in 5 days, his ninth-inning, two-out tapper to Orioles first baseman Trey Mancini proving sufficiently sluggish for Jonathan Villar to beat the throw dwelling and provides the Mets their sixth straight victory, 3-2 over the Orioles Tuesday evening at Citi Field.
“He’s a savage. He’s pretty cool,” stated Dom Smith, whose game-tying single off Orioles nearer Cesar Valdez set the stage for Mazeika’s encore. “For him to come up and help us win these ballgames, it’s pretty unique. The fact that he hasn’t gotten a hit yet but is still contributing, it’s showing how funny the game of baseball can be.”
You learn that proper: Mazeika, 27, the Mets’ eighth-round decide of their 2015 newbie draft, has zero career main league hits in 4 video games. He has three RBIs, two of them game-winners, which a prolonged (fake) statistical evaluation concludes is a reasonably sturdy ratio.
“I was the last man on the bench again,” Mazeika stated. “I’m always ready.”
In honor of this 1969 World Series reunion, Citi’s scoreboard went retro, using the traditional computer graphics from 52 years in the past, and the sport adopted swimsuit, a good contest, with Marcus Stroman clocking a robust 6 ¹/₃ innings solely to obtain zero run help. Michael Conforto broke the Baltimore shutout with an RBI single within the eighth, and “Bench Mob” capos Kevin Pillar and Jonathan Villar began off the ninth with back-to-back singles. Smith picked up his closely struggling teammate James McCann, who struck out after attempting and failing to bunt his teammates over.
Up got here Mazeika, pinch itting for Jeurys Familia, and the gang responded positively, absolutely remembering how he ended Friday evening’s basic — the one when Francico Lindor and Jeff McNeil went at it within the tunnel connecting the dugout to the clubhouse, then concocted an absurd story a few rat, a raccoon and a possum — with a Tenth-inning, bases-loaded, one-out comebacker that Diamondbacks pitcher Stefan Crichton couldn’t convert into the mandatory out.
“I hate striking out regardless of my situation,” Mazeika stated, and he confirmed that, combating by way of an 0-and-2 gap by fouling off a trio of pitches whereas taking two balls. Valdez’s remaining providing was a changeup low within the zone that Mazeika admittedly couldn’t carry, and it measured a modest exit velocity of 64.9 miles per hour. Just excellent, it turned out, for the victory.
“Mazeika, just knowing him from the past, he’s known for taking quality at-bats, and that’s what he’s done every time he’s been up there,” supervisor Luis Rojas stated. “He’s put the ball in play, and one other one when he walked [on Sunday, with the bases loaded]. That’s what obtained him right here even earlier than his catching.
“Just watching him perform out there and take at-bats against closers, it’s definitely fun to watch.”
For certain, his teammates are having enjoyable with this. Mazeika posted a photograph of himself on Twitter, shirt off, with egg yolk and child powder throughout him. Pitcher Jacob Barnes razzed him, asking, “Hey, are we trending up? Are you hitting it any harder?”
Not but, no.
“Everyone loves Mazeika in this clubhouse, man,” Stroman stated. “He’s a grinder. … It’s pretty incredible what he’s been able to do in those key situations. We’re going to continue to ride off of it.”
Mazeika titled his tweet, “Part 2. #LGM,” so naturally a rabble-rousing reporter (OK, it was me) requested him what number of components this saga would function.
“Hopefully Part 3 ends with a hit,” he stated. On the opposite hand, one other walk-off fielder’s selection, and Mazeika’s legend will solely develop.