NEW YORK -- The 2010s started inauspiciously for the Mets, who strung together five straight losing seasons before breaking through to a winning record -- and a World Series berth -- in 2015. Perhaps it comes as no surprise, then, that many of their most memorable games came during the middle portion of the decade.
Still, intriguing moments popped up throughout. Here, in chronological order, are the Mets’ top 10 games of the decade:
June 1, 2012: No no-nos? No longer
All told, the Mets played the first 8,019 games of franchise history without completing a no-hitter. That changed when Johan Santana -- in just his 11th start after missing the entire 2011 season due to shoulder surgery -- threw a 134-pitch no-no against the Cardinals at Citi Field. The game included controversy when Carlos Beltrán hit a foul ball down the left-field line that likely would have been ruled fair had replay review existed at the time, as well as plenty of drama. Mike Baxter made the game’s signature play, banging against the left-field wall to catch another would-be hit in the seventh inning, as Santana finished things off from here.
April 19, 2013: “Harvey’s better!”
When Matt Harvey broke into the big leagues in 2012, it signaled more than just the debut of a top prospect. It gave Mets fans something to dream upon. Harvey was the first in a wave of top pitching prospects in the organization; his presence meant others weren’t far behind.
Through three starts in 2013, Harvey held a 0.82 ERA with 25 strikeouts in 22 innings. His next outing was a matchup with former No. 1 overall pick Stephen Strasburg, a budding ace for the rival Nationals. As Harvey outdueled Strasburg, fans at Citi Field began chanting “Harvey’s better!” in one of the more memorable moments of Citi Field’s young history. The Mets won in a rout, 7-1.
July 31, 2015: Wilmer’s walk-off
Two days before the July 31 Trade Deadline, news broke during the Mets’ game against the Padres that the team was close to sending Wilmer Flores and Zack Wheeler to the Brewers for Carlos Gómez. When he learned of it, Flores became emotional, openly weeping on the field.
That trade fell through and, two days later, Flores hit the signature home run of his career -- a 12th-inning walk-off shot against the first-place Nationals. Two days after that, the Mets completed a dramatic sweep of the Nats, hitting three homers in a four-batter span to overtake first place for good.
Sept. 26, 2015: Mets clinch the East
For nine years, the Mets waited to make it back to the postseason. They finally accomplished the feat in 2015, parlaying a series of Trade Deadline acquisitions into one of the most dramatic second-half surges in franchise history.
Though the National League East title had become a foregone conclusion by early September, the clincher was a memorable 10-2 rout over the Reds. Lucas Duda led the way with a first-inning grand slam, before David Wright punctuated the win with a three-run homer in the ninth. Afterward, Mets players celebrated on the field with fans who had traveled to the game from New York, using the city of Cincinnati as their playground for the night.
Oct. 9, 2015: deGrom beats Kershaw
Entering the National League Division Series, the underdog Mets had the misfortune of having to face Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke -- the eventual first and second runner-up in NL Cy Young Award voting -- four times in five games. They’d need to beat those two at least twice to advance.
Jacob deGrom was up to the task, striking out 13 batters over seven scoreless innings of a dominant Game 1 victory, while Daniel Murphy homered off Kershaw to give the Mets a fourth-inning lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.
Oct. 15, 2015: Winner takes all
Unlike in Game 1, Jacob deGrom was not at his best in a decisive Game 5, allowing two runs in the first to put the Mets in a hole. From there, he battled, stranding seven runners over the game’s first five innings. The Mets tied things in the fourth on a Travis d’Arnaud sacrifice fly, then took the lead in the sixth on a Daniel Murphy homer off Zack Greinke. Then they celebrated at Dodger Stadium, turning the visiting clubhouse into a beer-soaked slip and slide.
Oct. 21, 2015: Mets win the pennant
Coming off their dramatic win against the Dodgers, the Mets steamrolled the Cubs in four consecutive NL Championship Series games. They took a six-run lead in the clinching Game 4, creating a sense of anticipation over the final seven innings. When Jeurys Familia punched out Dexter Fowler to end things, the Mets again leapt into collective celebration. It was their first NL pennant in 15 years.
Oct. 30, 2015: “Meet me at 60 feet, six inches”
In desperate need of a win after dropping their first two World Series games to the Royals, the Mets turned to starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard, whose first order of business was silencing Alcides Escobar. In World Series Game 1, Escobar cranked the first pitch he saw for an inside-the-park homer. In Game 2, he again swung at the first pitch.
The Mets thought Escobar was too comfortable in the box, so Syndergaard knocked him down with a 98-mph fastball over his head on the first pitch of the game. Syndergaard, a rookie, went on to pitch six effective innings in the Mets’ only win of the Series.
When asked afterward about knocking down Escobar, Syndergaard said: “If they have a problem with me throwing inside, then they can meet me 60 feet, six inches away.”
Sept. 22, 2016: Cabrera puts the Mets on another playoff course
Closing in on the final week of the regular season, the Mets found their NL Wild Card lead reduced to zero following a three-game sweep to the Braves. They entered a four-game series against the Phillies clinging to a three-way tie with the Braves and Cardinals. New York then fell behind Philadelphia three different times during the opener at Citi Field, including in the eighth and 11th innings.
In the bottom of the 11th, Michael Conforto and José Reyes both reached base before Asdrúbal Cabrera hit a walk-off, three-run homer, flipping his bat high in the air with both hands. The win put the Mets back in Wild Card position, where they would stay for the rest of the season.
Sept. 29, 2018: Farewell, Captain America
At a tearful press conference in mid-September, David Wright announced that the back, neck and shoulder injuries that cost him most of the 2015-18 seasons would ultimately conspire to end his career. But Wright planned to return to the Mets’ starting lineup for one final game on the final weekend of the '18 season.
Playing his old position of third base, Wright walked and popped out to end his career. Afterward, he delivered an emotional speech to a sold-out crowd at Citi Field, calling an end to one of the most decorated careers in Mets history.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.