NEW YORK -- After being scratched from his start in Triple-A on Saturday and making the trek from Las Vegas to Flushing, Gabriel Ynoa strolled into the Mets' clubhouse at 3:34 p.m. ET, thankful for the opportunity but unaware of how or when he'd toss his first Major League pitch.Shortly
NEW YORK -- After being scratched from his start in Triple-A on Saturday and making the trek from Las Vegas to Flushing, Gabriel Ynoa strolled into the Mets' clubhouse at 3:34 p.m. ET, thankful for the opportunity but unaware of how or when he'd toss his first Major League pitch.
Shortly after, the right-hander learned he would be coming out of the Mets' bullpen. He probably didn't think his first appearance would be in such a critical spot. Ynoa entered in the 11th inning of a tie ballgame and tossed a perfect inning, eventually earning his first big league win half an inning later as the Mets defeated the Padres, 3-2, at Citi Field.
"When you want something in life and you put your mind to it, you can accomplish it," Ynoa said through an interpreter. "I was very emotional today to have this opportunity."
After left-hander Jerry Blevins and right-hander Erik Goeddel combined to throw a scoreless 10th inning, the phone in the Mets' bullpen rang and Ynoa, New York's No. 18 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, started warming up.
As he got loose, the Mets went down in order, and moments later he was jogging toward the mound with only one thought running through his head: "Retire the first three hitters fast."
The first batter he faced, Christian Bethancourt, was retired easily enough, lofting a routine popup to second baseman Neil Walker. But on the ensuing at-bat, Ynoa -- and the 36,854 Mets fans in attendance -- were given a scare, as Nick Noonan got ahold of a 93.6-mph fastball and sent it to deep left field, only to watch Curtis Granderson camp under it on the warning track.
The 23-year-old completed his first Major League outing by recording his first career strikeout, punching out Adam Rosales on four pitches.
From there, Ynoa watched from the dugout as Wilmer Flores hit a broken-bat ground ball to Padres second baseman Ryan Schimpf, who decided to throw home instead of trying for an inning-ending double play. Schimpf's throw sailed wide of the dish, and as Walker slid into home, Ynoa became the pitcher of record in a much-needed Mets win.
"It was very emotional," Ynoa said. "I was able to toss one inning, struck out a batter, and to get my first win it's a great experience."
Troy Provost-Heron is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.