After Alonso's clutch HR, Taylor's walk-off gives Mets 1st win

April 4th, 2024

NEW YORK -- The elusive victory is no more and it took until the bottom of the ninth inning for the Mets to pull off a 2-1 walk-off victory over the Tigers in the nightcap to split the doubleheader on Thursday at Citi Field and give Carlos Mendoza his first managerial win.

By the sound of his voice, Mendoza was relieved to get the monkey off his back after his team lost five straight games to start the season.

“Obviously, it’s nice to get the first one, finally,” he said. “We should have had them [in the first game of the doubleheader], but that’s baseball. We were about to get swept there in a doubleheader, with not much going on offensively. It feels good to get that first one out of the way.”

In the first game, Adrian Houser gave the Mets five solid innings, but New York blew a 3-0 lead before dropping a 6-3 decision in 11 innings.

In the second game, Harrison Bader thwarted the Tigers' combined no-hit bid by delivering the club's first knock in the bottom of the eighth. Still, it looked as if the Mets were going to be swept as they trailed, 1-0, going into the bottom of the ninth inning -- but they rallied to win the game off reliever Alex Faedo.

Pete Alonso led off the ninth with a home run over the left-center-field wall to tie it at 1. It was also Alonso’s 500th career RBI. He became the 10th member of the franchise to reach that milestone.

“It was one of those [home runs] I felt, ‘Oh, nice,'" Alonso said. "I just saw it keep going and going. It was really fun. We definitely needed that one. I’m just really happy I was able to come through at that moment.”

Three batters later, Brett Baty scored the winning run on a walk-off single by Tyrone Taylor.

“I was trying to be on time for a heater," Taylor said. "I had a good idea that the slider was coming, so I put a pretty good swing on it."

After the game, Mendoza received a champagne shower from his players -- and had a few eggs smashed on him.

“It’s a special feeling,” Mendoza said. “Obviously, the boys were excited. It means a lot coming from them. I know how hard they were trying. Obviously, not the homestand they were anticipating, but there is a lot of baseball left. We have to take it one game at a time, and we will get going pretty soon.”

Said Alonso: “We are so stoked for Mendy. He spent a lot of time in professional baseball. Getting his first win is huge. We are so happy for him. We’re really happy to be part of something like this for him.”

One thing can be said about the 2024 Mets: They have received great pitching. In fact, following Thursday's doubleheader, New York ranks third in the Majors with a 2.37 ERA. The nightcap showed just how much depth the Mets have as a staff.

After using seven relievers in the first game, New York needed right-hander José Buttó to go deep in the second game -- and he did just that, pitching six solid innings and allowing one run.

“It wasn’t the best start for me, but I was able to make adjustments and I was able to have success,” Buttó said via interpreter Alan Suriel.

Reed Garret pitched the final three innings to pick up his first victory of the season.

The Mets will now go on a six-game road trip against the Reds and the Braves, respectively. Maybe hitting the road will be kinder to the Mets.

“Baseball is not one of those games where you try to force it. You have to let it happen," Taylor said. "So I think we’ll be a little more free, and then get rolling."