May 15, 2022 – Last Word on Sports: Mets Top Mariners on Mazeika’s Heroics

NEW YORK, May 14 — Patrick Mazeika channeled his inner Willie Mays and the New York Mets topped the Seattle Mariners 5–4 at Citi Field on Saturday evening. Fifty years to the day after Mays homered for a key Mets win, so did Mazeika. The catcher’s tie-breaking seventh inning blast on a foggy night off losing pitcher Andres Munoz curled inside the right-field fair pole, providing the margin of victory. Mazeika’s heroics capped a 3 1/2 hour game delayed one hour by rain.

Just recalled from Triple-A Syracuse, the blast capped a rocky night for Mazeika. While he appeared to struggle to call the game at times with starter Chris Bassitt, manager Buck Showalter downplayed it afterward. Speaking of Mazeika’s home run, Showalter said, “It’s why you get up in the morning…you never know what the game has in store for you.”

Mariners Rally

Overturned calls figured big in the opening inning of the game. For instance, Bassitt’s inning-ending pick-off of Eugenio Suarez at second base short-circuited a bases load threat. Later, Starling Marte tripled and scored the Mets’ first run on Francisco Lindor’s single. Both the pick-off and triple resulted from replay reversal.

The Mets followed with two more runs in the third inning with run-scoring sacrifice flies to right field by Lindor and Jeff McNeil. Pete Alonso doubled in Marte in the fifth inning to extend the lead to 4-0 but the Mariners responded. After scoring in the sixth inning, Jesse Winker knotted the game at 4–4 with a three-run homer off reliever Chasen Shreve in the seventh inning. Winker’s homer temporarily quieted the raucous crowd of 37,140 (plus singer Shakira!), as Mets fans booed this “fan unfavorite” with each at-bat. However, they rose shortly thereafter with Mazeika’s heroics.

Edwin Diaz struck out the side in the ninth inning, whiffing Winker to end the game. He picked up his eighth save while Adam Ottavino picked up his second win with a scoreless inning in relief. Bassitt allowed one run in 5 2/3 innings in a no-decision. Rookie starter George Kirby pitched before 50 friends and family from nearby Rye, New York for the Mariners. Undermined by the Mariners’ defense, he allowed three runs in four innings but two were unearned.

Showalter Discusses Challenges of the Game

Answering this reporter’s question after the game, Showalter complimented how his team played in adverse weather conditions. Speaking of the rainy conditions that delayed the game an hour, he said, “I know it looks routine what Lindor is doing from deep short. Those are hard plays,” comparing the baseball to a “watermelon seed.”

Before the game, this reporter asked Showalter about preparing for interleague games. “That’s tough,” he said regarding preparation. “It actually started on the day of the last game in Washington. We were on the train for three hours, we had a whole train trying to get ready.” They even prepared Friday morning but then Buck added with a shrug, “And how’d that work out?” as the Mets scored one run on five hits in the 2–1 loss to the Mariners on May 13th. Buck said there’s no substitute for being in the batter’s box. He rhetorically asked, “How do you simulate Randy Johnson’s release point?”

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