In one of the craziest regular season sequences since Wilmer Flores went from getting reportedly traded to hitting a walk-off home run in the middle of a pennant race, the Mets overcame a 4-0 deficit on Friday night to defeat the Diamondbacks 5-4 and move their record to 14-13. Even when you factor in that the game-winning ground ball was hit by third-string catcher Patrick Mazeika, who wasn’t on the roster three days ago, that doesn’t explain in the slightest how wild this Friday night was.
You see, between the top and bottom of the seventh inning, SOMETHING happened in the Mets’ clubhouse tunnel that caused rampant speculation on social media and in the press box. In the only video available of the incident, we see Michael Conforto look into the tunnel, and then run inside followed by Dominic Smith, Jonathan Villar, and eventually a bunch of other Mets.
It could have been anything, but Twitter immediately decided that Jeff McNeil and Francisco Lindor had a knock-down, drag-out brawl that probably involved steel chairs and a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire. The proof? In the top of the seventh, the two infielders, playing next to each other in the shift, got crossed up on a ground ball that resulted in Nick Ahmed reaching on an infield single.
The truth of the matter turned out to be far less violent. It turns out that Francisco Lindor saw his first New York City rat, and he got so excited that it caused a stir in the dugout. The rat was so big that Jeff McNeil thought it was a raccoon!
What a heartwarming story. The rat might have been Lindor’s lucky charm because he got the biggest hit of his Mets career in the bottom of the seventh with a slump-busting, two-run home run to tie the score at 4-4.
Unfortunately, the bloodthirsty media wasn’t happy with the happiest mouse tale since Feivel went west. Some of the reporters insisted that Lindor and McNeil must be lying to cover up for some kind of argument between the two.
Sometimes a rat vs. raccoon argument is just a rat vs. raccoon argument! The media needs to be more responsible and stop looking for conspiracy theories in every story.
Maybe the media should focus on stories that are based in actual fact, like how the Mets might have the best bullpen in the league. The until allowed just one run in 8.1 innings after starter David Peterson forced in three straight runs in the second with two walks and a hit by pitch. Luis Rojas had no choice but to go to the relievers early even with Joey Lucchesi slated to start on Saturday.
Rojas has made plenty of questionable decisions in his Mets career, and his cluelessness in regards to the tunnel incident is a bit concerning, but he made a good call in lifting Peterson before the game got out of hand. Thanks to that choice, the Mets’ came from behind and avoided having to answer rat vs. raccoon questions after a loss. That would REALLY be a circus.
So in just one game we got a dramatic walk-off win, Lindor finally getting a stamp of approval from the Citi Field faithful, and a zany clubhouse incident that was spun out of control by the media. It’s crazy to think that we’re less than 20 percent of the way through the season. Hopefully the Mets can space out the drama over the next few months.