SAN FRANCISCO — These kings of late-inning drama were just getting started when much of their East Coast fan base went into a haze.
But the difference in that last miraculous Mets comeback was a counterstrike. The Giants bid not one but two on a wild Tuesday night.
Edwin Diaz allowed two runs in the ninth, including a walk-off RBI single against Brandon Crawford that sent the Mets to a 13-12 loss at Oracle Park.
Joc Pederson was the offensive hero, with three home runs and an RBI single in the ninth, tying the game before Crawford won it moments later.
“Great game for the fans,” said manager Buck Showalter. “I’m really proud of our boys. That’s fun to watch. Watching them compete every night is remarkable.”
Diaz got Tommy La Stella to smack into a double play for two quick outs in the ninth, but then conceded a walk and three straight singles to fizzle out his second save in his last three attempts.
“As soon as I came into the game, I said, ‘This game is over,'” Diaz said. “But after two outs they caught me today.”
Dominic Smith tripled to lead in ninth place, and pinch runner Travis Jankowski hit Brandon Nimmo’s sacrificial fly to give the Mets a 12-11 lead.
Buried in a six-run hole, the Mets caused a stir in the seventh inning and then went through in the eighth, taking an 11-8 lead before Pederson’s third homer of the game, a three-run blaster on Drew Smith, den equalized.
Showalter said he didn’t use left-hander Joely Rodriguez at this point because the Giants would likely have countered with Evan Longoria. The manager was also aware that he wanted to preserve aides with rookie Thomas Szapucki, who was set to be recalled from Triple-A Syracuse to start Wednesday’s series finale.
“I thought Drew was one of our best pitchers,” Showalter said. “We are also trying to live to fight another day. We have another game [Wednesday] with a starter we don’t know how far it will go.”
Francisco Lindor hit a bases-loaded triple in eighth place that put the Mets ahead, but this was a rally full of heroes. And the team’s ability to get the ball in play and pressure the defense was paramount as the Mets hit three infield hits in an inning.
With the Mets trailing 8-4 (Lindor had hit a two-run homer in the previous inning), Jeff McNeil and Eduardo Escobar scored back-to-back to start the epic rally. Mark Canha’s single from shortstop Crawford loaded the bases and Smith awoke from a slumber to deliver a two-run single that drew the Mets within 8-6.
After Luis Guillorme was knocked out on a fielder’s pick, Nimmo hit a slow grounder into third and hit Kevin Padlo’s throw, loading the bases. Starling Marte followed with a hard grounder from Padlo which brought Smith home. Lindor’s grounder behind third base — which Pederson ran over in left field — unloaded the bases and gave the Mets an 11-8 lead.
“I’m super proud of everyone here,” said Lindor. “We came down early and did everything we could to come back and finish hard.”
Chris Bassitt allowed the Giants three bye-bye babies and never got through the fifth inning. The performance was a rare clunker for a Mets starting pitcher this season.
Bassitt (arriving in Oakland from across the Bay Bridge in a March trade) gave up eight earned runs on eight hits and three walks over 4¹/₃ innings in his worst start in a Mets uniform.
In his start against the Cardinals last week, Bassitt also tussled, allowing four earned runs over 6 ¹/₃ innings. But his biggest tormentors were the Giants, who also defeated him at Citi Field last month when he conceded five earned runs over six innings.
Bassitt allowed his third homer in as many innings, a two-run shot for Joc Pederson in the fifth that buried the Mets in an 8-2 hole.
La Stella’s three-run blast in the fourth had extended the Giants’ lead to 6-1. Luis Gonzalez doubled in the inning and Michael Papierski walked before La Stella was unloaded into the right field seats.
In the fourth, Bassitt walked with Mike Yastrzemski before leaving a cutter over the plate that Pederson blasted for a two-run homer.
The Giants jumped on Bassitt from the start. La Stella led the game with a single and Yastrzemski doubled before Darin Ruf’s ground-out gave a run.
Logan Webb was tough against the Mets, allowing two five-hit runs over five innings. Canha stroked an RBI single in the second that tied it 1-1. The Mets got another run in the fifth on Lindor’s sacrificial fly after Brandon Nimmo was hit by a pitch leading before the inning.
Stephen Nogosek appeared relieved. In his first appearance in nine days, the right-hander fired 3²/₃ scoreless innings behind Bassitt. In his only other major league appearance that season, Nogosek played three scoreless innings against the Nationals.