It’ll be three years ago this summer that Wilmer Flores was almost a member of the Milwaukee Brewers. Details of an agreement that would send Carlos Gomez to New York and Flores and Zack Wheeler to Milwaukee leaked while the Mets were still playing their game, Flores got a standing ovation from the Citi Field crowd, and he broke down in tears on the field.
Then, of course, the trade was called off. Flores has stayed in New York, and Gomez was shipped off to Houston instead in what ended up being a franchise-changing trade for the Brewers.
We thought that story was done and in the past, but another postscript was written today as Flores hit a walkoff home run against the Brewers to give the Mets a series win. This time, if there were tears, they were on Milwaukee’s side.
Watch the Wilmer Walk Off! Wilmer Flores wins it for the Mets with a HR! pic.twitter.com/dhxTG8JaGo— SportsNet New York (@SNYtv) April 15, 2018
The Brewers were going to face an uphill climb this afternoon, anyway, sending Jhoulys Chacin to face off against Noah Syndergaard. Chacin struggled to go 4 innings once again, but only allowed one run. His problem was more inefficiency than ineffectiveness, getting first pitch strikes on 12 of the 21 batters he faced, working in lots of deep counts, and walking 3 batters while striking out 4. The run Chacin allowed came in the first inning, but he was able to keep the Mets off the scoreboard after that.
It wasn’t an easy start to the day for Syndergaard, either, as the Brewers made him throw 29 pitches in the first inning after a 10-pitch, 2-out walk by Lorenzo Cain and an error that let Travis Shaw on base extended the frame.
From there, though, Syndergaard settled into a near-historic groove. Holding the Brewers hitless for much of the game, he also rattled off 8 straight strikeouts spanning from the 2nd inning to the 4th inning, falling short of the MLB record of 10 straight strikeouts when Hernan Perez broke up the no-hitter with a single to lead off the 5th.
Perez then moved up to second base on a groundout and stole third, but Jett Bandy was rung up on a questionable third strike call, which nearly got him thrown out of the game and did get Craig Counsell thrown out. With Manny Pina still presumably unavailable, Bandy getting thrown out would’ve been disastrous -- especially since Eric Sogard was the only player left on the bench who could’ve subbed into the game defensively after Eric Thames left the game in the third inning with an apparent injury. That short-handed bench meant the Brewers were forced to let Chacin hit for himself with Perez on third, and he nearly did drive in a run, but Mets shortstop Ahmed Rosario made a great play on a hard-hit ball in the hole and fired to first to throw out Chacin and keep the Brewers off the board.
Rosario may have caught a case of Orlando Arcia-itis after that play, though, as he tried to do too much in the 6th inning and made a poor throw with the bases loaded, allowing two runs to score and momentarily giving the Brewers a 2-1 lead.
We saw momentarily because Brandon Nimmo promptly tied the game at 2 in the bottom of the 6th with a solo home run off of Taylor Williams, who struggled with command today and was pitching in his second inning.
The Brewers were able to load the bases again in the 7th inning after drawing a pair of walks against A.J. Ramos, but the Mets brought in lefty Jerry Blevins to face Travis Shaw, who fell behind 0-2 before grounding out to first base to end the inning.
Milwaukee got another runner into scoring position in the 9th inning when Jonathan Villar drew a walk -- his second of the game after not drawing one all year -- and stole a base, but Jesus Aguilar scalded a ball right at Rosario for the inning-ending groundout.
Dan Jennings threw a perfect 8th inning and Matt Albers was on his way to doing the same in the 9th when Flores hit his two-out, two-strike game winner.
WP: Jeurys Familia (1-0), LP: Matt Albers (2-1)
HR: NYM - Brandon Nimmo (1), Wilmer Flores (2)