Most Valuable? Maybe Not, But Most Excellent

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at New York Mets

I’m going to quote a friend of mine from tonight:

“If the Mets were actually good enough to make the playoffs, Conforto could be a darkhorse MVP candidate.”

And that was before this happened:

You gotta understand that this game was headed in the same direction as Monday’s disaster against the Phillies. Rick Porcello got torched for ten hits and five runs in four innings, and even the outs that were hit off him were hit really hard, so it could have been a lot worse. The Mets then started to crawl back from the 5-1 deficit that Porcello dealt them. Jeff McNeil hit his 4th home run in four games to bring it back to 5-3, but D.J. Stewart launched one to the Coke Corner off Chasen Shreve in the top of the 5th to make it 6-3, and seeing Chasen Shreve get touched up gave me the distinct feeling that this was over.

But then Conforto went to work with a solo HR of his own in the bottom of the fifth to make it 6-4, and a Robinson Cano single made it 6-5. But in the 6th, Jared Hughes came on with one out and nobody on and, after Jeff McNeil made a great diving play to get the first batter Hughes faced, he loaded the bases and set up Rio Ruiz (low key Mets killer) with two outs. Facing Justin Wilson, Ruiz sent a screaming liner over the head of Conforto with two outs, but as you saw above he reached over his head and saved three runs from scoring. Conforto, as you know, is having a special season. That play that he made will probably be looked up on as the highlight of this short season, no matter how the Mets finish.

Most Valuable? Maybe Not, But Most Excellent
Sep 9, 2020; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets second baseman Andres Gimenez (60) reacts after hitting a solo home run against the Baltimore Orioles during the sixth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The catch set up the rest of the game, as Andres Gimenez tied it with a solo homer in the bottom of the 6th to tie it, and after Wilson and Jeurys Familia held the Orioles scoreless, Pete Alonso hit his 11th home run of the season (two hits raised Pete’s average to .234) to give the Mets a 7-6 lead. Edwin Diaz came in and immediately gave up a base hit, but a great diving play by Luis Guillorme kept the inning from getting a lot worse (and quite frankly was undersold by Gare on the call.) Diaz struck out Pedro Severino and got Cedric Mullins to pop out to the shortstop to save the game and help save the Mets from getting mini-swept by the Orioles and sent to total oblivion for the season. (If Diaz had blown that game, I think I might have written this post while inebriated.)

But while Diaz get the official save, Michael Conforto got the unofficial and much more valuable save with that catch.

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