NEW YORK -- David Wright's season has so far been a cocktail of frustration and exasperation, his baseball worth inextricably linked to the health of his back. He has been the subject of boos and howls, talk-radio callers taking pocket knives to his reputation.
But Wright is still the captain, one of the most well-respected Mets ever to step foot on Flushing soil. So the entire Mets team was elated when Wright's difficult season swung dramatically upward Saturday, his walk-off RBI single leading them to a 5-4 win over the Brewers at Citi Field. It was Wright's franchise-record ninth career walk-off RBI, giving the Mets their first walk-off victory since Wilmer Flores' game-winning homer last July 31.
"It's nice to be able to contribute to a win," Wright said. "These guys have picked me up so much this year that it's nice to be able to return the favor, do something positive to allow us to celebrate in here after the game."
Wright's hit was made possible by Yoenis Cespedes' game-tying two-run homer off Zach Davies in the sixth inning, and an unorthodox rally in the ninth. Facing Brewers reliever Michael Blazek, the Mets loaded the bases on a ground-ball single and two walks, one intentional, the first of those coming after two unsuccessful bunt attempts.
The Brewers ultimately walked Curtis Granderson to load the bases for Wright, who lunged a tick out of the strike zone to reach the 3-0 fastball he drilled into right-center.
"I kind of took my time getting down to first base, tried to enjoy it a little bit," Wright said. "It's nice to see the smiling faces there waiting to greet you. And then to be able to celebrate, that's one of the best feelings in baseball."
Though starting pitchers Jacob deGrom and Davies combined to strike out a dozen batters in 10 1/3 innings, they also allowed three home runs. Ramon Flores' first career homer gave the Brewers an early lead off deGrom, which held up until Cespedes chased Davies with his blast in the sixth. Flores finished with three RBIs, while Granderson also homered for the Mets.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Walk-off relief: The winning rally began when Eric Campbell sent a ground-ball single through the right side to open the ninth, just out of the reach of Scooter Gennett's glove. The next batter, Kevin Plawecki, walked after attempting to bunt, and Matt Reynolds sacrificed both men into scoring position. After Granderson was intentionally walked, Wright worked the count to 3-0 before lacing his single into right-center. More >
"You take that personally for sure," Wright said of Granderson's walk. "I understand the matchup, you want righty-righty, especially with the way that I've been scuffling. So you understand it. But of course you take it personally where you maybe get a little more locked in, a little more focused if that's even possible with the game on the line. You want to prove that's the wrong decision."
One for the mantle: With the Brewers trailing, 1-0, with one on and two away in the second, Flores turned on a 93-mph four-seam fastball from deGrom and deposited it over the right-field wall for his first career home run. The Milwaukee outfielder entered Saturday's contest batting .190 on the season. In the fourth, Flores picked up his third RBI -- a career high -- on a sacrifice fly. More >
Yo for the tie: No stranger to game-tying homers, Cespedes hit his two-run shot off Davies to nearly the same spot that he jacked a pinch-hit, game-tying, three-run homer against the Reds on April 26. It marked the second time in this series that the Mets erased a two-run deficit in the middle innings, and also pulled Cespedes back into a tie with Colorado's Nolan Arenado for the Major League home run lead. More >
Costly mistakes: Davies bookended his seventh start of the season by serving up a pair of home runs. Two pitches into his outing, Granderson launched his fourth leadoff home run of the season into the seats in right field. With two outs in the sixth inning, Cespedes swung awkwardly at a 79-mph changeup, but muscled it out of the park to left to tie things up at 4 and put an end to Davies' night. In between the two homers, the right-hander pitched well, allowing just one other run on three hits while striking out five.
"The game is frustrating that way," Davies said. "Overall, I was happy with what I was doing in the game."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Until his walk-off single, Wright did not have a hit or an RBI on a 3-0 count since May 27, 2007, when he doubled in Carlos Beltran in Miami. From Opening Day 2008 until Saturday's game, he was 0-for-8 when putting it in play on those counts.
There aren't many no-nos in professional baseball quite like arguing balls and strikes. When Mets hitting coach Kevin Long did just that after Wright struck out looking for the second time in the sixth inning, he earned himself an ejection from the bench. Home-plate umpire Adrian Johnson gave Long the hook.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Granderson, who twice swiped 25 bases in a season earlier in his career, believed he had his first of 2016 after a one-out walk in the seventh. But the Brewers challenged, and a replay review determined that Gennett's tag beat Granderson's foot to the base.
WHAT'S NEXT Brewers:Chase Anderson (2-5, 5.32 ERA) will try to replicate his last start when the Brewers close out a three-game series against the Mets at 12:10 p.m. CT at Citi Field on Sunday. On Tuesday, he took a perfect game into the sixth and a no-hitter into the eighth before ultimately picking up his second victory of the season. A win would mark the first for the right-hander on the road since Aug. 23, 2015.
Mets: The Mets' most consistently dominating pitcher will return to the mound for a 1:10 p.m. ET series finale. Noah Syndergaard, who has a 1.71 ERA over his last three starts and a 2.19 mark overall, will look to give the Mets a series sweep.