By AJ Cassavell and Troy Provost-Heron
NEW YORK -- Having endured six one-run defeats over their last 16 games, the Mets had become accustomed to bad breaks and tough-luck losses. With the club in search of a much-needed win on Saturday, though, the Mets finally got something to go their way.
With the game knotted up in the 11th inning, the Mets placed runners on the corners for Wilmer Flores, who hit a bouncing ground ball past Padres reliever Brandon Maurer. Second baseman Ryan Schimpf corralled the grounder, but instead of trying to turn an inning-ending double play, he fired home to try and get Neil Walker at the plate. His throw, however, sailed wide of the dish and Walker slid into home to give the Mets a 3-2 victory.
"I definitely thought he was going to turn two, but that's one of the things about putting the ball in play," Flores said, "anything can happen." To his credit, Schimpf took full responsibility for his blunder.
"Looking back on it now, obviously I should've turned two," Schimpf said. "In that situation, once I heard the broken bat, I just decided to make the decision to come in and try to make the play at home. ... It was the wrong play. [I] let us down tonight, and [I've] just got to learn from it. It won't happen again."
The win snapped a season-high-tying four-game losing streak for the Mets and moved them to within 2 1/2 games of the Cardinals for the final National League Wild Card spot.
Behind a dominant outing from Jacob deGrom, in which the right-hander tossed seven innings of one-run ball, the Mets held a 1-0 lead for most of the night until he served up a solo home run to Yangervis Solarte in the seventh. The Mets put themselves back on top in the next half inning with a hard-hit sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Kelly Johnson off San Diego reliever Jose Dominguez, setting up their reliable eighth and ninth inning combination of Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia.
Reed did his part, Familia did not. Looking for his 40th save of the season, Familia instead allowed a bellowing home run to Wil Myers that traveled 428 feet according to Statcast™. It marked the second time this season Myers has brought the Padres back from the brink with a homer when they were down to their final out. He's the only player in baseball to have done so on multiple occasions this year.
"It felt good," Myers said. "I felt everything kind of connect right there with my swing. I had a good approach. I felt something click right there, so hopefully I can just ride that out."
Two innings later, Flores bailed Familia out with the fifth walk-off RBI of his career and the first since July 31, 2015, when he hit a walk-off home run versus Washington in extra innings, a hit that helped turned the tide for the Mets in their pennant-winning season.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Can't knock the hustle: The Mets' 11th-inning walk-off may not have been possible without Walker's hustle around the bases before Flores stepped to the plate. After leading off the inning with a single, Walker challenged the Padres by going first to third on a shallow single to left by James Loney that beat the shift, setting up the ensuing play at home.
"As an infielder, you know how difficult it is [for a guy], especially if there is a shift involved, to get to third and try and plant himself, and have an outfielder hit him on the run," Walker said. "When I got to second, I just put my head down and tried to do anything I could to get there."
deGrominant: Not much has gone well for the Mets since the All-Star break, but deGrom has been the exception. After another great outing on Saturday, the 28-year-old has posted a 1.56 ERA in six second-half starts while striking out 38 batters over 40 1/3 innings.
"I try not to look at what is going on before my starts," deGrom said. "I just try to go out there and put us in a position to win. I'm going to try and put up zeros every time I'm out there."
Yan gone: Solarte's seventh-inning tater left the yard in practically no time. He golfed an 87-mph changeup into the right-field seats with an exit velocity of 102 mph and a launch angle of 23 degrees. Although Solarte boasts a .947 OPS as a right-handed hitter, 10 of his 12 dingers this season have come from the left side of the plate.
"deGrom was really tough," Myers said. "Solarte obviously kept us in the game with that home run. I thought we battled and played a good game, just kind of came up short."
Cosart stays grounded: Lost in the late-inning drama was Jarred Cosart's terrific outing. In his third start with the Padres, the right-hander matched deGrom pitch for pitch, allowing just one run on three hits over six innings. He recorded 13 of his 18 outs via the ground ball -- and could've had two more if not for a pair of Padres errors.
"That's usually the kind of pitcher I am," Cosart said. "Ground-ball guy -- that's what I've been in the past, going all the way back to the Minor Leagues. Earlier this year and my last two starts, I was up in the zone a little bit, a little sporadic. If you pitch up in the zone to any big league team, you're going to get hit."
"You should have heard the clubhouse [after the win] -- there was some genuine excitement in there. Hopefully this is the start of something. We just got to relax and continue to get some big hits and continue to pitch." -- Mets manager Terry Collins
"It's a situation he hasn't been in much. I'd rather see a mistake of aggression than a mistake of being passive. He made his choice, he went with it. I'm sure he knows, in the future, he's still got a chance at a double play." -- Green, on Schimpf
WHAT'S NEXT Padres: The Padres' temporary six-man rotation becomes official on Sunday at Citi Field when Clayton Richard takes the ball for the series finale at 10:10 a.m. PT. Richard, who signed with San Diego a week ago, has made all 27 of his appearances this season out of the 'pen and will be on a limit of about 75 pitches.
Mets:Steven Matz will toe the rubber for the Mets in the series finale, which is scheduled to start at 1:10 p.m. ET. The left-hander has been on and off as of late, going 1-5 with a 4.60 ERA over his last 10 starts.