Walker's walk-off gives Mets win over Giants

Walker's walk-off gives Mets win over Giants

NEW YORK -- As if the Matt Harvey-fueled drama of the past weekend were not enough for the Mets to contend with, they also came to the ballpark Monday having to face the Giants team that sent them home for good last October. But the Mets earned a measure of revenge for that National League Wild Card loss, scoring a 4-3 win on Neil Walker's walk-off single in the ninth.

"Yesterday was obviously not a good day," Walker said, referencing Harvey's suspension. "But we've got so many quality players in here that when bad days happen or bad series happen, we're able to turn the page pretty quickly."

The winning rally began when Michael Conforto drew a leadoff walk off Josh Osich in the ninth inning, moving to second when Wilmer Flores greeted Hunter Strickland with an infield single. The next batter, Walker, ripped a single into the right-field corner to plate Conforto and send Citi Field into a frenzy.

"They're a great bunch," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "They know how to win and it's what they've done."

Neither Mets starter Jacob deGrom nor Giants counterpart Matt Moore was at his sharpest in the early going, with deGrom allowing home runs to Hunter Pence and Buster Posey and Moore racking up 108 pitches in 5 1/3 innings. The Mets tied things shortly after Moore departed, when Curtis Granderson smacked a pinch-hit RBI double to left field.

Finishing with 11 strikeouts, deGrom racked up double-digit whiffs for the fourth time in five games. He has 51 total punchouts over that 30 2/3-innings stretch, but also 16 walks and a 4.70 ERA.

deGrom's 11 K's in 11 seconds

Reminded that the Giants mustered no offense against deGrom aside from their pair of homers, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said, "We were facing a pretty good guy. You can't take that away."

Mets closer Jeurys Familia, who allowed a go-ahead home run to Conor Gillaspie in the ninth inning of the Wild Card Game, pitched a perfect ninth Monday to pick up the win. The game marked the first meeting between the Mets and Giants since that night.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Buster busts open the tie: Collins often adds a good-natured epithet to Posey's name, knowing how much damage the Giants catcher has inflicted on his team over the years. Minutes after the Mets tied the game in the bottom of the fifth, Posey struck again, leading off the sixth with a go-ahead, 410-foot home run into the second deck in left field. It was Posey's eighth career long ball against the Mets, his most versus any non-NL West team.

"He stays on the corners," Posey said of deGrom. "Fortunately he got one out over the plate."

Posey's long solo home run

Clutch off the bench: Granderson, who did not start against the left-handed Moore, is reaching base at just a .167 clip against lefty pitching. But Bochy did not turn to lefty Steven Okert when Granderson emerged as a pinch-hitter with two outs in the bottom of the sixth, instead watching Granderson rip an RBI double off right-hander George Kontos to tie things, 3-3.

Bochy pointed out that Collins probably would have summoned a right-handed pinch-hitter had he installed Okert. Besides, Bochy added, "Tell me when the guy [Granderson] is going to hit a double. The guy's batting .130 [actually .133 at the time]. George has been our seventh-inning guy."

Grandy's pinch-hit RBI double

FIVE-PITCH FAMILIA
If last October's Wild Card loss was on Familia's mind in the ninth, he didn't show it, buzzing through Eduardo Nunez, Michael Morse and Gorkys Hernandez on five total pitches. By the time Familia entered, the Giants had already double-switched Gillaspie out of the game.

"I don't care about what happened last year," Familia said. "I'm just trying to move forward always. I'm just trying to do my job -- it doesn't matter the team. That's what I did today."

WHAT'S NEXT
Giants: Jeff Samardzija, San Francisco's starter in Tuesday's 4:10 p.m. PT rematch, can expect to see plenty of left-handed hitters. They're hitting .296 off Samardzija, compared to right-handers' .189 average off him.

Mets: Zack Wheeler will face the team that drafted him when the Mets and Giants rematch in a 7:10 p.m. ET game Tuesday at Citi Field. In three prior starts against the Giants, who traded him in July 2011 for Carlos Beltran, Wheeler is 1-1 with a 5.17 ERA.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.