NEW YORK — When the Mets needed a lift Tuesday afternoon, Francisco Lindor was there to deliver it.
The Mets shortstop tied the game with an RBI single in the fifth inning, then came home with runners on the corners in the 10th inning.
Lindor curled a no-show RBI single in center field to propel the Mets to a 5-4 win over the Giants in the first half of the teams doubleheader Tuesday afternoon at Citi Field.
“(Lindor) seems to take care of what we need every time,” Buck Showalter said.
Max Scherzer provided the boost in Game 2 by going seven innings with one hit, three walks and 10 strikeouts to help the Mets to a 3-1 victory in the nightcap.
A season ago, the Giants were the best team in baseball with 107 wins. The Mets hope to enter that discussion in 2022. They struck first in a billing-heavy battle between two of the National League’s presumed top dogs.
The doubles sweep helped the Mets (9-3) continue to be one of MLB’s top point guards.
“It shows you that we are a good ball club. We can compete with the best,” Scherzer said. “They are really good. I could also see last year how good they were. Knowing what they can do, for us to be neck and neck with them both games, it shows that we are a great ball club as well.”
The opening win came with a bit of luck.
The Giants threatened in the top of the 10th and had the go-ahead rescinded during a review.
With runners at second and third and two out, Thairo Estrada hit a ground fly at shortstop and Francisco Lindor’s throw knocked Pete Alonso out of the bag. But the video revealed that Alonso’s foot was still on base for the end of the inning.
“Pete stays on the sack there, it’s a really tough game,” Showalter said. “We’re lucky to have the best replay guy in the business. It was a good play.”
But the pressure from the Mets late in the 10th inning was enough.
Starling Marte, who single-handedly fabricated the opening point, walked one before Lindor hit the winning shot into right center field.
In the second moto, Scherzer’s best outing of the season led to his third victory. The Mets took a three-run lead they would never relinquish behind a two-run brace from Eduardo Escobar and an RBI single from Dominic Smith in the third inning.
Tylor Megill strikes back
Tylor Megill was not working with his normal business.
After consistently hitting 98 mph with his fastball in his first two outings, he hit just 96.3 mph on Tuesday.
The Giants attacked early in the count successfully.
Joc Pederson took the second pitch of his second inning at center field for a solo home run. It was the first run against Megill of the season, ending a 17⅓ innings scoreless streak that dated back to September 24, 2021.
In that inning, the Giants scored four hits, including three in a row culminating in an RBI single from Jason Vosler to make it 2-1. Megill had allowed just three hits in each of his first two starts.
And after Megill gave up a first walk and a single in the third, Brandon Crawford hit a two-run single down the middle to make it 4-1.
“Anything in the zone, they were swinging,” Megill said. “Being able to see that and work around it, obviously things weren’t there today, but I was able to persevere and move on.”
Megill settled in as it came out and delivered some much needed length. He finished with six innings pitched and 86 pitches – both season highs – and allowed four earned runs on
After giving up two base runners in the fifth inning, he’s fielded his last five batters faced, including two of his four strikeouts in the last two innings of his outing.
“I’m glad I was able to come back for the sixth for the bullpen as well,” Megill said. “With the situation that happened, we came back, tied the game and were able to get back there, throw another zero and keep ourselves in the game, it was a good feeling.”
On the right side
The rebounds started going the Mets way in the fifth inning of the opener.
After appearing to be stuck in low gear against Giants starter Alex CObb through the first four innings, the Mets offense has been rocked.
It started with a slow roll from JD Davis that hugged the infield grass and stayed fair, then continued when a potential double play ball was knocked down by video review.
James McCann snatched a double that popped off third base and set the stage for a two-run double from Jeff McNeil. Lindor tied the game with a double RBI on the right field line.
A season ago, the Mets were the third-worst team in Major League Baseball with one runner and two outs.
But they reversed that trend at the start of 2022. In 12 games, they’re second in the league with an average of .362 in that exact situation.
They made it twice in the doubleheader with two outs. In the first, Lindor roped in the tying RBI double in right field.
And in the second, the Mets chased Giants starter Logan Webb out of the game as Alonso walked and Escobar scored the first two runs. Smith added a two-out RBI single in the very next at-bat.
“Guys like that, you can’t try to do too much, especially in this stadium where we really have to square the ball to get it out,” Showalter said. “I just thought we weren’t trying to get too big and stay selective.”
Andrew Tredinnick is the Mets beats writer for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to all Mets analysis, news, transactions and more, please subscribe today and download our app.
Email: [email protected] Twitter: @andrew_tred