The 2019 season was an up-and-down one for the Mets and their first-year GM Brodie Van Wagenen. A disappointing first half was erased by a 15-1 post-All-Star break run saw the Mets climb into the wild-card chase. The team finished 86-76, but will be remembered for the rise of Pete Alonso and continued brilliance of Jacob deGrom.
Despite the disappointment, there were several exhilarating moments to look back on. Here are the 10 best, in chronological order, that can give fans hope for 2020 — whenever that may begin (the accompanying video features all 10 moments):
April 3: Jacob deGrom 14 strikeouts
The Mets ace established a career-high with 14 strikeouts and blasted his second career homer, carrying the Mets to a 6-4 victory over the Marlins in Miami. The right-hander extended his scoreless innings streak to 26 by pitching seven shutout innings. In the seventh he struck out the side to reach his career-best total.
Noah Syndergaard became only the seventh player in MLB history to throw a shutout and hit a homer in a 1-0 victory (the Dodgers’ Bob Welch was the last to accomplish it in 1983). The Mets pitcher dominated the Reds, allowing only four hits. At the plate, Syndergaard homered leading off the third against Tyler Mahle. The blast was Syndergaard’s sixth of his career.
July 9: Pete Alonso wins HR Derby
The $1 million prize belonged to Pete Alonso, after he outslugged Vladimir Guerrero Jr., in the final round of the Home Run Derby in Cleveland. Alonso finished the night with 57 homers, the third-highest total in Derby history. Guerrero hit 91 homers overall, but couldn’t keep pace with Alonso in the final round.
“It’s survive and advance,” Alonso said. “It doesn’t matter how many you hit; you just need to have one more than the guy you’re facing.”
July 23: Robinson Cano’s three-homer game
Robinson Cano homered three times and drove in all five runs for the Mets in their 5-2 victory over the Padres at Citi Field. The veteran second baseman had entered the game batting only .236 with six homers, after arriving with Edwin Diaz in an offseason trade that sent the organization’s top prospect, Jarred Kelenic, to the Mariners.
The Mets had already rebounded once from a three-run deficit when Todd Frazier came to the plate in the ninth inning against left-hander Sean Doolittle. Frazier’s three-run blast tied the game and set up a dramatic finish.
Conforto then delivered a game-ending RBI single that gave the Mets their 14th victory in 15 games and, in what became a staple of the Mets’ late-game heroics, his teammates then ripped his jersey off as part of the celebration.
“That that kind of energy, here at home, I’ve never been a part of a game like that, that we’ve won,” Conforto told The Post.
A wild Mets run into playoff contention continued with a comeback rally in the eighth inning against the Nationals at Citi Field. Luis Guillorme’s first major league homer, a solo blast against Fernando Rodney, tied it before J.D. Davis brought in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly. Noah Syndergaard’s seven strong innings helped the Mets win for the 15th time in 16 games.
J.D. Davis’ RBI single in the 10th inning – his first career game-ending hit – prompts Pete Alonso to tear off Davis’ jersey in celebration. The 4-3 victory ensured the Mets a 10th series win in 12 since the All-Star break. The Indians had taken the lead in the top of the 10th on Carlos Santana’s homer against Luis Avilan. The Mets tied it when the Indians failed to convert a potential game-ending double play on Michael Conforto’s grounder.
Sept. 28: Pete Alonso’s 53rd homer
Pete Alonso establishes an MLB rookie record for homers by going deep against the Braves’ Mike Foltynewicz in the third inning at Citi Field. Aaron Judge held the previous rookie record, set in 2017. Alonso finished as the major league leader in homers.
“There’s no better person to represent not only the Mets, but also the City of New York,” Judge said. “[Alonso] is going to do special things over his long career. It’s the first of many records he’s going to break.”
In his first plate appearance since July 26, following a stress fracture in his left foot, Smith ended the season with a bang, homering in the 11th inning to give the Mets a 7-6 victory over the Braves at Citi Field. Smith had spent much of the summer on a motorized scooter to keep weight off his foot. Even after he was told his season was finished weeks earlier, Smith continued to rehab, hopeful for one last opportunity.