SAN FRANCISCO — These kings of endgame drama were just getting started as much of their East Coast fan base faded into a haze.
But the difference in this latest miraculous Mets comeback was a backlash. The Giants offered not one, but two on a wild Tuesday night.
Edwin Diaz allowed two runs in the ninth, including an RBI single to Brandon Crawford that sent the Mets to a 13-12 loss at Oracle Park.
Joc Pederson was the offensive hero, with three homers and an RBI single in the ninth that tied the game before Crawford won it moments later.
“Great game for the fans,” said manager Buck Showalter. “I’m really proud of our guys. It’s fun to watch. It’s remarkable to see them compete every night.
Diaz allowed Tommy La Stella to hit in a double play for two quick outs in the ninth, but then allowed a walk and three straight singles to blast his second save on his last three attempts.
“When I walked into the game, I said, ‘This game is over,'” Diaz said. “But after two withdrawals, they got me today.”
Dominic Smith tripled in the lead in the ninth and pinch runner Travis Jankowski scored on Brandon Nimmo’s sacrificial volley to give the Mets a 12-11 lead.
Buried in a six-run hole, the Mets created the buzz in the seventh inning, then went wild in the eighth to take an 11-8 lead before Pederson’s third homer of the game, a three-run outburst against Drew Smith , the equal.
Showalter said he didn’t use left-hander Joely Rodriguez there because the Giants likely would have countered with Evan Longoria. The manager was also mindful of wanting to preserve relievers with rookie Thomas Szapucki set to be recalled from Triple-A Syracuse to start Wednesday’s series finale.
“I thought Drew was one of our best pitchers,” Showalter said. “We try to live to fight another day too. We have another game [Wednesday] with a starter you don’t know how far it will go.
Francisco Lindor hit a base-loading triple in the eighth that gave the Mets the lead, but it was a rally that had plenty of heroes. And the team’s ability to put the ball in play and pressure the defense was at the forefront in an inning where the Mets had three hits.
With the Mets trailing 8-4 (Lindor had broken a two-run homer the previous inning), Jeff McNeil and Eduardo Escobar hit back-to-back to start the epic rally. Mark Canha’s single off shortstop Crawford loaded the bases and Smith awoke from a sleep to deliver a two-run single that pulled the Mets up 8-6.
After Luis Guillorme was called out on a fielder’s pick, Nimmo hit slow ground on third and beat Kevin Padlo’s pitch, charging the bases. Starling Marte followed with a hard ground off Padlo which brought Smith in. Lindor’s ground runner after third base — which Pederson passed into left field — unloaded the bases and gave the Mets an 11-8 lead.
“I’m super proud of everyone here,” Lindor said. “We went down early and did what it took to come back and finish hard.”
Chris Bassitt gave the Giants three “bye-bye babies” and never made it past the fifth inning. The performance was a rare heap for a Mets starting pitcher this season.
Bassitt (who arrived across the Bay Bridge in Oakland on a trade in March) gave up eight earned runs on eight hits and three walks in 4 ¹/₃ innings in his worst start in a Mets uniform.
In his start against the Cardinals last week, Bassitt also struggled, allowing four earned runs in 6 ¹/₃ innings. But his biggest executioners have been the Giants, who also beat him at Citi Field last month, when he allowed five earned runs in six innings.
Bassitt allowed his third homer in as many innings, a two-run shot on Joc Pederson in the fifth that buried the Mets in an 8-2 hole.
La Stella’s three-point outburst in the fourth extended the Giants’ lead to 6-1. Luis Gonzalez doubled in the inning and Michael Papierski walked before La Stella landed in the right field seats.
In the fourth, Bassitt walked Mike Yastrzemski before leaving a cutter on the plate that Pederson blew up for a two-run homer.
The Giants jumped on Bassitt from the start. La Stella scored an early single and Yastrzemski doubled before Darin Ruf’s takedown resulted in a run.
Logan Webb has been tough on the Mets, allowing two runs on five hits in five innings. Canha hit an RBI single in the second that tied it 1-1. The Mets got another run in the fifth on Lindor’s sacrifice fly after Brandon Nimmo was hit by a pitch in the top of the inning.
Stephen Nogosek stepped forward in long relief. In his first appearance in nine days, the right-hander shot 3 ²/₃ scoreless innings behind Bassitt. In his only other major league appearance this season, Nogosek pitched three scoreless innings against the Nationals.