Jeff McNeil on home run heroics: 'It's definitely one of my biggest moments as a Met'

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Alex Smith
·3 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Jeff McNeil home run Marlins, looking down at ball leaving bat
Jeff McNeil home run Marlins, looking down at ball leaving bat

In the first Mets game with fans in attendance at Citi Field since 2019, Jeff McNeil delivered a moment.

With the Mets trailing the Miami Marlins 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth, and the Citi Field faithful three outs away from leaving the ballpark disappointed, McNeil absolutely demolished an Anthony Bass fastball over the wall in right, raising the volume in the ballpark to the loudest it’s been in years with one swing of the bat.

The Mets went on to win the game 3-2 on Michael Conforto’s controversial hit-by-pitch, but there’s no doubting that McNeil’s solo shot was a huge early-season moment for the club.

And it came on McNeil’s 29th birthday, no less.

"It's definitely one of my biggest moments as a Met right there,” McNeil said after the game. “Just to hear the crowd again was pretty incredible. They were getting me fired up that entire at-bat. Every pitch I took they were cheering and getting louder. So I was pretty pumped up, and then as soon as it left the bat I knew it. Just to hear the crowd erupt again was pretty incredible.

“I think it was louder than I expected. When they announced it was going to be like 20-25 percent, I didn’t think it’d be that loud or anything, but you know Mets fans, they’re loud, they’re fun, so it was more than I expected, for sure.”

And to make the moment even more fun for the fans – both in the stadium and watching at home – McNeil unleased an epic bat flip, hurdling the bat towards his own dugout in exuberance, firing up fans and teammates alike.

“That was just spontaneous,” McNeil said with a smile. “I knew right when it left the bat that I got it. Never bat-flipped before. First time, so it was fun.

“Teammates loved it. It was a huge moment in the game. It was just all adrenaline, excitement all kind of coming out at once. My first hit, hitting a homer on my birthday, so just an incredible day and teammates were loving it.”

The hit not only tied the game and gave the Mets newfound life, but it was also McNeil’s first hit of the season, as he had started the year 0-for-10 on some tough-luck balls hit right at defenders.

The Mets’ second baseman was happy to finally get that first hit on Thursday, and doing so in dramatic fashion made it even sweeter.

“A little bit,” McNeil responded when asked if his 0-for-10 start was starting to get to him. “I know my swing is where I want it. I was hitting the ball real hard in Philly, especially that first game. I pinch-hit yesterday and was hitting the ball hard as well. I just needed to swing at a good pitch.

“I got some pitches to hit today, I was just a little but late on them. Just to get that first one out of the way is pretty nice.”