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Mets sweep Phillies with walk-off in extras

Nick Plummer will remember exactly one moment from his first big-league start.

The Mets’ hero of the night—who was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse on Saturday—hadn’t recorded his first major-league hit before the ninth inning of the Mets’ eventual 5-4 win over the Phillies in extra innings on Sunday. And he sent Phillies reliever Corey Knebel’s first pitch to him that inning into the abyss to tie the game, sending it to extra innings.

The Mets won in the bottom of the tenth inning, off of Eduardo Escobar’s walk-off double, sweeping the three-game series.

“One swing changes everything,” Escobar said of the 10th-inning hit. “It made my day.”

Plummer, whose walk up song is affectionately the theme song for Super Mario, was celebrated with the tune from the game that appears when you complete a level, after he hit his home run. He said he didn’t hear the sound over the roar of the Citi Field crowd, but said he’d listen for it when he revisits the replay of the moment.

“Pretty surreal, there are really no words,” Plummer said of his moonshot after the game. “Early on, I felt like I was taking pretty good swings… for my fourth at-bat, being able to jump on one, it felt really good.

“I made sure it stayed fair before I started going,” he added, explaining the ball caught some wind and shifted over from where he thought it would go. The ball was caught by a kid out behind the right field wall, who returned the ball in exchange for one of Plummer’s game-used bats, which he signed.

Coincidentally, the last Met to make his first big-league hit a home run was Jeremy Hefner—now the team’s pitching coach—who did so exactly ten years ago to date.

It was enough to hype up the drained Citi Field crowd and the Mets, who, just the inning prior, looked to be heading for a loss.

Reliever Adam Ottavino came in for Joely Rodriguez in the eighth inning with a two-run lead, two runners on first and second and two outs. Ottavino then gave up a lead-changing, three-run home run to Nick Castellanos, off a 96-mph four-seam fastball, erasing all the work the Mets offense and Chris Bassit did to start and carry the game. Two of those runs were added to Rodriguez’s earned run total on the night.

Asked what he thought of the Mets’ ultimate finish, Bassit had two words: “crazy” and “awesome.”

“Just the mentality that we have,” Bassitt said of his team’s late game heroics. “It happens because we believe in it. You gotta get 27 outs or more versus us and that’s hard to do.”

The Mets (32-17) were getting the hits, and they put forth the quality starting pitching to match. All that, plus a Phillies (21-27) defense that’s struggled more than it hasn’t as of late.

To recap just the first inning of Sunday’s night cap, Bassitt needed 12 pitches to retire his first three Phillies. The Mets first three batters in the lineup, Luis Guillorme, Starling Marte and Francisco Lindor, each scored in the bottom of the inning in amazin’ fashion.

Guillorme first cranked a hard-hit double, off ex-Met Zack Wheeler, to the left field corner to get the rally going. Marte followed with a single. Lindor hit what should have been an easy grounder to turn a double play, but what actually played out was a bunch of hesitating by the Phillies that ultimately ended with a throwing error home, allowing Guillorme to score. And Lindor was able to reach base safely on a fielder’s choice.

The Phils’ confusion continued when Pete Alonso hit what should have been a regular flyout to right. But even with Castellanos, Rhys Hoskins and Jean Segura all chasing it down, the ball was able to fall to the ground for a single to load the bases. Even Alonso looked surprised his hit was not caught, all the while the crowd’s increased oo-ing and oh-ing as the ball descended seemed to foreshadow the play before it fully came to fruition.

Escobar and Mark Canha’s back-to-back grounders plated the second and third runs. Those three runs were all the Mets would have needed—at least until the eighth inning.