Cabrera’s walk-off blast in 11th lifts Mets 9-8
NEW YORK — New York Mets shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera walked to his locker late Thursday night sporting a sleeveless T-shirt with the words “Has tu diligencia” — Spanish for “Do your thing,” the slogan devised by teammate Jose Reyes that is plastered atop the doorway heading out of the team’s clubhouse.
Boy, did Cabrera and Reyes ever do their thing Thursday night.
Reyes forced extra innings with a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth before Cabrera hit a three-run, walk-off homer in the bottom of the 11th to lift the Mets to a dramatic 9-8 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field.
Cabrera’s home run capped a game that took 4 hours, 23 minutes to play and featured two ties, five lead changes, 49 players and almost as many emotional swings for both teams.
“This was the toughest loss of the season, for me, anyway,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.
As for the Mets (81-72), one of their most exhilarating wins of the season snapped a three-game losing streak and ensured they would retain a share of the top National League wild-card spot. New York is tied with San Francisco, which beat the San Diego Padres 2-1 Thursday. The Mets and Giants are a half-game ahead of the idle St. Louis Cardinals (80-72).
“Tonight’s game personifies exactly what the season is like,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “Up and down, up and down. And you’ve just got to keep playing.”
It didn’t look as if the Mets and Phillies would play extra innings when Maikel Franco hit a go-ahead, three-run homer off Addison Reed — who allowed multiple runs just twice in his first 75 appearances — in the top of the eighth to give Philadelphia a 6-4 lead.
However, Mets pinch hitter Brandon Nimmo led off the ninth with a single. One out later, Reyes — who played with the Mets from 2003 through 2012 before returning to the team in July — hit a two-run homer off a bullpen roof beyond right field.
“It never crossed my mind that I was going to be in this situation to play again for the New York Mets,” said Reyes, who signed with the Mets after serving a 51-game suspension for a domestic-violence incident. “I get in this situation tonight, it was an unbelievable moment.”
The Phillies retook the lead in the 11th against a trio of Mets pitchers, including All-Star closer Jeurys Familia, who was charged with the runs Philadelphia scored on an RBI single by A.J. Ellis and a bases-loaded walk issued to Franco.
Philadelphia rookie right-hander Edubray Ramos, looking for his first career save, opened the 11th by retiring Nimmo on a grounder to short. Michael Conforto then worked a walk, and Reyes singled just beyond shortstop Freddy Galvis to bring up Cabrera, who crushed a 1-0 pitch well beyond the right field fence for his fourth career walk-off homer.
“We’ve got Jeurys on the mound and now you lose the lead,” Collins said. “Come back up and you get a couple guys on, you’re thinking, we get (Yoenis Cespdedes) up there, we got a chance. And ‘Cabby’ hits a homer.”
Cabrera immediately flipped his bat as the Mets began spilling out of the dugout.
“As soon as I hit it, I knew the ball was going to be out,” Cabrera said. “I’m just excited.”
Tying and winning the game on dramatic home runs was especially appropriate for the Mets, who missed a walk-off win by inches on Wednesday when Atlanta Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte ended the Braves’ 4-3 win by reaching beyond the right-center-field wall to rob Cespedes of a three-run homer.
“We had to win this game to set the tone after the series we had against the Atlanta Braves,” Reyes said. “That’s what a good team does: bounce back from a tough loss.”
Jim Henderson (2-2) earned the win by recording the final out of the 11th. Reyes, Cabrera and Cespedes combined for eight of the Mets’ 11 hits. Curtis Granderson hit a two-run homer in the second inning, and Cespedes delivered a game-tying single in the fifth and a go-ahead double in the seventh.
Roman Quinn had an RBI groundout in the fourth for the Phillies, and Ryan Howard and Cameron Rupp hit back-to-back homers in the fifth. Cesar Hernandez and Franco had two hits apiece.
“Our guys did a great job offensively,” Mackanin said, “We should’ve held them. We just made a ton of bad pitches and let them right back in.”
Phillies left-hander Adam Morgan allowed three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out eight over five innings. Mets right-hander Seth Lugo gave up three runs on four hits and two walks while striking out four over five innings.
NOTES: Mets LHP Steven Matz (left shoulder) was scratched from his scheduled start Friday and is unlikely to pitch again this season. Matz, who has been on the disabled list since Aug. 23, threw a bullpen session Wednesday but reported soreness the following day. RHP Gabriel Ynoa will starts Friday against Philadelphia. ... Phillies OF Tyler Goeddel (concussion) did not travel to New York after being hit in the head by a pitch Wednesday night.