Michael Conforto hasn't been contributing much at the plate this season, but his strong arm in right field bailed the Mets out in a 2-1 win over the Braves on Wednesday night.
Clinging to a one-run lead in the top of the ninth, closer Edwin Diaz found himself in instant trouble, after surrendering a leadoff ground rule double to Abraham Almonte. Diaz then allowed a single to Ehire Adrianza, but Conforto saved his bacon with a strike home to gun down the tying run at the plate.
Luckily, Diaz was then able to bare down for the final out to record his 23rd save of the season.
"You want to make a play, and that came to me and I saw it in my mind before it happened so that makes it easier," said Conforto after the game. "When things aren't going great at the plate, I try to separate my defense to make sure I can still make an impact."
"(It's the) Best feeling in the world. I can't put into words what it feels like. And I'm still kind of shaking from it."
The Mets received another strong performance on the mound from rookie Tylor Megill, and got a big go-ahead pinch-hit homer from Brandon Drury in the bottom of the seventh.
On his 26th birthday, Megill gave the Mets 5.1 strong innings, with his only blemish coming on a solo home run off the bat of Austin Riley. He also struck out six batters, and recorded his second career hit at the plate for the second straight start.
"It's mainly executing my pitches and trying to mix-and-match sequences that they haven't seen before," said Megill who faced the Braves for the third time this season tonight.
Megill's 2.04 ERA through the first seven starts of his career is the second best total in Mets history behind Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan.
"It's pretty cool that my name is up there," Megill said. "It's a cool accolade to have but there's more work to be done."
The Mets and Braves remained in a 1-1 tie until Drury came up clutch with a go-ahead pinch-hit solo home run off Max Fried to give the Amazins' a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
"I'm not sure to be honest," said Drury, who is 7-for-15 with three homers as pinch-hitter this season. "I come to the park the same way I always have and get my work in."
"I had seen (Fried) throw his curveball a lot later in the game," said Drury. "First pitch I was sitting on it, saw it pretty good. Then I got him."
Megill and Fried matched each other through two scoreless innings. And the Mets didn't have their first hit until the bottom of the third, when Jonathan Villar led off with a single. However, Villar got picked off first base by Fried's nifty left-handed move.
But this didn't stop the offense from starting a two-out rally, as Megill kept the inning alive with a base hit. Brandon Nimmo followed this up with a walk, and Pete Alonso continued his hot hitting by going the other way to load the bases.
And that's when Jeff McNeil, who is also blistering hot, extended his career-high hitting streak to 15 games with an RBI single to put the Mets up 1-0. This was McNeil's sixth RBI in his last four games.
With Megill's pitch count rising, he was unable to make it through the sixth, allowing the homer to Riley with one out, which ended his night. As a result, Luis Rojas brought in Seth Lugo, who got two quick outs on three pitches to keep the score tied at 1-1.
Despite stumbling in the third, Fried came back to hurl 3.2 straight hitless innings. But with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Brandon Drury struck again with a pinch-hit solo home run to give the Mets a 2-1 lead. It was Drury's second straight game with a homer. He is now 6-for-6 with two long balls and three RBIs since being recalled from Triple-A on Saturday.
After the Mets took the lead, Aaron Loup allowed two singles to start the top of the eighth, before bobbling a potential double play ball off the bat of Freddie Freeman. This saw the Mets get only one out on the play, as Loup exited with runners on second-and-third.
Jeurys Familia then came on to try to pickup Loup and get out of a huge jam against the red hot Riley. And he was able to do his job by striking out Riley, and inducing an inning ending groundout from Dansby Swanson to escape trouble.
The Mets ultimately held on for the win, and are now 54-46 on the season. They will look to clinch the series with the Braves on Thursday at noon EST. with the struggling Taijuan Walker on the hill.