Jacob Stallings' grand slam caps memorable comeback for last-place Pittsburgh Pirates in walk-off victory over New York Mets

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ESPN 17 July, 2021 - 11:24pm 13 views

Is Francisco Lindor injured?

New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a right oblique strain, the club announced on Saturday. To take Lindor's spot on the active roster, the Mets have recalled second baseman/outfielder Travis Blankenhorn. CBS sports.comMets place shortstop Francisco Lindor on 10-day injured list with Grade 2 oblique strain

How should the Mets react to the worst day of their season?

The Athletic 18 July, 2021 - 06:01am

How should the Mets react to the worst day of their season?

Mets fall to Pirates after benches clear, Francisco Lindor injury worry

New York Post 18 July, 2021 - 02:00am

By Mike Puma

July 16, 2021 | 11:33pm | Updated July 17, 2021 | 1:27am

PITTSBURGH — The second half of the season was off and running Friday night — but not in a good direction for the NL East’s first-place team.

Francisco Lindor’s grimace on a swing in the fifth inning, which forced him from the game, was just the start. Before long, benches were emptying at PNC Park, giving the Mets an opportunity for swings resulting in solid contact. None occurred, continuing a theme for the Mets, who managed just three hits in a 4-1 loss to the Pirates.

The biggest imminent concern is Lindor, who reached for his right side after hitting a ground ball to second base and taking just a few steps out of the batter’s box. He was replaced by Luis Guillorme at shortstop for the bottom of the fifth and will receive further evaluation Saturday. According to the Mets, he departed with right side soreness.

Then came the fireworks. After John Nogowski lined out to end the fifth, he began jawing with Mets starter Marcus Stroman, who yelled at the Pirates first baseman as he walked toward him. Catcher James McCann got between Nogowski and Stroman, as both benches and bullpens emptied. Shoving ensued, but no punches were thrown.

“[Nogowski] is a clown,” Stroman said. “Drew Smith told me he’s a clown — he’s a clown. He knows I wasn’t talking any s–t to him, I put my head down and started walking to the dugout, and he proceeded to run his mouth.”

McCann cited a possible miscommunication, saying Stroman had been irritated with plate umpire Larry Vanover, and the pitcher’s eruption in celebration after the final out of the fifth might have triggered Nogowski.

“After the out was made, I think Stroman yelled something, not at Vanover, but just yelling, and Nogowski thought he was yelling at him, so obviously just a big miscommunication,” McCann said.

Benches have cleared at the end of the 5th inning after John Nogowski & Marcus Stroman exchanged words. pic.twitter.com/ZDhqALUdjd

Stroman was hunched over before leaving the field — he said somebody stepped on his toe during the skirmish. Later, after he departed the game, Stroman jawed with Nogowski from the dugout.

“I was just asking him why he was running away after talking all that s–t,” Stroman said.

It was the second time this season benches emptied following a Stroman exchange with a player. On June 1, Stroman and Arizona’s Josh Rojas got into a heated exchange after the final out of an inning, prompting both teams onto the field. Rojas later said he was trying to fire up the Diamondbacks, who started a rally against Stroman the following inning.

“Stroman is just showing his emotions out there like he pitches,” manager Luis Rojas said. “He’s a guy that pitches with emotions, he has fun out there, if somebody doesn’t like it I just don’t understand why. Let him have fun. A lot of people are having fun in this game and Stroman is one of those guys who does it on the mound.”

On Friday, Stroman allowed two runs on eight hits over five innings, departing after 92 pitches. The right-hander scuffled, but managed to keep the Mets in the game.

“I just thought I battled,” Stroman said. “I definitely wasn’t sharp, but after letting those two runs in, my priority was to go five or six innings and keep my team in the game, and I thought I did an OK job.”

Wilmer Difo greeted Stroman’s replacement, Smith, with a homer leading off the sixth that extended the Pirates’ lead to 3-1. Reynolds homered against Jeurys Familia in the seventh to give the Pirates their final run.

The Pirates are anchored in the NL Central basement, but they have been a nuisance to the Mets, who have lost three of the five games between the teams this season. Included was a 6-5 gut-punch last Sunday at Citi Field, in which Edwin Diaz allowed two runs in the ninth inning.

On this night, the Mets went 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position and managed just one hit after the second inning.

The Mets broke through with a run in the fourth, ending an 11-inning scoreless streak against the Pirates that began last Sunday. Pete Alonso drew a leadoff walk and Jeff McNeil reached on shortstop Kevin Newman’s error before Jonathan Villar, with one out, got the run home from third with a groundout.

New York Mets place shortstop Francisco Lindor on 10-day IL with oblique strain

ESPN 18 July, 2021 - 02:00am

Lindor got hurt during Friday night's 4-1 loss at Pittsburgh, wincing after he bounced out to second base in the fifth inning. The four-time All-Star took a few steps out of the batter's box but then peeled off toward the Mets' dugout on the first-base side.

The Mets recalled infielder Travis Blankenhorn from Triple-A Syracuse to take Lindor's roster spot.

In his first season with New York after he was acquired in a January trade with Cleveland, Lindor is hitting .228 with 11 homers and eight steals in 88 games. He agreed to a $341 million, 10-year contract just before Opening Day.

Beset by a long list of injuries, the National League East-leading Mets just got third baseman J.D. Davis back from the 60-day IL on Friday. His return meant each of New York's projected regulars were available for the first time in months.

Blankenhorn hit .270 with four homers in 13 games for Syracuse. He appeared in 11 games for the Mets earlier this season, going 1-for-11.

The Mets are Blankenhorn's fourth organization this season. He also has spent time in the farm systems of Minnesota, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Seattle.

Benches clear in Mets-Pirates after lineout

MLB.com 18 July, 2021 - 02:00am

With a runner on third and two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning, Pirates first baseman John Nogowski lined out to Mets first baseman Pete Alonso to end the frame. Mets starter Marcus Stroman hopped off the mound fired up, shouting back to his dugout.

But Nogowski took exception and pointed back at Stroman, who crossed by the Pirate on the way to the visiting dugout, as Nogowski shouted in his direction. Stroman responded, Nogowski walked toward him while continuing to voice his disapproval and the benches quickly emptied and joined together on the third-base side of the mound.

“If I have any emotion, it's towards our dugout. It's never at the other team's, it's never at any other players and they know that,” Stroman said. “So for him to come and be like that in that situation, I think it's completely uncalled for.”

Nogowski said after the game that the situation was just “two competitive guys going at it.”

“That’s a big spot in the game,” Nogowski said. “… He was fired up for his team to get that out. So, you know, you’ve got two competitive guys out there, stands full, it gets a little heated sometimes. But shoot, that’s why we love it.”

The bullpens also emptied after the two butted heads, but by the time those players arrived, Nogowski had begun to walk back to the dugout and Stroman appeared to be in some form of discomfort before sprinting back to the dugout. The tension dissipated on the field, and the umpires held a conference with managers Derek Shelton and Luis Rojas.

No ejections were issued after the scuffle.

"I think it's one of those things where you get a couple guys talking to each other and they clear," Shelton said. "Once we got out there, both staffs and the players did a good job. It became a non-issue pretty fast."

The jawing continued in the top of the sixth, when Nogowski engaged Stroman in some banter from first base while the right-hander was on the visiting dugout's railing. However, nothing further escalated -- and Nogowski claimed to not even recall the conversation.

“I don’t even remember. Were we talking?” Nogowski said. “I don’t know. I’ve got some friends over there that I was probably laughing with.”

Video tells a much different story, and so does Stroman, who was seen making hand gestures of a person walking.

“I was just wondering why he was running away,” Stroman said. “That was it."

But much like Nogowski’s postgame comments, things gradually got more diplomatic and level-headed on the field as the game went on. The teams completed the game without incident or further words.

That is until Stroman’s postgame interview shortly after the game ended, in which he said Nogowski’s “face got all red” in embarrassment, and he declared, “I fear nobody.”

“I'm never one to let any man talk down on me, especially when it's not warranted at all,” Stroman said. “He's just a clown, man.”

Nogowski had not seen Stroman’s comments by the time he spoke with the Pittsburgh media, but he knows it’s probably blown up online by now. And he’s right.

“I’m sure I will read it on TMZ or something like that,” Nogowski said. “I’m not too concerned about it.”

Jacob Stallings Hits Walk-Off Grand Slam to Edge Mets

Sports Illustrated 17 July, 2021 - 10:58pm

Stallings homered to left field to complete the 6–0 comeback and win the game 9–7. 

Brandon Nimmo homered to center field to give the Mets some cushion going into the bottom of the ninth but it there was blood in the water.

Stallings walk-off grand slam brought home Ke'Bryan Hayes, Bryan Reynolds and Jared Oliva for the storybook ending. 

The Pirates improve to 36–56 and the Mets fall to 47–42 on the season. 

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