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JD Martinez homers for NY Mets, credits team meeting for changing morale

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NEW YORK – While Wednesday represented the low point of the 2024 season for the Mets, the uphill climb began one night later.

After a day where the Mets conceded, saw Jorge Lopez melt down after an eviction and called a team meeting, the Mets responded Thursday night with a thrilling 3-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks in front of 20,926 fans at Citi Field.

If Wednesday’s result against the Dodgers was the low point, there was plenty of room for the Mets to rise.

In a period where countless losses were decided by runs in late-game situations, JD Martinez turned the tide with a clutch clutch of his own. Martinez’s solo home run in the eighth inning off Dbacks reliever Ryan Thompson, which narrowly cleared the wall in center field, gave the Mets the lead for good.

Martinez called Wednesday’s players session one of the more productive team meetings he’s been a part of in his 14-year career. And the positivity was added at least one night.

“The way everyone interacted and how we all left, it wasn’t one of those meetings where it was just, ‘Okay, we’ve got to get better,’” Martinez said. “It was, ‘No, let’s go back to having fun and enjoying this. We lose, we lose.’

“We’re putting pressure on ourselves. I think it’s clear. We’re involved in every game and it’s been a struggle towards the end. Yeah, it tells me these are things you can change quickly.”

Of the Mets’ last nine losses, six have been by two runs or less or in overtime. The one-point win helped the Mets snap a three-game skid and improve to 23-33. It was the first series opener they won since May 6 against the Cardinals.

Francisco Lindor takes the lead with 431 feet HR

One day after leading the charge to call the team meeting following a 10-3 loss to the Dodgers and a sweep, Francisco Lindor kept his end of the bargain with his bat.

Lindor collected nearly half of the Mets’ nine hits, including a 450-foot home run to left-center field on a high fastball from Diamondbacks reliever Brandon Hughes. He also tied the score with an RBI single through the right side, making it 2-2.

“It felt good to contribute to a team win,” Lindor said. “It’s not about being the main person at the team meeting. That’s not what it’s about. Everyone could have had a good night tonight and it would have happened to me. It just turned out it was me.”

The Mets shortstop led by example, finishing 4-for-4 with a home run, two RBI, a run and a stolen base.

“It means a lot, not only did they come together and say a lot of things, but they went out there tonight and showed it,” Mendoza said.

Pete Alonso, who made a dramatic return as a pinch hitter just over 24 hours after being hit by a pitch in his right hand, doubled in his only at-bat and scored the tying run.

“I did some strength tests with the trainers and they said whatever you can tolerate, you’ve been given the green light for whatever you feel comfortable with,” Alonso said. “I was very happy with how everything responded again in such a short time.”

Christian Scott, Mets relievers grind

In his fifth start of his Major League career, Christian Scott showed some grit.

The Diamondbacks extended their at-bats against the Mets rookie right-hander, but could only muster two runs on a two-run double by Ketel Marte in the top of the third inning.

Otherwise, Scott left a few runners in scoring position. The Dbacks committed an error on 25 of Scott’s 91 throws, sending him deep into the counts. Scott finished with two earned runs on four hits and one walk while striking out four in five innings.

“The battle for strikes was huge for the rightists and the division for strikes was huge for the leftists today,” Scott said. “And then the fastball at the top of the zone and let them beat me with it. I’m going to go out there and I’m going to throw my stuff. I’m going to try to pound the middle of the zone, unlimited free runners and see what happens after that.”

A patchwork of efforts helped the Mets bullpen bounce back.

Adrian Houser came on in the sixth inning and gave the Mets a chance to come back. He worked around a one-out walk by getting Lourdes Gurriel to ground into a double play that ended the inning. After Suarez reached on a one-out error and advanced to third on a stolen base and wild pitch, Houser got back-to-back strikeouts.

Danny Young, who was called up after Lopez was named for the assignment, threw a perfect eighth to take the win. Reed Garrett worked around a walk to record his third save in Edwin Diaz’s absence.

We’re ignoring the Jorge Lopez drama

When the dust settled from a chaotic Wednesday afternoon, Lopez was no longer a member of the Mets.

The Mets designated Lopez for assignment on Thursday, less than 24 hours after he threw his glove into the crowd following an ejection and showed no remorse for his actions in a post-game media bash.

“Yes, look, if you don’t play well, guys will show emotions,” Mendoza said. “There are frustrations, but there is a fine line and yesterday we crossed that line. And we will not tolerate that.”

On Instagram, Lopez apologized to his “teammates, coaches, fans and the front office.” The 31-year-old reliever also clarified one of his comments after confusion arose over whether he said “worst team” or “worst teammate” in Major League Baseball.

“During that interview, I spoke candidly about my frustrations with my personal performance and how I felt it made me ‘the worst teammate in the entire league,’” Lopez said. “Unfortunately, my attempts to address the media in English have caused some confusion and generated headlines that do not reflect what I was trying to express.”

Mendoza said he and David Stearns spoke with Lopez prior to his postgame interview, which Lopez refuted. The Mets now have seven days to trade or release Lopez. They can send him straight to the minor leagues if he isn’t claimed.

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