The New York Mets have been blessed with many very likable players in recent years, many of whom made their mark in Queens with one triumphant moment. For Wilmer Flores, it was the “Five Days in Flushing” saga of July 2015, when he cried on the field over a non-trade with the Brewers one day and was the walk-off hero against the Nationals a couple of days later. For Endy Chavez, it was his spectacular catch-turned-double play against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS.
Of course, who can forget Johan Santana, who firmly etched his place in franchise history when he pitched the first Mets no-hitter on June 1, 2012? Santana had many fantastic starts in his injury-shortened Mets career, including a shut out on the second-to-last day of the 2008 season, but his no-hitter clearly stands out as his apex with the orange and blue.
On the current roster, there are several players who first stood out to Mets fans with one unforgettable game or play. Let’s look back at five moments that endeared Mets fans to specific players on the current roster.
Jacob deGrom: Mets beat the Dodgers in Game 5 of the 2015 NLDS
Even though he had already won the NL Rookie of the Year award in 2014, Jacob deGrom did not truly “arrive” in the eyes of most Mets fans until October 15, 2015. That night, deGrom faced off against Zach Greinke and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the deciding game of the National League Division Series. deGrom had already dominated the Dodgers’ formidable lineup in Game 1 of the series, shutting them down with seven shutout innings and a whopping 13 strikeouts.
Several days later in Game 5, deGrom was clearly less dominant from the start. He gave up two runs in the bottom of the first inning on singles to Justin Turner and Andre Ethier, immediately surrendering the 1-0 lead that the Mets had gotten for him in the top of the inning. Things looked bleak for the man who, just a few months prior, had dismantled three American League All-Stars on ten nasty pitches in the All-Star game.
Instead of caving into his struggles, deGrom bared down. He ended up allowing six hits and three walks in six innings of work, but he did not allow another run for the rest of the game. Clutch strikeouts of Corey Seager and Yasmani Grandal, as well as a double play off the bat of Kike Hernández, bailed him out of a few more jams.
Multiple Mets-related personnel have called this game deGrom’s “coming out party” of sorts with the Mets. Steve Gelbs said as much during this postgame interview right after the Mets sealed the victory in the 9th inning, when he repeatedly referred to deGrom’s performance as “gutsy.”
We saw what deGrom could do during the regular season in 2014, but in 2015, his true toughness emerged. From then on, it’s been a constant love affair between him and the Flushing Faithful.