2015: Wilmer Flores strikes out against Wade Davis as Mets lose Game 5 in 12 innings
The 2015 Mets, despite their dominant pitching in the regular season, were not favored to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the division series, then did so in five games. They were also underdogs against the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS, but swept them and that year’s Cy Young winner, Jake Arrieta, out of Wrigley Field in four games. From there, a date with the Kansas City Royals, who had lost the previous year’s Fall Classic to the San Francisco Giants, was in store.
Unfortunately, the 2015 World Series went a lot like the 2000 World Series. The Mets fell behind the Royals, 2-0, in the first two contests and headed home with their backs against the wall. Luckily, Game 3 featured several fond memories for Flushing fans, including Noah Syndergaard’s famous pitch to Alcides Escobar and David Wright’s mammoth home run.
But Game 4 also swung the Royals’ way, leaving the Mets facing elimination at Citi Field in Game 5. They entered the ninth inning up 2-0 and with starter Matt Harvey still on the mound. From there, the sequence of events is burned into every Mets fan’s brain: manager Terry Collins tries to take Harvey out, Harvey argues his way into staying in, gives up a run, and eventually gives way to closer Jeurys Familia, who allows the tying run to score after Lucas Duda’s ill-fated throw home.
The game dragged on until the 12th, when the Royals finally twisted the knife in the Mets’ hearts by scoring five times in the top of the inning. With the score 7-2, the Mets sent up Duda, Travis d’Arnaud, and Michael Conforto in the bottom half of the frame. After the first two struck out and Conforto singled, Wilmer Flores strode up to the dish.
Flores had become a cult hero earlier in 2015 after his apparent trade to the Brewers was deemed a no-go and he walked it off against the Nationals on July 31. Now in November, the stakes were even higher. Unfortunately, the man nicknamed “walk-off Wilmer” for his regular-season heroics couldn’t deliver any more magic that year. He struck out looking against Wade Davis, who pitched to a sparkling 0.94 ERA in 69 regular-season appearances. The Royals were the World Champions, and the Mets were left clinging to the faint glory of 1986 once again.
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Compiling these five World Series appearances, the Mets are officially 2-3 all-time in Fall Classics. They have been at the center of miracles, comebacks, back-breaking errors (on both sides), severed bats, and much more. With any luck, there will be more jubilation than heartbreak for the Mets and their fans alike in future World Series.