It was on July 31, 2015, when Wilmer Flores had arguably his most memorable walk-off home run for the New York Mets. The drama of that week couldn’t have be scripted better.
We all know what happened after this game and how the Mets starting lineup was completely transformed with the addition of Yoenis Cespedes. Do you recall what the lineup was before the big new piece inserted himself into the middle?
NY Mets starting lineup on July 31, 2015, didn't need Yoenis Cespedes thanks to Wilmer Flores
The Mets won the game in 12 innings but they also only had 6 hits and 2 runs. The lineup began with Curtis Granderson in right field followed by Ruben Tejada at shortstop. Batting third was Daniel Murphy and the cleanup hitter was Juan Uribe. They played first base and third base to start the game.
For as much of a fan-favorite as Uribe was during his brief time with the Mets, putting him in the cleanup spot is not going to win you a pennant.
Batting fifth, we had catcher Travis d’Arnaud. Following him was Flores who started the game at second base.
Things rounded out with center fielder Juan Lagares, left fielder Eric Campbell, and pitcher Matt Harvey. How could New York possibly win a game with this lineup with noted Mets-killer Gio Gonzalez starting against them?
This game is remembered most for the Flores drama but Harvey was masterful on the mound. He gave them 7.2 innings of five-hit ball. The Washington Nationals managed to score only a single run against him and went down on strikes nine times.
It wasn’t just Harvey dominating from the mound. Tyler Clippard, Jeurys Familia, Hansel Robles, and Carlos Torres finished the last 4.1 innings without allowing a single hit. They struck out 7 total batters. Torres led the way by fanning all three batters he faced in the top of the 12th before Wilmer’s magic went to work.
This game was the turning point of the season and signaled to the division they were going to dethrone the Nationals. On the backs of their gutsy starting pitchers, reliable bullpen, and sensational clutch abilities, they were able to overcome their weaknesses and win their way to the World Series.