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Mets Top 100 Home Runs: No. 9 Wilmer Flores Becomes Everyone's Friend

In 2009, I did a project for my website, Mets Walk-Offs and Other Minutiae, celebrating the best home runs in Mets history. I selected the top 60 regular season home runs and the top 15 postseason home runs. The reason I picked 60 was because it represented the top 1% of home runs in Mets history (and 15 just felt right for postseason).

This was fun to do, but it was imperfect. I had one egregious omission. I tended to favor oddities.

It’s time to give that project an update. And why not do it as a top 100?

The Mets have hit 7,671 regular season home runs. The top 80 represent about the top 1%. And the top 20 postseason home runs get us to an even 100 to celebrate.

Come along for the ride. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the reminiscing. Hopefully you’ll find it Amazin’. 


The rest of the list can be found here.

9. Wilmer Flores is Everyone’s Friend (July 31, 2015 vs Nationals)
I know that Wilmer Flores liked the theme song from one of the world’s most popular TV shows. But I always thought it would have been cool if my idea for his at-bats would have caught on. I thought it would have been funny to have gotten someone to be the voice of Fred Flinstone, but instead of shouting for his wife, he would have shouted “Wilmmmmmmmmmmerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.”

I think Mets fans all enjoyed a good yell that magical July 31 night against the Nationals that jumpstarted and foreshadowed the run to the World Series. It certainly beat the handwringing and grumbling of the previous day when the Mets blew a 7-1 lead against the Padres in the muck and grime at Citi Field, and the tear-shedding of Flores’ near trade to the Brewers the day before.

I’m trying to think of the appropriate Friends’ analogy regarding what Wilmer went through.

Perhaps it was akin to what Ross and Rachel put each other through in the first few seasons of the show – the idea of “I love them, but do they love me back?” I don’t know. My sister is the one who has memorized the apartment trivia scene not me. (“You’re shooting with Althea? … Althea is correct … nice shooting!”)

Anyways, the transference from tears of despair to tears of joy was actually quite the baseball game, one with a little extra buzz given that the Mets had traded for Yoenis Cespedes earlier that day.

The Mets scored first against their nemesis, Gio Gonzalez, on Flores’ bases-loaded infield hit with two outs in the second inning. Meanwhile, Matt Harvey was in vintage mode. He retired the first 16 before Jose Lobaton’s sixth-inning single. Harvey carried that 1-0 lead into the eighth and I suppose there’s some foreshadowing here too.

Harvey retired the first two Nationals hitters but then a hit by pitch, an infield single, and a two-strike hit by Yunel Escobar tied the score chased Harvey from the game (perhaps one batter too late).

We know now how the Mets won this game, but they really won it when Tyler Clippard struck out Jayson Werth to conclude a 13-pitch at-bat(!) to strand the tying run on second base in the eighth inning.

Clippard provided a stress test in the ninth, but after two walks retired Michael Taylor and Yunel Escobar to keep the score even.

The two bullpens made things pretty boring for the next little while, combining to retire 20 hitters in a row. That included five straight strikeouts by Hansel Robles and Carlos Torres in the 11th and 12th.

You might notice something when Wilmer Flores bats. He gets good mileage out of the Double Bubble in the Mets dugout. He likes to chomp on gum. I imagine that it helps him stay relaxed, as this Cut4 article intimates.

I would imagine that it was hard for Flores to stay relaxed in the time leading up to that game, given the near-trade and all that it meant to him. But with the trade deadline passed, he could relax a little bit. And he had the gum to help.

To combine things you might know from both shows – the next thing that happened, Flores went Bam-Bam versus Felipe Vazquez … and the gum … it was perfection (right, Chandler?)

“The trade that wasn’t made might be the biggest hit for the Mets all season,” said Ron Darling.

Darling was right as he often is. The Mets were 52-50 entering the day. They went 38-22 and all the way to the World Series. That game marked a turning point in one of the most fun seasons since 1986 and for that, it lands No. 9 on this list.

My favorite stats: Wilmer Flores has four walk-off home runs, tying Mike Piazza, Kevin McReynolds, Chris Jones, and Cleon Jones, for the most in Mets history.



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Cliff Notes

Alright, so it's 2 days later and the challenge for me now, after reading through about a dozen game stories and listening to talk radio, is to provide a fresh perspective on walk-off #324. If you're going to be a serious reader of this blog, you know what happened already, so let's look at what made this particular walk-off stand out. It would seem that the place to start is with the idea that everything broke just right on both sides of the ball. Particularly, I'm talking about Carlos Beltran's catch in the 7th inning, where he went over the center field fence to rob Jose Molina of a home run. Every no-hitter seems to have one defensive gem that makes it possible and perhaps that's true of great walk-off moments as well (We'll be looking into that!) Marlon Anderson's home run required a remarkable combination of events. It was only the sixth inside-the-park home run at Shea Stadium by a Met and the first since Darryl Strawberry in 1989. It required t