Skip to main content

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.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Walk-Offs in Movies, TV, and Other Places

Note: I'm leaving this post up through the end of the week, a) because I don't have time to pump out something new and b)because I was hoping to build a really good list of entertainment industry walk-offs...so if you're looking for something new, check back on Monday or so... Of course, if there's a major trade or move, I'll adjust and try to post something... In the meantime, click on the "Table of Contents" link as well. It has been updated. SPOILER ALERT: Read at your own risk Caught the ending of "A League of Their Own" on one of the movie channels the other day and it got me to thinking that it would be fun to compile a list of walk-offs from movies, television, and other forms of entertainment. Here's the start, and only the start, as I spent about 30 minutes or so thinking it over Help me fill in the blanks by filling out the comments section. "A League of Their Own"-- Racine beats Rockford for the All-American Girls

The 'Duca of Earl (and walk-offs)

If I told you that the Mets had just obtained a guy who is a career .316 hitter with runners in scoring position? How about if I told you that the Mets just traded for a hitter who has consistently ranked among the toughest in baseball to strike out? Or if I mentioned that the Mets just dealt for a player who was selected to the NL All-Star team the last three seasons, with the last honor coming via a vote by his peers? So, although he's on the down side age wise, his throwing arm isn't as good as it used to be, and he doesn't provide much power, there are a lot of good things that Paul Lo Duca brings to the New York Mets. For example: He'll sacrifice his body for the good of the team The Dodgers and Braves squared off on August 23, 2002 and Lo Duca made an impact both on the start and finish of this game. Three pitches after being dusted by Greg Maddux, Lo Duca made him pay with a first-inning home run. The Braves rallied to tie the game, 3-3 in the ninth, but thei

Minutiae Break: Worst Mets Relievers

It occurs to me after 79 straight walk-off related posts and some fatigue still remaining from Saturday's finish that I did promise to bring Metspective on other issues related to the Flushing 9, so I offer this posting up as a "Minutiae Break." This came about after several discussions related to the offhand Dick Tidrow/Danny Graves remark the other day , the conclusion of which indicated that it would be fun to create a list of the worst Mets relievers of all-time. I don't want to step on the territory of other bloggers, like " Faith and Fear in Flushing ," Mets Guy in Michigan " and " Metstradamus ," so I'll tread carefully here, aided by their influence. Should any friends, family members, or fans of these pitchers visit this site, I mean no harm. I'm just here to have a little fun with this topic. The ground rules are as follows: The pitcher must have had a Mets stint as long as Dick Tidrow's (11 games, 15 2/3 innings), for