- Anthony Gruppuso – USATODAY Sports
The New York Mets were just three outs away from suffering an embarrassing sweep at home at the hands of the Chicago Cubs when Marlon Byrd hit a home run to start the bottom of the 9th and Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit a three-run home run to end the game and the Mets home stand on a positive note.
Ever since pulling off an unlikely four-game sweep against the New York Yankees at the end of May, the Mets June has been nothing short of disastrous. After looking inept on offense for much of the past two weeks, the Mets found success for just one inning against Cubs reliever Carlos Marmol, and it was enough to get a much-needed win.
In a way, it’s fitting that Nieuwenhuis was the one to deliver the game-winning hit for the Mets. Although he was swinging a hot bat in triple-A, Nieuwenhuis has struggled since getting called back up to the big leagues a weak ago, going hitless in his first 12 at bats following his promotion. Entering Sunday’s game, Nieuwenhuis was hitting just .103 in the big leagues this season. He needed a hit as badly as the Mets needed a win, and with just one swing of the bat, both got what they needed.
The win gives the Mets something positive to build off of heading into an 11-game road trip, which begins tomorrow night against the division leading Atlanta Braves. With frustration mounting, the Mets needed a lift to give them some confidence and energy heading into such a challenging road trip, and they got it. There’s no telling what the Mets will do from here, but it can’t hurt to have some momentum moving forward.
There’s no doubt that it’s been a disappointing season for the Mets, but just for a moment, they can breathe easy and feel good about getting a win.