Francisco Lindor, Jeff McNeil say ‘rat’ sparked Mets scene

From the crew that gave beginning to a fictional hitting coach named Donnie Stevenson got here a dugout dustup pinned to a supposed debate over a rat versus a raccoon.

In the center of the seventh inning of a wild 5-4 walk-off Mets win over the Diamondbacks on Friday evening at Citi Field, Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil gave the impression to be involved in some commotion in the tunnel connecting the dugout and clubhouse that led to a number of teammates racing down there.

But after the Mets got here again to win in 10 innings — keyed by a game-tying, two-run house run by the slumping Lindor and capped off by a Patrick Mazeika game-winning dribbler — Lindor was all smiles and laughs as he tried to brush off no matter really occurred within the tunnel.

“It was funny, ’cause I told [McNeil], ‘Hey, I’ve never seen a New York rat,’” Lindor mentioned by chuckles. “So we went down sprinting, about to go see a New York rat, and he got mad at me. He’s like, ‘No, it’s not a New York rat, it’s a raccoon.’ I’m like, ‘Hell no! It’s a damn rat.’ Crazy, because we were going back and forth debating if it was a rat or a raccoon. Crazy, man.”

McNeil caught to Lindor’s story concerning the rat-raccoon debate — including that he really thought it was a possum — and deflected when instructed there was doubt about that story.

Mets
Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil
Getty Images, Corey Sipkin

“They can believe whatever they want,” McNeil mentioned. “We’re a tight-knit group. Everybody loves everybody.”

Manager Luis Rojas mentioned he had not heard that story, however by the point he acquired to the tunnel, the scenario had resolved itself.

“The one thing I ran into was Francisco saying, ‘Let’s go play ball. Let’s go play ball,” Rojas mentioned.

In the highest of the seventh inning, Nick Ahmed had hit an infield single on a floor ball between McNeil and Lindor. Both appeared to hesitate going for the ball earlier than Lindor fielded it, however his throw was too late.

Lindor mentioned he was mad on the sphere as a result of he didn’t make the play, however caught to his rat vs. raccoon story and insisted his relationship with McNeil was advantageous when requested about it postgame.

“I can bring him out and probably give him a kiss on the cheek if you want,” Lindor mentioned.

Rojas referred to the Mets as a household and mentioned that “everything that happens on a daily basis in a family at home happens here.”

Regardless, the chaos that had ensnared the Mets on their street journey, throughout which their hitting coaches have been stunningly fired shortly after a sport in St. Louis, adopted them house.

Mazeika, the final man left on the bench, performed hero within the tenth inning in his second profession plate appearances with a dribbler between the mound and first base that scored Pete Alonso from third for the walk-off victory.

The Mets got here all the way in which again from dealing with a 4-0 deficit after David Peterson couldn’t survive the second inning. A parade of relievers — Robert Gsellman, Tommy Hunter, Jacob Barnes and Miguel Castro — helped preserve the sport inside attain and acquired the ball to Edwin Diaz within the ninth. Meanwhile, Michael Conforto and Jonathan Villar chipped in RBI singles earlier than Lindor got here by with a two-run shot to tie the sport within the seventh inning — solely minutes after the dugout snafu.

Lindor, who had simply damaged an 0-for-26 hunch on Thursday, pumped his chest as he ran down the primary final analysis. The crowd of seven,662, who had greeted him with a smattering of boos the 2 occasions he had been retired earlier within the sport, showered him with love whereas he rounded the bases.

“That was BIG,” proprietor Steve Cohen tweeted about his $341 million shortstop’s game-tying homer.

Diaz pitched a scoreless ninth and Aaron Loup dealt with a 1-2-3 tenth, turning it over to the Mets offense to win it within the backside of the tenth.

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