Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Flores Hits Walk-Off HR in 1st Game as Mets Split Doubleheader

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Flores Hits Walk-Off HR in 1st Game as Mets Split Doubleheader

Article excerpt

NEW YORK — It turned out to be a break for the Mets in the tenth inning Monday afternoon when video replay ruled that Wilmer Flores had not been hit by a pitch.

That ruling allowed Flores to complete his at-bat rather than take first, and gave the Mets' walk-off king the chance to do what he does best: hit a walk-off homer.

Flores did exactly that on the next pitch, banging a fastball off the left-field foul pole.

"It's almost getting to a point where you expect it," Mets starter Zack Wheeler said. "When the game's on the line, that's the guy you want to have up there."

Flores has now tallied a franchise-best 10 walk-off RBIs after hitting a pinch-hit solo shot in the Mets' 4-3 win in the first game of Monday's doubleheader at Citi Field. Flores has two walk-off homers this year, and his four career walk-off blasts are tied for the team record along with Mike Piazza, Cleon Jones, Chris Jones and Kevin McReynolds.

The Mets (36-52) fell 3-1 in the nightcap with Corey Oswalt allowing a bases-clearing double to opposing starter, Aaron Nola. The Mets managed two hits, and manager Mickey Callaway made a questionable pitching decision in the eighth.

"I can't tell you why," Flores said of his success.

While Flores will forever be remembered for his non-trade to Milwaukee that reduced him to tears, he's developing a reputation as one of MLB's most clutch hitters. His short, compact swing allows him to barrel pitches, and he's not afraid in those moments.

His 10 walk-off RBIs in MLB since 2014 are three more than any other player.

"Some guys step up in those situations," Callaway said.

It actually took some fortune for Flores to even have a chance for a walk-off hit Monday, but the Mets obviously did not mind how it worked out.

With the teams tied at 3 in the seventh, Callaway opted to have Seth Lugo stay in the game to pitch the eighth inning rather than pull him for Flores. …

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