Legends On Deck

T.J. Rivera 3-Hits, 3-RBI, 1st MLB HR Puts Mets Over Nats In 10

ALEX BRANDON/AP

ALEX BRANDON/AP

On a night when the New York Mets needed a victory to stay ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals for the last Wild Card spot, they received a career game from an unlikely hero. Rookie T.J. Rivera, who had not started a game in nearly three weeks, came through with three-hits and a home run in the top of the 10th inning to put the Mets up for good at 4-3, after the Washington Nationals tied the game in the bottom of the ninth to send the game into extra innings.

Rivera was penned into the starting role by manager Terry Collins and it was probably one of the best moves by the Mets skipper all season.

The Nationals took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second after Wilson Ramos doubled off Noah Syndergaard scoring Bryce Harper, who walked to lead-off the inning.

But the Mets battled back in the top of the third, when T.J. Rivera singled home Asdrubal Cabrera to tie the game at 1-1.

In the top of the fifth, New York broke the 1-1 tie when Curtis Granderson tripled to drive in Yoenis Cespedes, then they add an insurance run on Rivera second RBI of the game, a sac fly to center scoring Granderson from third base.

The Mets summoned Jeurys Familia to close out the game, but the Nats had other plans, as four straight batters reached base, with RBI singles from Anthony Rendon and Ramos to tie the game at 3-3. Familia then worked out of trouble, getting Ryan Zimmerman to line out to first and Clint Robinson hit into an inning ending double play to send the game into extra innings.

In the top of the 10th, Rivera came to the plate with one out against closer Mark Melancon, and on an 0-2 count, he calmly launched his first MLB home run over the left field fence to put the Mets up for good at 4-3. The Mets best minor league hitter over his minor league career, is finally where he belongs on the big stage and taking full advantage of the opportunity.

With the victory the Mets improve to 77-68, pull within nine games of first place Nationals and still hold a .5 game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in the Wild Card race. As for the Nats they drop to 86-59, with their magic number to clinch the NL East remaining at nine games.

Game Notes:

Mets

T.J. Rivera finished the game 3 for  4, with a runs scored, home run and three RBIs.

Starter Noah Syndergaard tossed seven innings, allowing one run on one hit, a walk and struck out 10 batters. Strike out #5 on the night was his 200th on the season.

Nationals

Daniel Murphy continued his hot hitting against his former teammates, as he recorded a hit in his 18th straight game against the Mets this season.

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David Conde

David Conde

Co-Founder/Executive Editor at Legends On Deck®
David is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Legends On Deck. He is a former Senior Editor for MetsMerizedOnline, MetsMinors.net and Contributor for Hardballchat.com. He is a native of Brooklyn, NY and a lifelong Mets and baseball fan. David coaches little league baseball so he can teach his two sons how to play the game he loves.David also has a hobby of taking sports photos which can be seen here on Legends On Deck.a

You can also reach out to David at daconde@legendsondeck.com
David Conde