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How’s making a run at history for a first impression?
Citi Field has seen plenty of Max Scherzer, but for the first time on Tuesday night, he took the mound there as a Met. The right-hander didn’t take long to get the crowd of 27,490 hanging on his every pitch.
Scherzer flirted with throwing a no-hitter, recording two outs in the sixth inning before giving up his first and only hit of the game, but struck out 10 over seven innings to lead the Mets to a 3-1 win over the Giants on a cold night in Queens.
It completed a doubleheader sweep after Francisco Lindor secured his first walk-off as a Met in Game 1, getting Buck Showalter’s club off to a strong start in a four-game series against the reigning NL West champs.
Scherzer, who has already thrown two no-hitters in his storied career, lost his bid for a third on his 92nd pitch of the night Tuesday. With the crowd pulling for every strike, Darin Ruf roped a 1-1 changeup to left field for a single, and because Scherzer had already walked two in the inning, it drove in a run to cut the Mets’ lead to 3-1.
But that was the only blemish on Scherzer’s home debut as he improved to 3-0 and lowered his ERA to 2.50. The only other base runner he allowed Tuesday was a walk to No. 9 hitter Curt Casali with two outs in the third inning.
The high strikeout and walk totals took a toll on Scherzer’s pitch count, but Ruf’s hit in the sixth took a tough decision out of Showalter’s hands. The Mets’ co-ace had thrown 96 pitches in his last start.
Lindor, meanwhile, picked up where he left off in Game 1. After singling in the first inning, he doubled in the third to spark a three-run rally that included a two-run double from Eduardo Escobar and an RBI single from Dominic Smith. Building a 3-0 lead, the Mets forced Giants stud right-hander Logan Webb out of the game by the fourth inning.
In the first game of the twin bill, Lindor keyed a three-run rally in the fifth inning with an RBI hustle double that tied the game at four. Then in the bottom of the 10th, he lined a single to center field off Giants lefty reliever Jarlin Garcia, scoring automatic runner Brandon Nimmo from third base for the walk-off win.
“[Lindor] seems to be [dialing] up what we need about every time,” Showalter said between games.
Lindor did add some drama to the game in the top of the 10th inning. With runners on the corners and two outs, Adam Ottavino appeared to induce the third out with a sharp ground ball to shortstop. But Lindor’s off-target throw forced first baseman Pete Alonso to make a big stretch, which umpire Sean Barber said pulled Alonso’s foot off the bag, seemingly giving the Giants (7-3) the one-run lead.
But Showalter challenged the call — first figuring he had nothing to lose before replay analyst Harrison Friedland told him they had a case — and it was eventually overturned for the third out, the Mets’ second replay win of the game.