The biggest hit was not to Michael Conforto’s elbow guard. That was the most interesting, controversial and memorable.
But the biggest hit of the Mets’ home opener — and of their young season — came off Jeff McNeil’s bat, which he then flipped toward the home dugout in a gesture of both revelry and relief. Such was the mounting exasperation of both McNeil and his team to deliver a clutch moment in this nascent season.
In his next-to-last at-bat, leading off the sixth inning, McNeil popped an 0-2 pitch from Miami’s Ross Detwiler foul off the third-base line. He did not even watch the trajectory of the ball nor the outcome. With the ball still climbing, McNeil wheeled toward the first-base dugout, pulled his helmet off and muttered as behind him Brian Anderson recorded an out that dropped McNeil to 0-for-10 in 2021.
“He got a little emotional in the middle of the game,” Luis Rojas said.
But McNeil got a little exceptional at the end of the game.
The Mets went to the bottom of the ninth trailing 2-1 mainly because they were hitless in eight at-bats with men on base and 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position. This was after a 1-for-12…