Justin Turner has thrived for the New York Mets (71-73) in clutch situations; Friday night’s 5-4 walk-off victory over the Chicago Cubs (62-82) was probably one of the sweetest for the second baseman.
Turner, who laced two doubles in the game, got the game-winner in the bottom of the ninth to lead the Mets to their fifth walk-off this season. For the second baseman it was his second walk-off of the season and of his career.
“I knew I hit it pretty well,” Turner said of the game-winner. “They were playing pretty shallow to give themselves a chance to throw out Jason Pridie (the game-winning run) so that helped me a bit.” The second baseman continued to say, “I enjoy being in these clutch situations.”
New York started their comeback effort in the bottom of the fourth inning, when back-to-back hits by Turner and Lucas Duda started the frame. David Wright drove in a run on a fielder’s choice play, before Jason Bay ripped a double (16) to left to cut the Chicago lead to 3-2.
Bay now has an eight-game hitting streak, and is hitting .444 (12-27) during his run, and over the last 11 games the left fielder has a .398 (15-38) batting average with five doubles.
“The walk-off wins are always exciting,” Bay would say of the Friday night thriller. “You can see by the way we run out there to beat up on whoever does it-it is exciting.”
Bay said of his hot hitting as of late, “It has been a battle for me, I’ve been feeling a lot better as of late and I feel good to be able to contribute.”
A ground ball by Nick Evans tied the teams up at three, before the Mets took the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Jose Reyes ignited that frame by lacing a double (28) to left field, the Mets shortstop now has a 12 game hitting streak, and his hitting .319 (15-47). One batter later, Turner brought the speedy Reyes home with a double (26) to right field, which gave New York the 4-3 edge.
The Mets bullpen kept the Cubs off the board until the top of the ninth inning, when Darwin Barney notched the game at 4-4. Chicago was ‘Turner’ated in the bottom of the frame, as Justin came through with his game-winning double in the bottom of the frame.
“This walk-off is definitely a lot sweeter than my last one,” Turner said. The last time the second baseman was able to help the Mets get a victory, he was hit by a pitch.
Lost in the story is starter Mike Pelfrey, who left the game tossing 6.2 innings, giving up six hits, three runs and three strikeouts. ‘Pelf’ made his 30th start of the season to become the first Mets pitcher to make at least 30 starts in four consecutive seasons since Tom Glavine.
One of the biggest plays in the game that helped to settle ‘Pelf’ down and get him in a groove was a great throw by Bay in the bottom of the fourth inning, which kept the Cubs to only one run.
“I was playing up because the pitcher was hitting and I figured they were going to take a shot-I got it and got rid of it as fast as I could,” Bay said of the throw. “It was a little off line, but I got it to Josh (Thole) with enough time to adjust.”
Bay continued to say, “Anytime you can help someone out it is a good thing, I am not going to take credit for settling ‘Pelf’ down by throwing the guy out at the plate, but it was a good thing considering we scored three runs. It could be one of those momentum type things; in the perfect world you’d hope it be the start of positive things for your team.”
Pelfrey had this to say of his teammates play, “That was huge, obviously he came up big there and he came up big with the bat as well. He had a good game, we were down 3-0 and the guys came back and got the victory.”
Josh Stinson continues to impress with his relief outings for the Mets, as the righty tossed 0.2 perfect innings, and has now thrown five consecutive scoreless outings since being recalled from Binghamton (AA) on September 1.
This three-game set continues on Saturday as Chris Capuano (10-12, 4.63 ERA) takes on Randy Wells (7-4, 4.86 ERA). The first pitch is slated for 1:10 p.m.
9/11 Ticket Note: The Mets announced today that they will offer complimentary tickets to New York City First Responders and their families for the September 11 Remembrance Ceremony at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be picked up with proper photo identification during the series with the Cubs, at the Citi Field Advanced Ticket Window adjacent to the Jackie Robinson Rotunda.
The original story was posted onto the Examiner.com site on 9/9/11 and can be seen here: