NEW YORK (AP) — Brandon Nimmo flashed a smile of relief as much as happiness.
A day after misplaying a catchable fly into a double during a one-run loss to the Yankees, Nimmo ended a rally when he was thrown out at second base while taking a wide turn. And that was just one of a series of blunders by the Mets, who made two errors as the Yankees scored twice without a hit, allowed a runner to steal home and got called for just the second violation of this year’s new shift restriction.
Then Nimmo hit a game-ending double off the wall in right-center in the 10th inning, giving the Mets a 4-3 victory on Wednesday night for a two-game Subway Series split.
“When you win, you can look back of things and say, OK, we’ll learn from ’em,” Nimmo said. “But when you lose, it’s kind of not really thought of that way. And so everything is better when you win.”
With a record $355 million payroll, the Mets (31-36) won for just the second time in 11 games.
“Those were things we were able to overcome,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “You’d like to see them not happen but I think sometimes guys are trying so hard to find a way to contribute that sometimes mistakes are made.”
Before a sellout crowd of 44,121 on a night when the Yankees’ Gerrit Cole and the Mets’ Justin Verlander combined to allow two runs in 12 innings with 14 strikeouts and no walks, the game was decided against the bullpens. Tommy Pham’s RBI double in the fifth and Jake Bauers’ run-scoring single in the sixth left the score 1-1.
Second baseman Jeff McNeil allowed Josh Donaldson to score the go-ahead run in the seventh when he bounced a throw to first that would have been way late anyway trying for a double play on Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s grounder.
IKF stole second, took third when Francisco Álvarez’s throw skipped into center for an error and stole home on the next pitch, moving well down the line when Brooks Raley went from the windup rather than the stretch, then sprinting.
“He didn’t acknowledge me. The third baseman didn’t acknowledge me,” Kiner-Falefa said after the Yankees’ first straight steal of home since Jacoby Ellsbury on April 22, 2016. “I just couldn’t believe I did that in the big leagues.”
Raley faulted himself for not pitching out of the stretch.
“I saw him jumping around over there and didn’t know to step off or not and then he just kind of took off,” Raley said. “So it kind of became a situation of I didn’t really practice stepping off and throwing home.”
The Mets loaded the bases in the bottom half against Jimmy Cordero and Ron Marinaccio hit Nimmo with a pitch. Starling Marte followed with a two-out RBI single to left, only for Nimmo to take too wide turn at second as Mark Vientos was held by third base coach Joey Cora. Nimmo was caught when catcher Jose Trevino relayed Billy McKinney’s off-line throw to second baseman DJ LeMahieu — a play allowed to stand in a video review.
“It was aggressive. In that situation, I like it,” Nimmo said. “But other things happened in front.”
Then in the eighth, McNeill was called for a shift violation with Giancarlo Stanton at the plate following Anthony Volpe’s double. McNeil’s right foot was straddling the third-base side of second base,
“I’m probably going to be the first one ever called on that and probably the last because it’s so ticky-tack,” McNeil said.
Only one previous violation had been called, when Chicago White Sox second baseman Elvis Andrus was cited for being on the right-field grass against Pittsburgh on April 9.
After Dominic Leone (1-2) pitched a hitless top of the 10th that included an intentional walk to Stanton, Eduardo Escobar started the bottom half as the automatic runner at second. Albert Abreu (2-2) struck out Vientos, Nick Ramirez relieved and Nimmo got the winning hit. Escobar, who had tagged up, sprinted home with a headfirst slide, giving the Mets their third walk-off win this season.
Before the at-bat, Nimmo was thinking about his outfield mistake in Tuesday’s 7-6 defeat.
“I felt terrible. I let the team down,” he said. “I was so glad that coming into that situation I was going to get the opportunity to come through for the boys. Baseball’s funny like that. It’ll work like that sometimes where you can’t get down on yourself and you got to come back the next day.”
The Coca-Cola sign board above right field was rainbow-colored for Pride Month.
Yankees: CF Harrison Bader (strained right hamstring) went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts in his first rehab game with Double-A Somerset. … LHP Carlos Rodón (strained left forearm, back) and RHP Ian Hamilton (strained right groin) are to throw batting practice Thursday at Somerset. … Manager Aaron Boone on OF Aaron Judge (sprained right big toe): “It is an unknown right now about when he’s able to do things.”
Yankees: RHP Domingo Germán (4-3, 3.49 ERA) starts Friday at Boston, which goes with RHP Tanner Houck (3-6, 5.23).
Mets: RHP Trevor Megill (5-4, 5.14) opens a three-game series against visiting St. Louis, which starts RHP Miles Mikolas (4-3, 4.02)
New York Mets’ Brandon Nimmo, second from right, celebrates with teammates after a baseball game against the New York Yankees on Wednesday, June 14, 2023, in New York. The Mets won 4-3 in 10 innings. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)