Months from now, or even years from now, players and coaches who were on the San Diego Padres and New York Mets rosters this week will look back at Wednesday and Thursday's games and laugh. Perhaps the Padres faithful will laugh a little harder for winning both games, but still, what went down in the 24 hours that the teams played their two games was entertaining to say the least.
The week of the MLB trade deadline is crazy every year. A guy can be traded in the middle of a game, be pulled off the field, told he's traded, give hugs to his now former teammates in the dugout, and be on his way to another city. Or in Wednesday night's case, a guy can be told by fans that he's traded, receive a standing ovation for his "last AB" as a Met, but remain in the game only to be told that he in fact is not traded... All while fighting back tears throughout the game.
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Wilmer Flores, the young shortstop for the New York Mets who went through this tragic mess, told The Associated Press, "During the game I heard there was a trade and I got emotional. I heard from the fans. When I came up to hit I heard everybody cheering. ... It was difficult."
The rumors began to fly after reports on Twitter began circulating that Flores was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in the middle of the game. Word got to both the fans and team broadcasts, and it seemed like everyone in the world thought Flores was traded, except for Mets manager Terry Collins, who went on this rant in his postgame press conference.
To add to this strange sequence of events, Padres interim manager Pat Murphy pulled outfielder Justin Upton from the game in the middle of the eighth inning, knowing he is the subject of many trade rumors. When asked about taking Upton out of the game, Murphy reportedly said it was to get him off his feet "and give [the media] something to think about."
What's more fun than an interim manager trolling the baseball media when the trade deadline is approaching?
On Thursday, the Padres and Mets had a day game with a 12:10 p.m. ET start time. The game began like many that Padres fans have seen this season, with a slow offense and their team down a few runs heading late into the game.
But just as it began to look really bad for the Friar faithful, Derek Norris hit a grand slam to bring the six-run deficit down to two in the seventh inning. With a 7-5 Mets lead in the ninth, Jeurys Familia was on the mound for the Mets who, before the All-Star break, was nearly lights out all season. He had Derek Norris at the plate with two outs before rain started hitting Citi Field hard enough to bring the grounds crew out and tarp the infield.
After 44-minutes, play resumed and Familia was back on the mound, but only to give up back-to-back singles to Norris and Matt Kemp before a three-run home run by Justin Upton. That sequence took only four minutes after the 44-minute delay. And by the way, according to @FriarFigures, with that single Norris became the first NL player to go 5-for-5 with a grand slam since Steve Garvey did on August 8, 1977.
Just three minutes later in the bottom of the ninth, the game was hit with its second rain delay, this time lasting almost three hours. Both teams came back out to play at around 6:35 p.m. ET, just six hours and twenty-five minutes after first pitch, to an almost empty stadium. Padres closer Craig Kimbrel wasted no time in earning his 30th save of the season with a 1-2-3 inning, and just like that, the Mets were officially stunned by their second loss in a row.
So to recap, this is what the Padres and Mets went through in less than 24 hours:
- Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores is told by fans that he is traded in the middle of a game, only to find out that he wasn't traded.
- Padres interim manager Pat Murphy pulls Justin Upton from the game amidst trade talk circulating, only to admit he's just having some fun with the media.
- The Padres come back from a six-run deficit to beat the Mets 8-7, led by a post-rain delay three-run homer in the ninth inning, followed by another rain delay of nearly three-hours.
- Derek Norris goes 5-for-5 with a grand slam, becoming the first NL player to do that in almost 38 years.
And, keep in mind through all of this, the Padres and Mets could have many new faces in their lineups for Friday night's games once the trade deadline passes on Friday afternoon.