Jul 17, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Jacob Stallings (58) hits a game winning grand slam home run to defeat the New York Mets during the ninth inning at PNC Park. Pittsburgh won 9-7. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets are in first place in the NL East, and they’re certainly the division’s most talented team. But Saturday showed why many fans and evaluators are in “I’ll believe it when I see it” mode when it comes to the Mets being part of the 2021 postseason.

First, Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor — who signed a 10-year, $341 million deal with New York over the offseason — was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right oblique strain that could keep him out of action for several weeks.

Then came news that Jacob deGrom — who’s basically been better than any pitcher in the history of the sport this season — has right forearm tightness. The good news is that an MRI showed no structural damage, but forearm tightness is still concerning, especially when it comes to the best pitcher on the planet. He won’t throw at all until the tightness goes away.

And then came the Mets’ game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. New York cruised into the eighth inning with a 6-0 lead over the lowly Buccos, but Pittsburgh scored five in the bottom half of the inning, including three runs on this blast from Wilmer Difo:

The Mets added a run to take a 7-5 lead into the bottom of the ninth, and kept that lead with two outs.

With the bases loaded, Pirates catcher Jacob Stallings hit a flyball down the left field line. Mets closer Edwin Díaz pointed up in the air assuming it was a playable ball for left fielder Kevin Pillar. It was not a playable ball, despite an admirable effort from the always all-out Pillar. Instead, it was a grand slam for Stallings to give the Pirates a 7-5 walk-off victory.


A rare remarkable win for the Pirates. And the conclusion to a nightmare day for the Mets.

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at mclapp@thecomeback.com.