The Mets didn't want to get reverse swept by the Nationals on their home field. A nine-run eighth inning is definitely a way to avoid that.
Down 4-2 heading into the bottom of the eighth, Michael Conforto and Yoenis Cespedes got things started with back-to-back singles. After an Asdrubal Cabrera single to load the bases, it was Todd Frazier that tied the game with an RBI single smashed back up the middle off Nats reliever Ryan Madson.
Now tied 4-4, Juan Lagares had the bases loaded himself with two outs. With a two-strike count, he roped a double down the right field line to score two, giving the Mets their first lead of the game.
ICYMI: See it again! Lagares puts the Mets ahead! pic.twitter.com/wzxRDRKam4- SportsNet New York (@SNYtv) April 19, 2018
Lagares, who has gotten off to a hot start this season with a .407 average (11-for-27) in 12 games, knew he needed to break the tie.
"I was ready for that the whole at-bat," Lagares said. "I got a good pitch, and I made a good swing."
But New York wasn't done rallying. After back-to-back walks to Amed Rosario and Michael Conforto (which led to a run), Cespedes came around for the second time in the inning, and capped off the rally with a grand slam to left field to make it an 11-4 game
Yoenis Cespedes LAUNCHES a Grand Slam and busts it open, 11-4 Mets! 🍎🍎🍎🍎 pic.twitter.com/cAHqnUf4hM- SportsNet New York (@SNYtv) April 19, 2018
The nine runs scored were the most the Mets have scored in a single inning this season. But more importantly, those nine runs allowed the Mets to take a big sigh of relief.
"It's just huge for us to avoid the sweep and fly down to Atlanta happy," Conforto said.
It was also a statement win against a bitter rival, and manager Mickey Callaway said it set a tone for the rest of the season.
"It is just another win in the season when you look at it as a whole," he said. "But it was good for them to know we are never going to give up."