Almost exactly a year later, the Patrick Mazeika magic is back.
Unlike last May, when he hit a pair of walk-off fielder’s choices in a five-day span, Mazeika’s game-winning hit for the Mets on Saturday night left the infield — and in a big way.
Just after the Mets’ bullpen blew a three-run lead, the recently called-up catcher crushed a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning to secure a 5-4 win over the Mariners in front of a buzzing crowd of 37,140 at Citi Field.
Noted Queens villain Jesse Winker had tied the score 4-4 in the top of the seventh with a three-run homer off Chasen Shreve, but Mazeika quickly gave the Mets their lead back. He turned on a 97-mph fastball from Andres Muñoz and slugged a 370-foot blast that cut through the fog to land in the right-field seats.
Mazeika, who joined the Mets on Friday from Triple-A after James McCann landed on the injured list, had a tough night behind the plate as he struggled to get on the same page with starter Chris Bassitt. But he made up for it with one big swing.
Adam Ottavino then stranded a runner on third base in the eighth inning before Edwin Diaz struck out the side in the ninth against his former team — ending the game by striking out Winker swinging.
After rain delayed the start of the game by one hour and eight minutes, Bassitt wasn’t at his sharpest. He worked around traffic for most of his outing, however, to limit the Mariners to just one run across 5 ²/₃ innings.
Seth Lugo relieved Bassitt in the sixth and got him out of a jam, but then created another in the seventh inning, allowing a pair of one-out singles.
Shreve came on to face Winker, who has been booed all series. Winker made himself even more hated, crushing a three-run homer that tied the score at 4-4. After he crossed home plate, Winker leaned into the villain role — which dates to 2019 when the former Red chirped back and forth with the fans in left field — by waving at the crowd that was booing back at him.
But Mazeika gave the Mets the last laugh.
Starling Marte also had a strong night to power the Mets’ offense, going 3-for-4 with three runs and a stolen base, falling a home run short of the cycle.
Mariners right-hander George Kirby, a Rye, N.Y., native who was making his second career MLB start after getting called up last weekend, had an audible cheering section of family and friends in attendance. While the right-hander didn’t get much help from his fielders, the Mets also forced him to throw 89 pitches to get through four innings. Kirby scattered three hits and a walk and gave up three runs, though only one was earned.
The Mets won a pair of challenges in the first inning: one confirming that Bassitt had picked off Eugenio Suarez at second base with the bases loaded to end the frame and another that Marte had safely dived into third base with a triple.
Marte then scored on Francisco Lindor’s single through a drawn-in infield, putting the Mets up 1-0.
Lindor drove in another run in the third inning when he hit a sacrifice fly to score Brandon Nimmo for the 2-0 lead. Nimmo had reached on an error and raced to third on a double by Marte that popped out of the glove of a diving Julio Rodriguez in left-center field.
One batter later, Jeff McNeil roped another sacrifice fly to right field to make it 3-0.
Pete Alonso got in on the offensive attack in the fifth inning, drilling a double to left field to score Marte and push the Mets’ lead to 4-0.