Kirk Nieuwenhuis Delivers Father’s Day Walk-Off HR to Lift New York Mets in 4-3 Victory Over Cubs

By ANTHONY RIEBER (New York Newsday)

A day which had been miserable and embarrassing for the Mets Sunday ended joyously with Kirk Nieuwenhuis’ walk-off three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth and a 4-3 victory over the Cubs at Citi Field.

Nieuwenhuis’ no-doubt blast off second-deck facing in rightfield was the icing on a four-run rally that ended with the Home Run Apple up and the Mets’ three-game losing streak over.

Nieuwenhuis flung his helmet into the air after rounding third and leaped onto home plate into the arms of his pumped-up teammates. The Mets celebrated as if they had just done something big — which, considering how lousy they have been of late, is exactly what they did.

“If we can’t use this as a spark,” manager Terry Collins said, “I don’t know what else we can do.”

The Mets trailed 3-0 entering the ninth and had three hits. They had allowed two unearned runs in the fifth inning on a play on which they threw the ball away three times.

And that came a day after Jordany Valdespin was charged with an error for throwing the ball away on a routine toss back to the pitcher. David Wright called a players-only meeting after Saturday’s game. It took 8 ½ innings to have any effect, apparently.

“I really hate team meetings,” Wright told MLB.com. “They’re one of my least-favorite things, because it usually means that things aren’t going so well. But there’s times where it’s good to get together and get some things off of my chest.”

Had the Mets lost, Collins said: “I know what would have been said, what would have been written. You know what? That’s what should have been written.”

But Nieuwenhuis sent the scribes back to their typewriters with his fourth hit and first home run of the season in his 32nd big-league at-bat. It earned him a postgame pie in the face courtesy of Justin Turner.

“Apple pie,” Nieuwenhuis said. “I could taste it.”

 

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