All is well - for a day anyway - in Mets land as the Mets clip the Bucs on Thursday
New York marginally increased their NL East lead on Thursday, a top prospect finally gets his first big league hit, and the Mets need a new team president
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets bounced back from their worst series of the season this week against the Cubs by topping the Pirates 7-1 in the opener of a four game weekend set (Box)
Carlos Carrasco went six strong innings to earn his team leading 15th win—punching out a season high 11 in the process
Francisco Lindor crushed a long two run homer in the third inning on Roberto Clemente day—a particularly meaningful blast given his Puerto Rican roots
Mark Vientos recorded his first big league hit, a run scoring single in the fourth and Daniel Vogelbach had a single and a double and drove in three runs in the DH spot
New York pitchers retired the last 17 Pirates they faced
The Mets snapped their five-game losing streak at home and are now 47-26 at Citi Field, 54-28 at night, 7-7 in September, 32-14 in series openers, 16-7 in series openers at home, 72-13 when scoring first, 79-0 when leading after eight innings, 18-9 against the National League Central, 67-5 when scoring five or more runs, and 32-20 since the All-Star Game
The Mets announced that team president Sandy Alderson will step down at the conclusion of this season and transition into an advisory role to Steve Cohen once the club finds his replacement
Injury Updates 🏥
RHP Max Scherzer (left side fatigue) will rejoin the Mets rotation on Monday in Milwaukee, and the team announced that in anticipation of that, lefty David Peterson will be moved to the bullpen
Who’s Hot 🔥
Carlos Carrasco has pitched to a 2.08 ERA in three September starts
Pete Alonso has a nine-game hitting streak, during which he is hitting .361/.425/.639 with three home runs and six RBI during that span
Jeff McNeil is hitting .385/.419/.544 with 18 doubles, three home runs and 20 RBI with only 14 strikeouts in his last 45 games
The Pennant Race 🏁
NL East lead: 1️⃣.0️⃣ games
Magic Number to win NL East: 18
Playoff odds (Fangraphs):
Win the National League East: 68.4 percent ⬆️
Clinch a first round bye: 68.4 percent ⬆️
Win the World Series: 17.1 percent ⬆️
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (90-55) vs Pirates (55-89)
Where: Citi Field — Flushing, New York
Starters: RHP Taijuan Walker (11-4, 3.48 ERA) vs. RHP Mitch Keller (5-10, 4.01 ERA)
When: 7:10 PM EDT
Where to Watch: WPIX
For at least one day, all is well in Mets land…📝
Let’s not stick our collective heads in the oven just yet.
After a series with the Cubs early this week that can be considered nothing short of a disaster, the Mets were able to get back on the wagon in their opener with the Pirates, convincingly pounding Pittsburgh 7-1.
The way the Mets won this game, though, was encouraging on multiple fronts.
Carlos Carrasco started the game and was in complete control for the entirety of his outing, striking out a season high 11 batters across six innings and earning his team high 15th win. The veteran righty had a young Bucs squad off balance all night with his assortment of splitters and sliders—especially young star Oneil Cruz whom he punched out twice on off-speed pitches.
Seth Lugo came in and struck out the side in the seventh inning and Joely Rodriguez polished off the victory with a pair of perfect frames in the eighth and ninth, which served as a refreshing sight considering how poorly his season has gone to-date.
All told, the Mets pitching navigated this game mostly stress free, retiring the final 17 Pittsburgh hitters.
But this game was hopefully a turning point on the offensive side for the Mets.
Daniel Vogelbach came into the game struggling mightily and contributing considerably to the disappointing lack of production the Mets have been getting from their DH spot. While he only took two at-bats in Thursday’s contest, they were two of the most important ones for New York all night. With two on and two outs in the first he ripped a line drive over right fielder Cal Mitchell’s head that scored two and let the Mets exhale after falling behind early in all three games with the Cubs. Later in the third he added an RBI single.
The next time Vogelbach’s spot in the lineup came up was in the fourth, but with lefty Eric Stout on the mound, the Mets pinch hit rookie Mark Vientos who promptly delivered his elusive first big league hit, driving in his first big league run in the process.
All-told, the two Mets designated hitters produced four RBI on Thursday night. For context, coming into the game last night, the Mets had just eight RBI from their designated hitters since August 14.
Francisco Lindor blasted a two run homer in the third that officially gave him a new career high in RBI, Pete Alonso drove in his NL leading 112th run in the eighth, albeit a painful one as it came on a hit by pitch.
But RBI are RBI, right?
In the end, New York pounded out ten hits and the only Met that didn’t reach base was third baseman Eduardo Escobar.
So where do things stand now?
The Braves had Thursday night off, so the win moved the Mets a full game ahead of them in the heated National League East race with 18 games left to play. And while both play teams from Pennsylvania the rest of this weekend, the Braves obviously have the tougher matchup. The Mets are late to this party on the schedule, so the Mets desperately have to start taking advantage of their opportunity against the second division. 10 of the Braves’ final 19 games are against teams over .500 (seven of which are against the Phillies), while only six of the Mets’ final 18 games are against teams over .500 (three are against the Braves, and they seemingly will matter a lot). So, the Mets unquestionably have the favorable hand the rest of the way - has the sleeping monster been let out of its cage, finally?
But before we look too far ahead let’s just enjoy what last night was. A low stress, desperately needed win, and hopefully a foreshadowing of things to come.
Down on the Farm 🌾
Dominic Smith (1B, Triple-A): 2-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI, R
Ronny Mauricio (SS, No. 7 Prospect, Double-A): 2-for-6, RBI, R
William Lugo (SS, Single-A): 1-for-3, HR, RBI
Joel Díaz (RHP, Low-A): 6 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 11 K
Around the League 🚩
The White Sox homered four times and won a must win game against the Guardians as they try to stay afloat in the AL Central race
The Phillies dropped the finale of their three game series with the Marlins, falling 5-3 in Miami
Tampa Bay blew out Toronto 11-0 in a potential AL wild card series preview
Aledmys Diaz blasted a tiebreaking two run homer in the 7th that helped carry the AL best Astros to a 5-2 win over Oakland
The Cardinals lost 3-2 at home against the Reds, losing ground in their pursuit of the Mets/Braves for a potential bye
Minnesota needs to win just about everyday to stay alive in the AL Central, and the Twins held on to top Kansas City 3-2