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Eduardo Escobar hits for cycle, drives in six as the Mets blue collar offense leads the charge again
Eduardo Escobar is the first Met to hit for a cycle in 10 years. Plus, how the club’s first inning at-bats exemplified their entire season thus far.
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾
The Mets walloped the Padres 11-5 at Petco Park on Monday night (box)
3B Eduardo Escobar had the biggest day at the plate for the Mets, hitting for the cycle while driving in six runs
Escobar’s cycle was the 11th in Mets franchise history and the first since OF Scott Hairston completed the feat in 2012 at Coors Field
The Mets worked Padres LHP Blake Snell for 43 pitches and three runs in the first inning thanks in part to a two-run single by Escobar
Eight of the Mets 11 runs came with two outs on Monday
RHP Carlos Carrasco was strong for seven innings, allowing two runs with ten strikeouts and no walks allowed
JD Davis made his first start at first base since 2018 and handled the position comfortably
The Mets are now 14-4 in series openers, 29-7 when scoring first, 13-8 against the National League West, and 29-3 when scoring five or more runs.
RHP Tylor Megill (biceps tendinitis) has completed his major league rehab assignment and will re-join the Mets rotation for their series against the Angels in Anaheim this weekend
Who’s Hot 🔥
Eduardo Escobar is hitting .333/.323/.600 with five doubles, a triple, three home runs and 15 RBI over his last 14 games
JD Davis is hitting .368/.419/.474 with four doubles and six RBI in his last 11 games
Tomás Nido is hitting .351/.400/.378 with six RBI in his last 12 games
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (38-19) at Padres (33-22)
Where: Petco Park — San Diego, CA
Starters: RHP Taijuan Walker (3-1, 2.88 ERA) vs RHP Yu Darvish (4-3, 4.03 ERA)
When: 9:40 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
Blue collar at-bats are defining the Mets season at the plate… 📝
If you were able to watch the first inning of Monday night’s game, you saw pretty much everything you needed to know about the Mets offense.
With Starling Marte on first and two outs, that’s when they all went to work and put together some of the best plate appearances this season to-date. Pete Alonso walked, and then after falling behind 0-2 Mark Canha worked a walk himself, and then JD Davis worked a bases loaded walk after falling behind 0-2 to drive in a run. Davis in particular worked a nine-pitch plate appearance for the walk, which setup the beginning of Eduardo Escobar’s magical night at the plate.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Escobar hit a change-up from Snell the other way for a two-run single to set the tone for the evening and begin his road to a cycle with six total RBI on the night.
All told, the Mets had worked Snell for 43 pitches in the first inning alone, and that was just the beginning of what turned out to be another barrage by the New York offense.
But it was that first inning which was truly impressive, perhaps the most impressive sequence of at-bats the Mets have had so far this season. It’s those kind of at-bats — blue-collar, patient, gritty, contact-centric at-bats — which have come to define this offense and is a big reason why the Mets have been so successful in two-out situations all season long.
To put it another way, the Mets have hit .272 with only 47 strikeouts with two outs and runners in scoring position this season, and are hitting .291 with runners in scoring position overall, leading the majors in that department thanks in large measure to the brand of hitting on display in that first inning.
In total, the blossoming Mets offense has averaged 6.9 runs scored per game over their last 19 games, during which the Mets have gone 14-5.
But back to Escobar…
He certainly has found his stroke after what was really a miserable start to the year at the plate. It was just on May 19th that Escobar was staring down the abyss of a .204/.304/.343 line with seemingly no end in sight to his slump. He was behind most competitive fastballs, even that which were hittable up in the zone. But since then, he has turned his season right around, hitting .318/.329/.561 with nine extra-base hits and 15 RBI during that span, capped by the cycle he hit in San Diego on Monday night.
“I’m so happy I’ve started hitting now and I’m helping the team win,” Escobar said after the game.
It was the 11th cycle in Mets history and the first by a Met since Scott Hairston’s cycle in 2012.
Of course, Escobar completed his cycle after falling behind 0-2, lacing a two-run triple to plate Alonso and Canha to cap his extraordinary night.
In other words, a typical, blue-collar Mets at-bat.
“Any cycle is fun to watch, but especially [Escobar’s],” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “You know how much he means to his teammates. It’s almost like they hit it.”
That’s what’s so great about this Mets team — they’re not doing it with a lot of flash and fireworks. Yes, Alonso is having a prolific season at the plate and is at the center of the attention with his power and production, but it’s players like Escobar, Canha, Marte and now JD Davis who are able to put together long at-bats, lengthen the lineup and work both deep and favorable counts and simply put the ball in play more than they have in recent years.
And when the ball is put in play, anything can happen. Look no further than the hard groundball Alonso hit to Manny Machado, who made a lazy throw to first allowing Alonso to reach. He ended up scoring thanks to another error and a sacrifice fly by Davis.
Simply putting the ball in play made that run possible. And that’s what the Mets offense has done time and time again this season.
Down on the Farm 🌾
Francisco Álvarez (C, No. 1 Prospect, Double-A): .274/.342/.856, 10 HR, 28 RBI
Brett Baty (3B, No. 2 Prospect, Double-A): .257/.352/.755, 3 HR, 10 RBI
Ronny Mauricio (SS, No. 3 Prospect, Double-A): .253/.282/.760, 9 HR, 32 RBI
Alex Ramirez (OF, No. 4 Prospect, High-A): .307/.345/.811, 3 HR, 23 RBI
All Mets affiliates were off on Monday
Around the League 🚩
LHP Dallas Keuchel signed a minor league contract with the Diamondbacks (The Athletic)
RHP Aaron Sánchez was signed by the Twins to a minor league deal (St. Paul Pioneer Press)
The Astros made their six-year contract extension with slugger Yordan Álvarez official on Monday
Red Sox RHP Michael Wacha fired a complete-game, three-hit shutout, sending the Angels to their 12th loss in a row
Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., Bo Bichette, and Santiago Espinal hit three home runs in the Blue Jays 8-0 rout of the Royals