Megill suffers worst big league start, and early warning signs on offense
The Mets drop the middle game of their series with the Nationals after Tylor Megill struggles. Plus, an early diagnosis of the club’s offense.
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets lost the second game of their series with the Nationals by a score of 8-3 (box)
Despite jumping out on top 3-0 in the first inning, New York allowed eight unanswered runs
RHP Tylor Megill suffered his worst outing in the big leagues, allowing a career-high eight earned runs in a career-low 1.1 innings pitched
RHPs Trevor Williams and Steven Nogosek combined to pitch 6.2 scoreless frames to settle the game down, allowing just two hits the rest of the way
3B Eduardo Escobar snapped his 0-for-20 skid with a single in his final at-bat
SS Francisco Lindor went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, dropping his season OPS to .722
The Mets are having a nice time lately, as their six-game lead in the NL East is the largest of any division
1B Pete Alonso homered again on Monday (8) and once again leads the NL with 29 RBI
OF Brandon Nimmo has a seven-game hitting streak - he is hitting .370 during that span
INF/OF Jeff McNeil is hitting .333 in ten games during the month of May
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (21-11) at Nationals (11-21)
Where: Nationals Park — Washington, DC
Starters: RHP Taijuan Walker (0-0, 4.91 ERA) vs. RHP Joan Adon (1-5, 6.99 ERA)
When: 1:05 PM EST
Where to Watch: SNY
An early diagnosis of the Mets offense 📝
For one night, at least, the stink ruminating in Washington, D.C. wasn’t coming from the capitol.
[insert what your own personal bias interprets that as here]
But in all seriousness, this just wasn’t Tylor Megill’s night as he gave up a career-high eight earned runs in the shortest start of his major league tenure. It was a rough outing, one that he’d soon like to forget and ultimately there isn’t much more to be said about it as long as it doesn’t become a trend. Instead, what we’re going to talk about today is the Mets offense, and how there may be some warning signs at possible trouble ahead.
While the club still ranks 4th in the majors in wRC+ (114), fifth in offensive fWAR (6.1) and sixth in runs scored (143), the peripherals and some individual performances may suggest things are not running as smoothly as those overall stats would indicate.
For one, the Mets simply aren’t hitting home runs. And while home runs are down league-wide to start the season, the club still ranks 19th in the league in dingers, averaging less than a home run per game on offense. Other than Pete Alonso (8) and Francisco Lindor (5), no one on the Mets currently has more than three home runs this season. Players they brought in during the offseason, specifically Eduardo Escobar, have not helped in that area, either.
Of the three offseason additions on offense, Escobar has struggled more than any other. After snapping an 0-for-20 slide on Wednesday, Escobar finds his overall numbers at .216/.326./342 with just one home run, seven RBI, .668 OPS and an average 103 wRC+ on the season. This is not the player the Mets thought they were getting, as his slugging percentage is down 130 points from last season and is the lowest its been in a full season (not including 2020’s COVID-shortened year) since 2016. Even when he was hitting fairly well to start the season — he did have an .858 OPS through the first 19 games — that longball threat was still missing.
Starling Marte, despite ranking 11th in the NL in RBI, has also seem some struggles this year. While he has made the most of his opportunities to drive in runs Marte’s numbers are down across the board, as well. Through 29 games, Marte has seen his slugging percentage drop 81 points compared to last year and while he was not brought in as a power threat, you were expecting some extra-base hits in the gap from him. Marte also currently leads the league in caught stealings with four (compared to four successful steals) after being caught five times all of last season.
And as much as I hate to say it, Francisco Lindor is not immune to this magnifying glass, either. After starting the season on fire, looking like he was putting his difficult inaugural Mets season behind him, the club’s franchise shortstop has one again been struggling mightily, and for awhile now. Since April 25th, Lindor is hitting .161/.212/.242 with one home run, six RBI, 16 strikeouts and a .454 OPS. For the season, Lindor’s OPS has now dropped to .722 — lower than he finished at in his first year with the team.
As a unit, the Mets aren’t hitting the ball particularly hard, either. Entering Wednesday, New York’s average exit velocity of 87.6 MPH ranks as the sixth worst in the league. Their 52 “barrels” as a team rank as the 10th fewest.
The good news for the Mets is that they’re still winning games. And even with a slight dip in performance lately, they are still 9-6 over their last 15 games and have the largest division lead (six games ahead of Atlanta) in baseball. While there is no reason to cause panic or start to worry, these are some problems that we’re trying to diagnose early on before they get worse.
When the team isn’t hitting home runs or hitting the ball hard and is having down performances from players brought in to be key contributors, it is hard to see the offense continuing to perform as it has without something changing.
Down on the Farm 🌾
Nick Plummer (OF, No. 8 Prospect, AAA Syracuse): 3-for-5, 2B, HR, 5 RBI
Mark Vientos (3B, No. 4 Prospect, AAA Syracuse): 3-for-5, HR, 3 RBI, 3 R
Brett Baty (3B, No. 2 Prospect, AA Bing): 3-for-5, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 3R
Ronny Mauricio (SS, No. 3 Prospect, AA Binghamton): 3-for-4, HR, 2 R
Around the League 🚩
Brewers OF Christian Yelich hit for the cycle for the third time in his career in the team’s 14-11 loss to the Reds
Braves INF Orlando Arcia delivered with a walk-off home run in the club’s 5-3 victory over the Red Sox
The Yankees won for the 15th time in their last 17 games following a two-game sweep of the Blue Jays
Some MLB executives believe the Red Sox could look to trade SS Xander Bogaerts at the deadline (MLB.com)