Mets get a doubleheader split, and can't catch a break with the Braves
The Mets are now 13-5 against the Phillies this season, having defeated Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler seven times combined
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾
Trevor Williams gave the Mets a strong start in game 1 with four scoreless innings, although David Peterson struggled in his start in game 2, allowing three runs over 4.2 IP
The Mets 1-2-3 in the order went a combined 6-for-13 with three RBI and four runs scored in game 1
Michael Pérez produced the go-ahead RBI for the Mets in game 1 with a two-run single in the fifth
Jeff McNeil had four hits in the doubleheader and made several stellar plays defensively as well
The Mets tagged old friend Zack Wheeler for four more runs in game 1 - the Mets have scored 10 runs against him in his last two starts to raise his ERA from 2.63 to 3.07 for the year
The Mets bats went silent in game two as they scattered just three hits and didn’t score a run after the first inning
The Mets are now 13-5 against the Phillies this season, 38-25 on the road, 14-7 in August, 62-12 when scoring first, 42-19 against the National League East, and 20-9 since the All-Star Game
Roster Moves 📰
LHP David Peterson was recalled as the team’s 27th player for their doubleheader
Selected the contract of LHP Rob Zastryzny from Triple-A Syracuse
Optioned LHP Sam Clay to Triple-A Syracuse
Sent RJ Álvarez outright to Triple-A Syracuse
Mets to select the contract of RHP José Butto from Triple-A Syracuse
Injury Updates 🏥
Taijuan Walker (bulging disc in back) will not make his scheduled start on Sunday against the Phillies - he is expected to be available starting early next week
Who’s Hot 🔥
Jeff McNeil is 13-for-29 with four doubles on this road trip. He is hitting .429/.456/.679 with 12 doubles, three home runs and 13 RBI over his last 22 games
Overall, Trevor Williams has not allowed a run in his last 24 innings pitched, lowering his ERA from 4.34 to 2.34 during that span. With his four scoreless innings on Saturday, Williams lowered his ERA to 4.19 as a starter in nine games - he has a 1.16 ERA in 14 relief appearances
Francisco Lindor is running a six-game hitting streak, hitting .370/.370/.556 with a triple, home run and two RBI with six runs scored during that span
Playoff Odds Tracker 🎲
The Mets are 78-44 and lead the Braves by three games in the National League East with 40 games to go. They are on-pace for 105 wins, which would be the second-highest mark in franchise history (108 in 1986)
The Mets have the third-easiest schedule down the stretch of the season (.458 opposing winning percentage, per Tankathon)
Playoff odds (FanGraphs):
Make the playoffs: 100 percent ↔️
Win the National League East: 81.3 percent ⬇️
Clinch a first round bye: 81.1 percent ⬇️
Win the World Series: 16.1 percent ⬇️
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (78-44) at Phillies (66-54)
Where: Citizens Bank Park — Philadelphia, PA
Starters: RHP Jose Butto (MLB Debut) vs RHP Kyle Gibson (8-5, 4.30 ERA)
The Braves are leaving the Mets with very little margin for error… 📝
When looking at the schedule and probable pitching matchups for this doubleheader against the Phillies on Saturday, a split felt like the box the Mets really needed to check.
That’s exactly what they did as they buried the Phillies in game one and came out flat in game two.
But it still felt a tad unsettling given what Atlanta has been up to against Houston this weekend.
The Mets couldn’t have asked for anything more from Trevor Williams, who has really been an unsung hero as the team’s go-to swing man out of the bullpen all year long. He was splendid for the four innings he worked on Saturday until he hit his pitch limit. He pitched to a lot of contact, induced a lot of flyballs (and one always holds his or her breath when a ball is hit in the air at Citizens Bank Park), but he did his job while the Mets offense went back to work against Zack Wheeler, who they handled last week at Citi Field and once again came out firing against him yesterday.
Wheeler just hasn’t looked like himself in these two starts and the Mets took full advantage of his inconsistencies on Saturday, jumping him for four runs and five hits and leaving Wheeler with his third loss against his former club in 2022.
All-told, if anyone had said the Mets would get two wins in this road series against the Phillies against Wheeler and Aaron Nola (who is 0-4 against the Mets in 2022, by the way), and beat them four times combined in a week, I wouldn’t have believed it. But that’s precisely what has happened and so the Mets were rocking and rolling heading into the night cap with a series win in their sights.
Well, not quite yet.
The Mets were seemingly a little perplexed against rookie LHP Bailey Falter. They had him on the ropes in the first inning, plating a run against him and clearly shaking him up in the process. But the Mets ran themselves out of an opportunity to tack on more runs and from there, the Mets offense went to sleep for the night.
Meanwhile, David Peterson just didn’t have command of that good back foot slider we’ve grown accustomed to seeing from him on Saturday. He also struggled to throw first-pitch strikes and get ahead of the Phillies which left him predictable and not particularly effective. Still, he allowed just three runs despite not having it so the Mets can’t say they were ever out of this game as a result of a clunker from their starting pitcher. The Mets offense just didn’t produce much to support Peterson and what was really another nice effort from the Mets bullpen.
It happens, and it’s especially difficult to sweep doubleheaders on the road. Again, under the circumstances, it’s hard not to be happy about a split here.
The problem, of course, is the Braves don’t lose. They won a nail biter in Atlanta against the Astros last night, falling behind twice in extra innings, once by two runs, came back twice and ultimately won their second game in a row against Houston, a team the Mets went 0-4 against earlier this year.
The Braves leave the Mets very little margin for error on a daily basis, even when things go right.
When it was all said and done, the Mets lost ground on Atlanta last night even after what has to be considered a positive outcome in their doubleheader.
The Mets are going to lose games - they can’t win every game and while the Mets have been masterful this season in doubleheaders, they’re not sweeping every single one of them especially against quality ballclubs. But it would seem the Braves can win every game which it makes it hard for the Mets have a bad night.
The good news for the Mets is they’re getting the Yankees for two games starting tomorrow, a team that has lost it’s way since the All-Star Game with an opportunity to keep them down. Then the Mets come home for four games against the Rockies, the beginning of what should be a relatively easy run down the stretch of the season minus their dates against the Dodgers, Brewers and Braves along the way.
But first, they have a chance to win another series against the Phillies today and put a stamp on their season series against Philadelphia, a team they’ve handled as well as anyone could’ve expected in 2022. They’re sending one of their best pitching prospects out to the mound today in José Butto, who will throw in place of Taijuan Walker who remains active but not available until Tuesday at the earliest, per Buck Showalter (one might conclude they could give Jacob deGrom two extra days of rest by that comment, but it’s the Yankees and there’s no indication at this time deGrom had a problem coming out of his start in Atlanta on Thursday).
Butto will feature a mid-90s fastball with good movement with a quality change-up and will occasionally show off a curve, although that pitch remains a work in progress for him as he continues to develop. The Mets are very high on Butto, although he was only recently promoted to Triple-A Syracuse and has struggled in his first two starts there.
The Mets will probably be leaning on their bullpen once again today, but Buck has managed it so well over the first three games of this series and should have both Adam Ottavino and Edwin Díaz available late in today’s game.
It feels like an important game for the Mets to get - it would mean a series win, a capper on a strong season series against the Phillies, and fending off the Braves at least for another day, who are just unstoppable at the moment.
Down on the Farm 🌾
Mark Vientos (3B, No. 7 Prospect, Triple-A): 2-for-5, 2B, HR, 2 RBI
Alex Ramirez (OF, No. 4 Prospect, Single-A): 2-for-4, 2B
Chase Estep (3B, Low-A): 1-for-4, HR, RBI, 2 R
Around the League 🚩
The Braves came back on the Astros twice in extra innings on Saturday night, edging Houston 5-4 in 11 innings to pull back to within three games of the Mets in the NL East
Albert Pujols homered two more times for the Cardinals to raise his season total to 13 and his career mark to 692. He has six home runs in his last eight games
The Yankees continued their ice cold run since the All-Star Game, dropping a 5-2 contest at Yankee Stadium against the Blue Jays who are now just seven games behind the Yankees for the lead in the AL East
The Cubs improved to 17-10 since the All-Star Game with a 6-5 win over the fading Brewers. Milwaukee is now five games behind the Cardinals in the NL Central
In his first appearance since undergoing Tommy John Surgery in 2021, Dustin May allowed one hit over five innings as the Dodgers sunk the Marlins 7-0 at Dodger Stadium