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Mets get to Alcantara, Marte stays hot and the importance of Ottavino
The Mets win their fourth straight game thanks to the offense knocking out Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara after 5 innings. Plus, we need to talk more about Adam Ottavino.
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾
The Mets won their fourth straight game after their 6-4 comeback victory over the Marlins on Friday night (box)
RHP Jacob deGrom will officially return to the club and make his next start in Washington on Tuesday
The Mets became the first team to knock Marlins RHP Sandy Alcantara out of the game after five innings in his last 14 starts, and are the first team since June 24th (also the Mets) to score at least three earned runs against him in a start
RF Starling Marte had another big night at the plate, coming a double shy of the cycle and going 3-for-5 with a home run, triple and three RBI
RHP Chris Bassitt struggled early but stabilized after the second, as he allowed four runs over six innings on the night
CF Brandon Nimmo smashed his 10th home run of the season, a go-ahead two-run shot in the 8th to give the team a 6-4 lead
RHP Edwin Díaz came a pitch away from an immaculate inning, striking out all three batters he faced on 10 pitches (all strikes) while converting his 23rd save
The Mets will use RHP Tylor Megill as a reliever when he returns from the IL, according to Buck Showalter
New York had scouts watch the Red Sox on Friday night, and could be interested in acquiring DH J.D. Martinez and/or C Christian Vázquez (The Athletic)
Roster Moves 📰
OF Travis Jankowski designated for assignment
LHP David Peterson optioned to Triple-A Syracuse
RHP Steven Nogosek recalled from Triple-A Syracuse
LHP Sam Clay recalled from Triple-A Syracuse
Playoff Odds Tracker 🎲
The Mets lead the Braves by 3 games in the National League East with 63 games to go. They are on-pace for 102 wins which would be their highest mark since 1986 (108)
Playoff odds (FanGraphs):
Make the playoffs: 99.9 percent ↔️
Win the National League East: 72 percent ⬆️
Clinch first round bye: 69.9 percent ⬆️
Win the World Series: 14.9 percent ⬇️
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (62-37) at Marlins (47-53)
Where: loanDepot Park — Miami, Florida
Starters: RHP Carlos Carrasco (10-4, 4.07 ERA) vs TBD
When: 6:10 PM EST
Where to Watch: WPIX
We’re not talking enough about Adam Ottavino 📝
When you think about the Mets bullpen, two things generally come to mind. One, of course, being the absolutely absurd dominance on a nightly basis from Edwin Díaz. The other tends to be about how this club desperately needs another impact arm (or two) to help solidify the end of games.
And while both of these things are entirely fair and accurate, it does mean that we often overlook a player who has been nothing but money for this club all season long, and that’s Adam Ottavino.
When the Mets signed him to a one-year, $4 million contract after the lockout, people didn’t think much of it. Ottavino was coming off of an up-and-down season with the Red Sox, didn’t have the wipe-out stuff he once did in Colorado and was getting closer to age 40 than he was 30. He was never intended on being an integral part of this bullpen and that was even reflected in his early-season usage as the veteran righty pitched just 7.2 innings over the club’s first 22 games in April.
It makes what he’s done since, and what the Mets have gotten out of such a small contract, that much more unlikely.
Over the course of this season, Ottavino has been absolute nails for the Mets, pitching to a 2.29 ERA, 3.25 FIP, 0.966 WHIP, 1.5 bWAR and 176 ERA+ while striking out 10.5 batters per nine innings and walking just 2.5 batters per nine. That walk number, specifically, has been a massive part of Ottavino’s success as he’s cut his walks in half since last season when he was walking 5.1 batters per nine. In fact, this is the least amount of batters Ottavino has walked on average since 2016, and it reflects a conscious effort that the veteran reliever set-out to make late last year.
Ottavino recently mentioned that facing the Rays, a patient lineup, late last season made him realize he needed to be aggressive in the strike zone in order to best them come October. That paid off, albeit in a limited sample size, as Ottavino pitched to a 2.25 ERA with no walks during the 2021 postseason.
And for as good as Ottavino has been all year long, he’s been even more incredible of late. In his last 19 appearances since June 1st, Ottavino has posted a 0.83 ERA with nine holds, 21 strikeouts and three walks over 21.2 innings pitched. In that time span, he has held opposing hitters to a .159/.216/.261 slash line while throwing 66 percent of his pitches for strikes and generating swings-and-misses on 11 percent of his pitches.
With the mixture of his fastball and sinker, both of which can still reach 95 MPH or harder, his Bugs Bunny slider that has an average 18.3 inches of horizontal break and a newfound aggressiveness within the zone, Ottavino continues to be a revelation in this bullpen. If New York can add a late-inning arm or two by the trade deadline and mitigate potential overuse of Ottavino and even Díaz, the Mets could very well be ready to make a run.
Down on the Farm 🌾
Mark Vientos (1B/OF, No. 5 Prospect, Triple-A): 1-for-4, 2 RBI, BB
Brett Baty (3B, No. 2 Prospect, Double-A): 3-for-5, 2 HR (16), 7 RBI
Dominic Hamel (RHP, No. 9 Prospect, Single-A): 6 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 K (win)
Around the League 🚩
The Mariners officially acquired RHP Luis Castillo from the Reds in exchange for prospects SS Noelvi Marte, SS Edwin Arroyo, RHP Levi Stoudt and RHP Andrew Moore
Yankees OF Aaron Judge hit two more home runs, including a grand slam, to reach 41 on the season in the club’s 11-5 win over the Royals
With Castillo off the board, the Yankees are focusing on A’s RHP Frankie Montas and Pirates LHP José Quintana (Heyman)
The Braves defeated the Dbacks by a score of 5-2 in Atlanta
The Red Sox lost for the eighth time in 10 games and fell below the .500 mark for the first time since early June