Mets offense breaks out to avoid sweep against the Padres as catching concerns escalate
Pete Alonso led the offense with a big night against San Diego as the Mets scored at least eight runs for the 18th time in 2022
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾
The Mets salvaged their series against the Padres with an 8-5 win over San Diego (Box)
After scoring just ten runs in their last five games, the offense finally broke out for eight runs with Pete Alonso responsible for driving in half of them
Three of Alonso’s four RBIs came on one swing of the bat for his 25th home run of the season. With 82 RBIs he has retaken the major league lead from Aaron Judge
Carlos Carrasco continued the recent stretch of solid starting pitching by the rotation. He didn’t allow a run in five innings of work despite a hard working first inning where he loaded the bases after getting the first two outs.
Padres starter Joe Musgrove had a no-hitter working into the fifth inning until Daniel Vogelbach broke it up with his first hit as a Met. Vogelbach went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run in his Mets debut
David Peterson worked an inning out of the bullpen, giving up one run and striking out one as the Mets look to him potentially as another left-handed option out of the bullpen
Despite the Mets having an 8-2 lead heading into the ninth, Edwin Díaz had to come in to clean up a mess created by Joely Rodríguez, and struck out one to pick up his twenty-first save of the season
Gil Hodges was finally enshrined in Cooperstown on Sunday, an honor which is long overdue
Who’s Hot 🔥
Mets starting pitchers have recorded 14 straight starts while allowing two or fewer runs, extended their franchise mark - they have a 1.58 ERA during that span
Pete Alonso went 6-for-10 against the Padres with one home run, four RBIs, and three runs scored in the club’s series against the Padres
Francisco Lindor is hitting .286/.375/.357 over his last seven games
Edwin Díaz was again brilliant and has given up just one run over his last fifteen appearances. He’s converted ten straight save chances and has struck out 51 percent of the batters he’s faced in 2022
Injury Updates 🏥
Jacob deGrom (stress reaction in scapula) worked out at Citi Field on Sunday. Mets manager Buck Showalter said deGrom will make another rehab start this week, although the date and location are currently TBD
Trevor May (stress reaction in humerus) threw 14 pitches and allowed a hit with a strikeout for Double-A Binghamton on Sunday
Roster Moves 📰
Optioned C Michael Pérez to Triple-A Syracuse
Playoff Odds Tracker 🎲
The Mets lead the Braves by 1.5 games in the National League East with 66 games to go. They are on-pace for 99 wins which would be their highest mark since 1988 (100)
Playoff odds (FanGraphs):
Make the playoffs: 99.7 percent ⬆️
Win the National League East: 59.8 percent ⬆️
Clinch first round bye: 57.7 percent ⬆️
Win the World Series: 14 percent ⬆️
Today’s Game 🗓
The Mets get the day off before taking on the Yankees at home tomorrow night at Citi Field.
The Mets have some catching concerns 📝
In the ninth inning of Saturday’s 2-1 loss to the Padres, Mets manager Buck Showalter let Tomás Nido hit with a run in and two outs with Travis Jankowski representing the tying run at third.
Showalter could have opted to use Jeff McNeil who was on the bench after being given the night off. Instead, Nido was left in to hit, he popped up and the game was over.
After the game, the fanbase had some questions about why Showalter let Nido hit with the game on the line especially given Showalter still had a chip still on the bench.
Sure, there was a lefty in the game but it is always better to go down swinging with an All-Star than a light hitting catcher, right?
Putting that controversy aside, a lot hinges on Nido at the moment.
He is only batting .213/.254/.241 with an OPS of just .495, but their current backup in Patrick Mazeika, while being a fun story, has not proven he is a major league hitter. He is a career .183/.230/.275 hitter with an OPS+ of 40. So while Nido is no Mike Piazza, he is at least capable of hitting big league pitching and is unquestionably an elite defender who serves the team well in the run prevention department. With James McCann out for the foreseeable future and the Mets continued (and understandable) reluctance to promote Francisco Álvarez, the Mets cannot afford for anything to happen to Nido. Aside from Álvarez who is clearly not an option, they have next to no major league depth left at a position which, coming into the 2022 season, was thin at best.
Yes, they did just acquire Michael Perez from the Pirates after he was designated for assignment, but still it is a precarious situation that could get ugly very quickly.
Obviously the easy and popular solution would be to call up Álvarez. However, since his promotion to Triple-A the Mets top prospect has struggled at the plate. He is hitting just .125/.318/.281 in ten games with Syracuse, although he did hit a grand slam to go along with four strikeouts on Saturday. He has been lucky enough to catch both Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom while they were rehabbing but can a 20-year-old be reasonably expected to learn a major league pitching staff, a relief corps, all the while trying to hit major league pitching in a pennant race?
That is a lot to place on a rookie’s shoulders.
As we saw with Mazeika and Chris Bassitt earlier in the season, rapport between pitcher and catcher can greatly impact the game.
The Mets offense has been struggling for the better part of two months, but there is no guarantee Álvarez would serve as magic potion for the lineup. And if they continue to struggle with him in the lineup it puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on him as well, further risking stunting his development. Calling up Álvarez could work in theory if the team acquires other bats around him or they could acquire a catcher that fills all of their current needs.
There is another option, of course - a trade for Willson Contreras.
The All-Star catcher from the Cubs is having another great season. He is hitting .258/.372/.471 with an OPS+ of 136. He has 14 home runs and 37 RBIs which is far above anything the Mets have gotten out of their catchers this season (Mets catchers have collectively hit .198/.241/.264). He is a seasoned veteran who can handle a pitching staff at 30 years old. He is a free agent at the end of the season so he could be a pure stop gap solution to give Álvarez a little bit more development time in the minors and add stability to a position and lineup spot badly in need of infusion.
Down on the Farm 🌾
Mark Vientos (3B, No. 4 Prospect, Triple-A): 1-for-5, HR
Brett Baty (3B, No. 2 Prospect Double-A): 2-for-5, 1 R
Ronny Mauricio (SS, No. 3 prospect, Double-A): 1-for-4, RBI, BB
Around the League 🚩
Cooperstown inducted its newest class into the Hall of Fame which included David Ortiz who became the first designated hitter as a first ballot Hall of Famer
Tony Oliva, Jim Kaat, and the late Bud Fowler, Gil Hodges, Minnie Miñoso and Buck O’Neil joined Ortiz as the Class of 2022 Hall of Fame inductees
The Phillies were swept at the hands of the lowly Cubs to fall 9.5 games back in the division
Braves OF Adam Duvall is expected to miss the remainder of the season with a torn tendon in his wrist that requires surgery
In the heat of a pennant race, the Cardinals will be without both Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado as the team heads to Toronto and the pair remain unvaccinated
Mariners rookie Julio Rodriguez remained out of Seattle’s lineup with a sore wrist but a MRI revealed no structural damage
The league and the players association are up against the deadline to agree on an international draft (Athletic)
The Reds activated RHP Tyler Mahle from the injured list, who could be a trade candidate ahead of the August 2 trade deadline
The Angels designated Jonathan Villar for assignment, the second such occurrence for him this season
The Cardinals have emerged as a frontrunner in the Juan Soto trade derby (New York Post)