Mets out-slug Diamondbacks 8-4, win third in a row behind Max Scherzer, homer-happy offense
The Mets are enjoying their first three-game winning streak since May 30-June 1
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets defeated the Diamondbacks 8-4 in Phoenix on Monday (box)
Max Scherzer started for the Mets and had an up-and-down afternoon on the mound - he allowed three home runs and a total of four runs over six innings
The Mets themselves hit three home runs, including a 467 foot blast from Francisco Álvarez, that which gave the Mets the lead for good in the seventh inning
Brandon Nimmo and Starling Marte also hit go-ahead home runs for the Mets - Marte hit a three-run homer in the fourth and Nimmo hit a solo homer in the fifth
Brooks Raley and Adam Ottavino gave the Mets a scoreless inning a piece out of the bullpen, although Drew Smith and David Robertson made it interesting in the ninth, combining to allow a run while leaving the bases loaded in the ninth
The Mets improved to 24-4 when the starting pitcher goes at least six innings, 9-38 when allowing four or more runs, 32-20 when scoring four or more runs, 11-9 against the NL West, 15-35 when the opponent scores first, and 8-7 in series openers on the road
Who’s Hot 🔥
Brandon Nimmo has hit six home runs over his last 11 games, producing a 1.126 OPS during that span
Francisco Lindor has a .965 OPS over his last 12 games with three home runs and six RBI during that span
Roster Moves 🗞️
Activated RHP Trevor Gott
Selected the contract of OF DJ Stewart
Optioned INF Danny Mendick to Triple-A Syracuse
Optioned RHP Jeff Brigham to Triple-A Syracuse
Designated RHP Denyi Reyes for assignment
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (39-46) vs. Dbacks (50-36)
Where: Chase Field – Phoenix, AZ
Starters: RHP Kodai Senga (6-5, 3.53 ERA) vs. LHP Tommy Henry (5-1, 4.08 ERA)
When: 9:40 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
The Mets are on a winning streak! Even if it isn’t that pretty… ✍️
Three in a row! A winning streak!
It certainly hasn’t been pretty by any means. The three games have been mired by mistakes and poor pitching, especially late in these games.
But wins are wins and at this point, the Mets need them in any way they can find them.
Of course, there are a lot of positives coming out of these games.
First off, the Mets are getting much better starting pitching than they normally had leading up to the winning streak. The Mets have now gotten six innings or more from the starter in two of their last three games, and more important is those starts have come from Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer. Scherzer had an up-and-down day on Tuesday and really staggered in the fourth and fifth innings specifically. But he muscled his way through six innings and really gave the Mets and their bullpen a necessary boost.
Look - as we’ve said time and time again here, the season’s course will be determined by how well Scherzer and Verlander pitch. Right now, both are doing their part, perhaps not to the sum of $86 million but their individual performances aren’t going to be what determines their value to the Mets entirely. Sure, it would be nice if both could go 20-3 with a 1.99 ERA and pitch seven innings a start 35 times, but for me, its outings like yesterday for Scherzer which demonstrate his value to the club. Perhaps another pitcher doesn’t go out there for the sixth inning and guts his way through the way Scherzer did.
And certainly, Buck Showalter won’t allow most pitchers to do that anyway.
Giving the Mets that extra inning on a day when he wasn’t pitching particularly well and shortening the game for the bullpen might’ve been the most important thing to happen to the Mets yesterday, even if the final line isn’t that pretty.
At any rate, Scherzer can thank his homer-happy lineup for the support yesterday. The Mets hit three go-ahead home runs over the course of the day. The first came from Starling Marte, who until then I was pretty convinced would not hit another home run all season. He has looked like a shell of his former self this season. Whether it’s the recovery from his off-season core muscle surgery or something else going on, it has been a horrible year for Marte. But the bat speed and hip rotation was there for his big three-run homer in the fourth inning which turned the momentum around for the Mets.
Then, with the score tied 3-3 in the fifth, Brandon Nimmo parlayed his new-found power into another lead for the Mets when he led off the frame with a line drive blast to right. He is trading in some strikeouts (he has 11 over his last 11 games but has a 1.126 OPS during that span) for this power surge and it’s all working for him as he continues to evolve into more of a complete player, and that couldn’t come at a better time for the Mets as they continue to look for pretty much anyone who can provide a well-rounded attack in their lineup.
Of course, it wasn’t going to be that simple for the Mets considering how messed up their pitching is this year.
They needed one more jolt, and they got a 467 foot bomb from rookie Francisco Álvarez which gave the Mets the lead for good.
It was a two-run shot in the seventh, and it actually just landed in my back yard.
This kid has all the potential of being a mega star in this league. He’s already doing elite things behind the plate. His biggest issue right now is discipline and pitch selection, as he swings wildly with no real approach to his at-bats at times. He’s obviously looking to crush even in situations where a defensive posture at the plate is called for, and that’s just not going to work for him. But if he can slow his heart rate down just a bit and approach these situations a little bit differently, there will be more of what he did yesterday, and less than what his .215 batting average might represent.
Even so, his 14 home runs leads all rookie catchers in MLB, his 29 RBI are second, his 26 runs scored are third, and his 1.2 fWAR is second. Again, all of this demonstrates the long-term upside, and that doesn’t even include his catching abilities (2 DRS and elite framing skills).
We won’t discuss the ninth inning circus from the bullpen today. They are what they are, we know every day is an adventure down there, and fortunately the Mets offense was the story for them which allows us to mask the issue in the bullpen for a day.
All-told, this was a good day way more than it was bad. The Mets have won three in a row, they’re offering themselves a little hope at the moment. From my seat, they can’t lose more than a single game on this road trip if they want to be in any sort of playoff conversation after the All-Star Game.
So, lets see what happens.
Around the League 🚩
One day after losing Mike Trout to a broken hamate bone in his hand, the Angels lost Shohei Ohtani to a blister which will prevent him from pitching in the All-Star Game - the Angels also lost 8-5 to the Padres in San Diego
The Yankees doubled up the Orioles 8-4 in the Bronx thanks in part to two RBI days from both Gleyber Torres and Harrison Bader
The Marlins blew away the Cardinals 15-2 in Miami - Jesus Sánchez had four RBI, Garrett Cooper had three RBI, Jorge Soler and Jon Berti each produced two RBI, and Jesus Luzardo gave the Marlins six scoreless innings
The Phillies edged the Rays 3-1 in St. Petersburg thanks to a strong performance from Aaron Nola and RBI from Bryce Harper, Bryson Stott and Alec Bohm