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Mets players reach milestones in doubleheader split with the Marlins
Kodai Senga reached the 200 strikeout plateau in his final start, while Francisco Lindor became the fourth player in franchise history to go 30-30
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets hit three home runs in game 1 - Pete Alonso slugged his 46th home run (194th as a Met, 4th all-time in franchise history), Francisco Lindor hit one of three homers on the day, and Mark Vientos hit his ninth
Joey Lucchesi started game 1 and allowed only two runs in six innings of work in his final start of the season
The Mets bulllpen threw three scoreless innings of relief in game 1
In game 2, Kodai Senga made his final start of the season, striking out eight while recording his 200th strikeout of the season and allowing two runs
Francisco Lindor hit two home runs in game 2, giving him three on the night and the first 30-30 season of his career
Adam Ottavino allowed the deciding runs in the ninth, and while the Mets attempted to mount a comeback in the bottom half, they were shutdown for the night when Francisco Álvarez struck out as a pinch hitter to end the game
Injury Updates 🏥
Starling Marte (groin) has been shutdown for the season
Joey Lucchesi was in an Uber accident before Wednesday’s doubleheader, but suffered no ill-effects
The Mets 30-30 Club 🏆
On Wednesday, Francisco Lindor (5.9 fWAR in 2023) hit two home runs to achieve the first 30-30 season in his career.
Became the fourth player in franchise history to have a 30-30 season,
joining David Wright (2007), Howard Johnson (1991, 1989, 1987) and Darryl Strawberry (1987)
Joins Barry Larkin (1996), Álex Rodríguez (1998), Jimmy Rollins (2007) and Hanley Ramírez (2008) as the only shortstops in major league history with a 30-30 season
Joins Johnson, Rollins, José Cruz (2001), Carlos Beltrán (2004) and José Ramírez (2018) as the only switch hitters with a 30-30 season
Was the first Met since Brandon Nimmo (10/4/22 vs. Washington) to homer in both games of a doubleheader
It was the 32nd time a Met has homered in both games of a doubleheader
Joins Dave Kingman (4/26/81), Tommie Agee (5/11/69) and Gil Hodges (5/30/62) as the only Mets in franchise history with three homers across a doubleheader (Sarah Langs)
Kodai Senga’s rookie season 🎖️
Went 12-7 with a 2.98 ERA with 202 strikeouts in 166.1 IP and 3.4 fWAR in 2023
Became the 13th pitcher in Mets history to record 200+ strikeouts in a season, joining Dwight Gooden as the only Mets rookie to have 200 or more strikeouts in a season
Is the 18th rookie in the Modern Era (Since 1900) and the sixth in
the Wild Card Era (Since 1995) with 200 or more strikeouts in a season
Joins Hideo Nomo (236), Yu Darvish (221) and Daisuke Matsuzaka (201) as the only Japanese-born rookies with 200 or more strikeouts in a season
Finished the season with a 2.98 ERA (55 ER/166.1 IP), the 9th lowest mark by a Mets rookie in franchise history (Min. 100.0 IP)
His 29 starts are tied with Masato Yoshii for the ninth-most by a Mets rookie in a season
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (72-86) vs. Marlins (82-76)
Where: Citi Field - Flushing, New York
Starting pitchers: LHP David Peterson (3-8, 5.37 ERA) vs. LHP Jesús Luzardo (10-9, 3.73 ERA)
When: 7:10 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
Quick notes on Francisco Lindor and Kodai Senga… ✍️
I think the above note sections on both Kodai Senga and Francisco Lindor tell the story of the day for the Mets on Wednesday. Both players represent two of the very few bright spots from the 2023 season, so I will quickly acknowledge both of them while you digest these two remarkable achievements.
For Francisco Lindor specifically, he has had a remarkably awesome season on both sides of the ball and the 30-30 achievement is a reflection of how good he has been offensively.
What’s amazing about Lindor is, he got off to a very slow start, much like he did in 2022. But as I wrote in June, aside from a general struggle to find his swing from the left side, at that time the peripheral numbers suggested a turnaround was imminent for Lindor and he was actually performing well from the right side of the plate over the first two months of the season. Then he found it from the left side and just took off from there.
Since June 6, Lindor is hitting .281/.361/.508 with 71 runs scored, 20 home runs, 56 RBI, and 138 wRC+. That’s immensely good and it’s a travesty he wasn’t named to the All-Star Game in July.
The funny thing about Lindor is as flashy of a player as he comes off as style-wise, his style of play lacks that kind of flash. He makes the game look small and he’s so smooth and simple with everything he does on both sides of the ball. Yes, he is elite defensively and makes some amazing plays at short, but much like Carlos Beltrán was as a player, Lindor makes those plays which have such a high degree of difficulty look relatively simple.
I actually didn’t really realize or appreciate how good Lindor was with Cleveland. I didn’t watch him on a regular basis and I think the numbers - as good as they were then - didn’t do him enough justice. Watching him everyday - even at times when he’s struggled - has given me a greater appreciation of his talent, skill and overall value to the game.
The Mets gave up a big piece in Andrés Giménez, but I think it’s safe to say the Mets won that trade in more ways than one.
As for Senga, wow.
There was no way to really know what Senga would bring to the table for the Mets when they signed him in the off-season. It’s never easy to predict how a player’s performance in Japan will translate to the big leagues in the US, but his performance has been incredible, and both he and the Mets deserve a ton of credit for making that transition as simple and as comfortable as possible, as well as their ability to communicate and manage his workload and stamina from end-to-end during the season. The 200 strikeout season is a capper on a truly remarkable rookie season for Senga.
He got off to an uneven start in the first month of the season, but who didn’t for the Mets, right? But since May 17, Senga has a 2.64 ERA with 159 strikeouts in only 122.1 IP with an 11.06 K/9 ratio and only 11 home runs allowed during that span. That’s the Ghost Fork doing it’s work for you, a tremendous and unique pitch he has truly mastered at this level.
Overall, his 3.4 fWAR is 19th best among all starting pitchers and eighth-best in the National League. Not only is Senga a legit rookie of the year candidate, but he will receive some down-level votes on the Cy Young ballot as well.
His performance speaks for itself and it led this rotation by example in 2023.
The Mets still need a lot of starting pitching this winter, but Senga has certainly established himself as top-of-the-rotation caliber in 2023 and goes a long way towards solving their medium-term problem in the rotation.
Congratulations to both on two amazin’ seasons!
Around the League 🚩
Aaron Judge hit two more home runs and Gerrit Cole won his 15th game to solidify his Cy Young candidacy in the Yankees’ 6-0 win over the Blue Jays
The Rangers maintained their 2.5 game lead on the Astros with a 5-0 win over the Angels. Houston warped the sinking Mariners (4 GB in the AL West, 1.5 games out of the wild card) 8-3 while tempers flared and benches cleared in Seattle (watch)
The Padres kept their faint playoff hopes alive with a 5-2 win over the Giants. Their tragic number for playoff elimination is down to 1
The Cubs lost 6-5 to the Braves after the Marlins split their doubleheader with the Mets - the Cubs and Marlins are now tied for the final wild card spot in the NL
The Reds lost 4-3 to the Guardians and are 1.5 games out of the final wild card with three games to go