Mets show once again they're among the league's varsity with thrilling Subway Series win
Mets get round one against the Yankees thanks to big early hits, strong pitching and strong defense all night long
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾
The Mets won round one of the Subway Series, defeating the Yankees 6-3 on Tuesday night in front of a sold out crowd at Citi Field (Box)
Taijuan Walker started for the Mets - after allowing a pair of solo home runs in the first inning, he settled down to allow only one run over his next five innings
The Mets hit a pair of home runs (solo homer from Starling Marte, two-run homer from Eduardo Escobar) against LHP Jordan Montgomery as part of a four-run first inning to counter-strike the Yankees two solo home runs in the top of of the frame
Jeff McNeil broke an 0-for-19 skid with a key RBI single in the eighth inning
The Mets made a pair of clutch defensive plays in the seventh to thwart a Yankee rally - Jeff McNeil made a difficult play up the middle to throw out DJ LaMahieu to start the inning, and Tomás Nido threw a seed down to second to nab Anthony Rizzo - who represented the tying run - for the third out
Adam Ottavino was stretched out for 1.2 innings but allowed just one hit and Edwin Díaz recorded a four-out save, all of which came via a strikeout
The Mets 2-3-4 in the order (Marte, Francisco Lindor, Pete Alonso) combined to go 7-for-11 with five runs scored, three doubles and a home run
The four home runs combined from the Mets and Yankees in the first inning was the first time four home runs had ever been hit in a Mets home game (including the Polo Grounds, Shea Stadium, Yankee Stadium, and Citi Field)
The Mets are now 30-17 at home, 14-26 when the opponent scores first, 11-4 in series openers at home, 43-4 when scoring five or more runs, 52-0 when leading after eight innings, and earned their 22nd comeback win of the year
Francisco Álvarez is now baseball’s best prospect (MLB.com)
Roster Moves 📰
INF Travis Blankenhorn sent outright to Triple-A Syracuse
Who’s Hot 🔥
Pete Alonso has a five-game hitting streak. He is hitting .588/.650/.941 with three doubles, a home run and six RBI during that span, raising his season OPS from .857 to .896 during this stretch
Over his last 18 outings dating back to June 1, Adam Ottavino has allowed just two earned runs, ten hits and three walks, a span of 20.2 IP
Starling Marte has multiple hits in four of his last seven games - he is hitting .379/.419/.517 during that span
Injury Updates 🏥
Jacob deGrom (stress reaction in scapula) will start for the Syracuse Mets on Wednesday - he could be activated from the injured list for a start next Tuesday against the Nationals
James McCann (strained oblique) will begin a rehab assignment on Thursday
Playoff Odds Tracker 🎲
The Mets lead the Braves by 2 games in the National League East with 65 games to go. They are on-pace for 100 wins which would be their highest mark since 1988 (100)
Playoff odds (FanGraphs):
Make the playoffs: 99.7 percent ⬆️
Win the National League East: 63.2 percent ⬆️
Clinch first round bye: 61.5 percent ⬆️
Win the World Series: 14 percent ⬆️
Trade Rumors 🕵️♀️
The trade deadline is August 2 at 6:00 PM EDT. Here is the latest on where the Mets stand in the marketplace:
The Mets are discussing trade permutations with the Cubs for a deal that could net them C Willson Contreras and RHP David Robertson (SI)
The Mets view Robertson as a potential solution against left-handed hitters - lefties have just a .504 OPS against Robertson this season (New York Post)
Mets GM Billy Eppler has checked in with the Angels on what it would take to acquire Shohei Ohtani (Athletic)
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (60-37) vs Yankees (66-32)
Where: Citi Field — Flushing, New York
Starters: RHP Max Scherzer (6-2, 2.28 ERA) vs RHP Domingo German (0-1, 15.00 ERA)
When: 7:10 PM EDT
Where to Watch: ESPN
A fun team win for the Mets as they continue to demonstrate they are among the league’s varsity in 2022 📝
Well, that was a fun game last night, wasn’t it?
It didn’t start out particularly rosy, of course. Taijuan Walker allowed solo home runs to Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo on back-to-back pitches and it looked like it was going to be one of those classic Yankee barrages and cruise to yet another dominant victory.
But that was not so on Tuesday night as the Mets immediately responded with four runs of their own thanks to a solo home run from Starling Marte, a run-scoring double from Pete Alonso and a two-run home run from Eduardo Escobar.
That reset the tone and actually sent the Mets on their way despite some choppy waves to navigate during the game.
But while it wasn’t easy - Walker didn’t have his first 1-2-3 inning until the fifth inning, as one example - the Mets staved off several Yankee threats thanks to some big pitches from Walker and the bullpen and stellar defense behind him. Even Walker got in on the run prevention act with a key pick off of Isiah Kiner-Falefa in the second for a big second out with Aaron Hicks on third.
But perhaps the biggest defensive play of the night came in the seventh inning when Tomás Nido nailed Anthony Rizzo (who was the tying run at the time) as the trailing runner in a double steal attempt. That shut down a huge threat and setup the final seven outs for Adam Ottavino and Edwin Díaz to nail down for an important win.
Overall, it was one of the better wins for the Mets in what has been a difficult two-month stretch for them and one of their signature team wins of the season. They did it with a combination of power, contact, clutch hitting and stellar defense and some big pitches in between, shutting down one of the great offensive teams in the last century in the process.
All-told, the Mets simply played a better baseball game than the Yankees last night, did the little things better than them, and played some inspiring baseball from start to finish to secure their 60th win of the year.
This is how the Mets were winning games over the first two months of the season. For a while, it seems as though the offense hasn’t been making the most of their at-bats and opportunities in general. They’d been falling behind in counts a lot, forced into way too much zone protection specifically with runners on-base and not moving runners around with any kind of proficiency.
But since the sixth inning on Sunday, the Mets have looked a lot more like those early season Mets.
Rather than making the least of their opportunities, they have been making the most of them, which is why they’ve manufactured 14 runs in their last 12 offensive innings, going 7-for-23 with runners in scoring position over their last two games.
And how critical was it the Mets win the first game with Max Scherzer (happy birthday, by the way) on the mound tonight for them?
The one issue the Mets have heading into tonight is questionable availability with both Ottavino and Díaz. Both threw more than 20 pitches over multiple innings. And with Ottavino specifically who threw 30 pitches over his 1.2 innings of work, that usage tells you all you need to know about the faith Mets manager Buck Showalter has in Joely Rodriguez and Seth Lugo right now as well. So if they’re not available, the bullpen maybe an adventure late in this game, unless Scherzer can give them a long outing.
I know I am in the minority with this opinion, but I don’t view these games against the Yankees as anything particularly special anymore. I feel like they lost that luster after the 2000 World Series. To me, they’re important games because of the time of year, they’re important games because they need to win and win at home, and they need to be able to continue to demonstrate they can swim in the same race as the league’s elite, something the Mets have shown time and time again all year long - they’re 26-21 against teams over .500 this season.
The Mets continue to prove they can not only play with the varsity, but they are among the varsity of Major League Baseball.
Of course, these always have that playoff feel and energy. And these games always seem to have some kind of crazy explosiveness to them as well, which contributes to that increased intensity. That’s the way it started, and that’s the way it ended last night.
And fortunately for the Mets, they produced most of that craziness.
Down on the Farm 🌾
Brett Baty (3B, No. 2 Prospect Double-A): 3-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI, R
JT Schwartz (1B, No. 19 Prospect, Single-A): 2-for-4, 2 2B
William Lugo (SS, Low-A): 2-for-4, HR, 3 RBI
Box Scores: Triple-A | Double-A | Single-A | Low-A
Around the League 🚩
Matt Olson and Michael Harris II homered as the Braves doubled up the Phillies 6-3 at Citizens Bank Park to remain two games behind the Mets in the NL East
The Blue Jays stayed hot in Toronto, winning their seventh straight game 10-3 over the depleted Cardinals
The Orioles scored three runs in the eighth inning to topple the Rays 5-3, going back over the .500 mark at 49-48 - they are just three games out of a Wild Card spot
The Red Sox are willing to listen to trade offers for DH JD Martínez (ESPN)
Both the White Sox and Yankees have expressed interest in trading for LHP Jose Quintana (FanSided)
The Marlins are willing to listen to trade offers for everyone except RHP Sandy Alcantara (New York Post)
The Astros have joined the Willson Contreras trade derby as they seek upgrades behind the plate (ESPN)