Mets take care of business in Pittsburgh and show necessary urgency on the field
The Mets outscored the Pirates 15-1 in their doubleheader sweep in Pittsburgh
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾
The Mets halted their three-game winning streak with a doubleheader sweep of the Pirates on Wednesday - they won the first game 5-1 (Box) and blew Pittsburgh out with a 10-0 shutout in the night cap (Box)
Tyler Naquin hit a three-run home run as part of a two-hit game in the afternoon contest, while Chris Bassitt fired seven innings of one-run ball for his 13th win of the season
The Mets also got multi-hit efforts from Brandon Nimmo, Pete Alonso, and Eduardo Escobar in game 1
In the nightcap, Jacob deGrom was lights out over seven innings, allowing just four baserunners to go along with his eight strikeouts, earning him his fifth win of the season
The Mets offense broke out in a big way in game 2 as the Mets netted six extra-base hits, four of which came on a pair of doubles from Francisco Lindor and Mark Canha
Lindor and Jeff McNeil combined to drive in five of the ten runs for the Mets
The Mets improved to 41-28 on the road, 4-3 in September, 31-9-3 in series, 16-5-1 in road series, 14-4 in doubleheaders, earned their fifth doubleheader sweep, are 16-4 in rubber games, 70-13 when scoring first, 76-0 when leading after eight innings, 17-6 against the NL Central, 64-5 when scoring five or more runs in a game, and 29-16 since the All-Star Game
Roster Moves 📰
Max Scherzer has been placed on the 15-Day IL, retroactive to September 4, with left oblique irritation
Alex Claudio has been selected from Triple-A Syracuse
Yoan López recalled from Triple-A Syracuse as the extra player for the doubleheader
Adonis Medina designated for assignment
Injury Updates 🏥
Starling Marte (non-displaced finger fracture) will be re-evaluated in Miami on Friday - he has not been placed on the injured list yet
Tylor Megill (shoulder strain) pitched one scoreless inning of relief for Triple-A Syracuse on Wednesday, allowing no baserunners with one strikeout
Joey Lucchesi (recovery from Tommy John Surgery) had his rehab assignment transferred from Single-A St. Lucie to Double-A Binghamton
Who’s Hot 🔥
Jeff McNeil is hitting .314/.339/.373 with 3 doubles and 4 RBI over his last 14 games
Since returning from the injured list on August 27, Eduardo Escobar is hitting .394/.432/.697 with a double, three home runs and six RBI over 11 games
Over his last 22 games, Mark Canha is hitting .315/.383/.630 with 11 doubles, four home runs and 14 RBI
The Pennant Race 🏁
Magic Number to win the NL East: 2️⃣5️⃣
NL East lead: 1/2 game
Win the National League East: 63.3 percent ⬆️
Clinch a first round bye: 63.1 percent ⬆️
Win the World Series: 14.9 percent ⬇️
Playoff odds courtesy of FanGraphs
Today’s Game 🗓
The Mets are off today. They open a three-game series with the Marlins in Miami beginning Friday night
The Mets played with that necessary urgency and took care of business in the process…📝
Now that’s how a club takes care of business.
For three days leading up to Wednesday’s doubleheader against the Pirates, the Mets appeared to be sleepwalking against the Nationals and Pirates, having been outscored 22-4 during that span with a non-existent offense, ineffective pitching top to bottom, and questionable bullpen management all sandwiched together.
The result were three straight losses and their already thin three game lead in the National League East completely evaporated in what seemed like a blink of an eye.
But perhaps the Braves tying the Mets in the division served as a wakeup call for the Mets, as they came out on Wednesday with the urgency not seen but sorely needed over those three previous games.
With that urgency came the offense which had been more or less absent for the last two weeks in particular.
Since August 22 and heading into yesterday’s doubleheader, the Mets were hitting just .227/.297/.356 as a team in those 13 games, averaging just 2.9 runs per game during that span. The result was a 6-7 record during that span and a division lead that was no longer there.
But Wednesday told a different story thanks to Tyler Naquin’s three run home run which gave the Mets some breathing room and seemingly set the tone for an offensive barrage in the nightcap, during which the Mets mashed 17 hits, six of which were doubles, another big night from Eduardo Escobar with his four-hit attack and Jeff McNeil doing his usual thing to help guide the Mets to a 10-0 win and a badly-needed series win against the Pirates.
Of course, the Mets allowed just one run in the two games thanks to what was really a clutch effort from Chris Bassitt to cut the head off of their three-game losing streak with seven quality innings in game 1, followed by Jacob deGrom doing Jacob deGrom things in game 2 with his typical dominant stuff over seven innings.
All told, it was just what the doctor ordered on the mound for the Mets, a staff that had gotten unusually pummeled over the last few days.
But perhaps the greatest takeaway from the doubleheader - offensively speaking anyway - besides the sweep and the two wins the Mets simply had to get, was the performance of Pete Alonso. He was in his first long stretch of the season where he was really lost at the plate, having recorded just four RBI in his previous 16 games, during which he was hitting .183/.283/.552. But he went a combined 4-for-9 with a double, walk and a run scored. He has been seen chasing fastballs up and out of the zone, sliders low and away, his swing and gotten a little long, and he just wasn’t able to snap out of it in the manner he typically does when he hits a cold snap. But Wednesday did indeed feature positive signs from Alonso, who the Mets badly need to get on track and be that elite power threat he has become in the early part of his career.
After all, the offense goes where Alonso and Francisco Lindor take it - they are the two most productive players in the Mets lineup and when they are slumping, everyone seems to follow.
This may seem like a dissatisfying series win for the Mets considering the no-show game on Tuesday and the division lead being down to just a 1/2 a game as a result, but they got a series win against a team they needed to beat, unlike their performance against the Nationals this past weekend. And while that three-game losing streak seems extra bitter given the caliber of the opponents, the Mets have been generally dominant against the second division all year - they’re now 48-21 against teams at or below .500 for the season.
The problem of course for the Mets are the Braves who are giving them no margin for error or any breathing room. Atlanta has indeed dominated the second division as well with their 59-21 record, but they’ve played 11 more games against that tier than the Mets this season giving them a far easier season schedule to navigate.
But all the Mets can do now with their soft schedule is take care of their own business and if they do that and win the games that are winnable, it shouldn’t matter what the Braves do. They’re not going to win every game down the stretch of course, but neither will the Braves (although it seems like they may, right?). And the doubleheader sweep and the quality of their play on Wednesday demonstrated what seems like a newfound urgency, which is something that needs to continue if the Mets intend to hold on and win the National League East in 2022.
Down on the Farm 🌾
Jake Mangum (OF, Triple-A): 2-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI
Hayden Senger (C, Double-A): 2-for-3, RBI
JT Schwartz (1B, Single-A): 1-for-3, HR, BB, 2 RBI
Box Scores: Triple-A | Double-A | Single-A | Low-A (PPD)
Around the League 🚩
The Braves finished off a sweep of the A’s in Oakland with a 7-3 victory thanks in part to homers from Vaughn Grissom and Dansby Swanson
The Yankees swept their doubleheader against the Twins in the Bronx - Aaron Judge hit his 55th home run of the season in game 1 as part of a 5-4 win and Isiah Kiner-Falefa drove in four runs in a 7-1 win in the nightcap
The Cardinals scored five runs in the ninth inning for a walk-off, comeback 6-5 win over the Nationals
Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers reduced their magic number to win the NL West to 6 with a 7-3 win over the Giants
Mike Trout homered for the fourth straight game on Wednesday, but the Angels dropped a 5-4 contest to the Tigers in Anaheim