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Mets twin aces deliver dominant and necessary performances to sweep away the Guardians
Both Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander looked like aces against Cleveland, stepping up to deliver two necessary performances
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets had another thrilling, late-inning comeback to take game one of the doubleheader 5-4 (box)
Despite battling a finger issue, Max Scherzer pitched six scoreless innings, struck out five, and allowed just three hits
Adam Ottovino and David Robertson combined to give up four runs in the eighth which led to the need for late inning heroics
Starling Marte blasted his second home run of the year in the eighth which was a two-run shot to give the Mets the lead
Gary Sanchez went 1-for-3 with a RBI in his Mets debut
There was more eighth inning magic in the second game after a pitchers’ duel left scoring at a premium (box)
Justin Verlander was sensational on the mound. He allowed just one run in eight brilliant innings while striking out five. At 40-years old, Verlander became the first Mets pitcher since Bartolo Colón to pitch at least eight innings while being in their fourth decade
Verlander is tied with Zack Greinke for most quality starts in interleague play with 42
Francisco Lindor struck again against his former team and tied the game at one apiece with his sixth inning home run. He is tied for ninth in the league in extra-base hits
Francisco Álvarez went 1-for-2 at the plate but his hit in the eighth jumpstarted the game-winning rally
Jeff McNeil went 1-for-2 and his sacrifice fly drove in the game-winning RBI. It was his eighth career go-ahead RBI in the eighth inning or later
Brooks Raley picked up the save and joins Jordan Weems as the only two pitchers to pitch in both games of a doubleheader in the majors this season
This was the Mets second sweep of the season and they have now won their last two series
This was the Mets’ fifth straight win and is the team’s longest win streak of the season so far. All five wins have been decided by one run which is tied for the longest streak in franchise history
For the sixth straight game, the Mets hit a home run
Injury Updates 🏥
C Tomás Nido (dry eye syndrome) was hit by a pitch in his hand during his rehab assignment on Friday. He is day-to-day
C Omar Narváez (calf strain) will begin a rehab assignment later this week
LHP José Quintana (rib surgery) threw his bullpen session this weekend since undergoing his procedure to remove a lesion from his rib. He is still on course to return in early July
RHP Max Scherzer had a callus open on his thumb during his start on Sunday. He is expected to make his next start
Today’s Game 🗓
The Mets will enjoy an off day while they travel to Chicago to take on the Cubs.
Mojo Risin’… ✍🏼
Once upon a time, the Mets had a busy offseason.
They handed out a big extension while also acquiring some other key pieces for the team. With high expectations heading into the season the team fell flat early and rumors of a need for a coaching change started to shroud the team after some devastating losses.
This, of course, is the tale of the 1999 season but so far history feels like it is repeating itself in 2023.
Shortly after the 1998 season came to an end, the team extended Mike Piazza to a seven-year deal. A couple months later, they traded away Todd Hundley which led to them acquiring Roger Cedeno and Armando Benitez. Their final big move was signing Robin Ventura as a free agent. Those moves led to high expectations and that the club would make the playoffs. But after a long losing streak in May and the early part of June that year, Bobby Valentine’s coaching staff got the boot, but somehow he kept his job. After he said the club needed to go 40-15 or else he deserved to be fired, Valentine’s team did exactly that and went on an insane run of winning 40 of those next 55 games played.
It was exactly as their manager had promised.
With the team’s mojo back, Ventura introduced the team to the song L.A. Woman by The Doors for the lyric “Mr. Mojo Risin’” which the team adopted as a rallying cry and the beat could be heard reverberating around Shea immediately after every victory.
Perhaps those at Citi Field could also feel that the 2023 team’s mojo has changed. L.A. Woman was once again heard blaring in front of an exhilarated Mets fanbase after they completed their sweep of the Guardians on Sunday night.
No, Buck Showalter never appeared in a fake nose and mustache, but there is no denying something has clicked with this team in recent days. Whether it was Pete Alonso accidentally dropping an f-bomb, the kids playing regularly, or just that dormant Mets magic returning to the ballpark, or maybe all of that combined in a Mets sandwich, it all came together to create a thrilling week of Mets baseball.
Of course, this was just one week over the course of a long season. It was a very fun, exciting week, and one the team desperately needed, but still just one week. They got money starts from both Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer yesterday, a big time start from Kodai Senga earlier this week, the power showed up when it was needed and it helped them produce several dramatic comeback wins in the process. And, let’s not forget the effort from Brooks Raley yesterday, who stepped up in both legs of their doubleheader yesterday with quality performances. Their ability to produce those character wins was important with the Mets seemingly rising from the dead in the process.
But just like that team in 1999, the Mets are still looking up in the standings at a very good Braves team, thanks to the early hole they put themselves in with poor play over the previous 30 days. It will be up to them to keep up the momentum that they have recaptured and build upon the good vibes which have returned to the team. Starling Marte is finally starting to hit a little bit, Alonso is back to hitting nightly dingers, and Lindor continues to climb the leader board in extra-base hits. Add to that the “Baby Mets” who have infused some energy into the team. Álvarez is a perfect example since he was involved in two of the game winning rallies against the Guardians after his dramatic game-tying home run against the Rays.
This team has the tools on paper. Now they just need that mojo to stay with them.
Around the League 🚩
The Phillies have shown some interest in acquiring Rockies star C.J. Cron who could be moved at the deadline
Luis Severino returned to the mound for the Yankees and was strong in 4.2 innings as they finished off a sweep of the Reds
The Cardinals defeated the Dodgers to win their fourth straight series
The Orioles scored five runs in the eleventh to defeat the Blue Jays 8-3 and sweep the series
Shohei Ohtani struck out nine in six innings to help lead the Angels to a 4-2 win over the Twins