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Mets wallop A's, Francisco Lindor has huge night, and notes on Kodai Senga, Brandon Nimmo
The Mets scored 17 runs, drew 17 walks and had 30 total baserunners in a laugher in Oakland
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets routed the A’s 17-6 at the Oakland Coliseum on Friday night (Box)
The Mets netted 12 walks against the A’s pitching staff - they recorded two innings during which they scored six runs on only one hit. In total the Mets had 30 baserunners on the night
Francisco Lindor had seven RBI on the night - he hit a grand slam in the second inning and then a three-run double in the fourth inning
Kodai Senga wasn’t at his sharpest - he allowed four runs in 4.2 IP and was removed before the end of the fifth, making him ineligible to win his third game of the season
Injury Updates 🏥
RHP Justin Verlander (back strain) will throw a bullpen session at the Mets minor league complex in Port St. Lucie today
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets @ Athletics
Where: Oakland Coliseum - Oakland, CA
Starters: RHP Carlos Carrasco vs. RHP Shintaro Fujinami
When: 4:07 PM EDT
Where to Watch: WPIX
Notes: Francisco Lindor’s big game, Kodai Senga’s unevenness, and Brandon Nimmo, the blue-collared star ✍🏻
Where does one begin with that game?
This is by no means meant as a criticism of the Mets, but they didn’t win Friday night’s game as much as the A’s literally walked all over themselves.
Seriously. The A’s walked 17 batters, 12 before the end of the fifth inning. A’s Manager Mark Kotsay was beside himself in the dugout, holding his head in his hand, pacing around, and so on and so forth.
As enjoyable as it was to watch the Mets take advantage of all of that, it was just as much painful and sad to watch almost every single pitcher the A’s threw out there demonstrate complete ineffectiveness.
Even so, a win is a win even when the other team wins it for you. For the Mets, it was their eighth win of the season against six losses and, for the first time in the season’s first ten percent, it looks as though the Mets have found an element of consistency and a formula for their offense.
Now, 17 runs and 17 walks doesn’t truly demonstrate a whole lot. But they’re showing much better fluidity with runners in scoring position overall now thanks to quality at-bats with runners on-base, and thanks to their newfound willingness to steal bases, are getting out of that base-to-base, three hits for every run situation they were in at the conclusion of last season and the early part of this season.
I had several specific takeaways from last night, of course…
Francisco Lindor had a night…
The Mets $341 million man had himself a night to remember last night. The keynote was a second inning grand slam from the left side of the plate (on a better than decent pitch) which was a part of the Mets first six run inning on the night, and in fact the only hit in that inning. He then hit a three-run double in the fifth inning from the right side, burying one into the corner to net him seven RBI before the 15th out of the game.
And that double was the only hit in that six run inning.
Two hits, 12 runs in total by the Mets, seven of which came off the bat from Lindor. That’s a pretty remarkable occurrence if you ask me, but as I said before - and this is to take nothing away from Lindor’s magical performance - this was all setup by Oakland’s complete inability to throw strikes.
Not Senga’s best…
Mets RHP Kodai Senga had his first uneven start of his young big league career on Friday. He struggled to throw strikes himself although not to the degree of pretty much anyone Mark Kotsay asked to throw for him. He walked four batters which really elevated his pitch count, labored pretty much right from the jump, and really just couldn’t get a feel for his fastball or forkball. He had great velocity, but between the weather and the long up-and-downs in between innings, he just couldn’t get into a rhythm.
In fact, he was seen throwing in the bullpen while the Mets were walking around on the A’s in the fourth inning. I know pitchers often go inside to the cages during long innings to stay warm, but that was an indication to me Senga wasn’t thrilled with what he had and was not just looking to stay warm, but to find some balance and consistent release points with his pitches. It didn’t work, and that’s ok. It happens and his issues yesterday didn’t hurt the Mets in the least.
It’s just part of the process. He will have to pitch in conditions which are unfavorable and uncomfortable. Such is the life of a pitcher. Anywhere at any level.
What more can we say about Brandon Nimmo?
Brandon Nimmo once again never ceases to amaze me. I remember when he first came up and there were questions about whether Sandy Alderson’s first pick with the Mets back in 2011 would ever be everyday material.
Nearly seven years later, and Nimmo is one of those quiet, blue-collared stars in Major League Baseball. He reached base three more times yesterday without even swinging the bat, and reached base two times when he did. He has a league-high 14 walks and a .466 on-base percentage in the season’s first 14 games. And I don’t care what the defensive metrics say - he has become a money guy in centerfield, coming up with one big catch after the next.
The best part about it? The ear to ear grin that’s always on his face. He represents everything baseball is supposed to be. He hustles and gives max effort on every single play, whether he’s at-bat or in the field. And he does it all expressing the joy the game is supposed to give people when they play. I wish more people enjoyed the game the way he does.
Around the League 🚩
The Rays finally lost a game on Friday, with the Blue Jays beating them 6-3 in Toronto - Tampa Bay is now 13-1 on the season
The Cubs powered up for five home runs in an 8-2 win over the Dodgers in LA
Anthony Volpe and Aaron Judge hit back-to-back home runs against the Twins on Friday, but the Yankees slipped in a 4-3 loss to the Twins in the Bronx
The Twins scored nine runs in the top of the first inning to essentially beat the Yankees before the home team had even come to the plate
The Giants and RHP Logan Webb agreed to a five-year, $90 million contract extension
Rays’ LHP Jeffrey Springs several months after being diagnosed with ulnar neuritis in his elbow (TB Times)