Mets win another series as they head into the most critical part of their season
The Mets will play the Braves and Phillies 16 times over the next 18 days
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾
The Mets defeated the Nationals 9-5 on Wednesday afternoon at Nationals Park (Box)
The Mets were powered by a two-run home run by Pete Alonso in the third, a grand slam home run by Daniel Vogelbach in the fifth and a run scoring double by Tomás Nido in the sixth inning
Chris Bassitt was stellar on the mound for the Mets - he allowed just six hits and a walk over seven scoreless innings
Trevor May made his long-awaited return after spending three months on the injured list with a stress reaction in his humerus - he allowed a hit with one strikeout in a scoreless eighth inning
The Mets did take a 9-0 lead into the ninth inning, but Mychal Givens - making his Mets debut - allowed two home runs and five runs in total
The Mets are now 28 games over .500 at 66-38. They’re 35-21 on the road, 13-3 in rubber games, 14-3-1 in road series, 57-0 when leading after 8 innings, 33-13 vs the National League East, 47-4 when scoring 5 or more runs, and 10-23 when allowing five or more runs
Who’s Hot 🔥
Over his last eight starts, Chris Bassitt has a 2.52 ERA and has held opponents to a .212/.257/.306 slash line. He’s allowed 41 hits and 10 walks with 47 strikeouts in 53.2 IP during that span
In 11 games since the All-Star Game, Pete Alonso is hitting .375/.479/.800 with five doubles, four home runs, ten RBI and ten runs scored
Since joining the Mets on July 24, Daniel Vogelbach is hitting .308/.471/.500 with seven walks, two doubles, a home run and four RBI
Francisco Lindor currently has a ten-game hitting streak. He’s hitting .421/.500/.763 during that span with four doubles, three home runs and eight RBI
Jeff McNeil has a six-game hitting streak. He’s hitting .462/.482/.769 during that span with five doubles, a home run, three RBI and four runs scored
Roster Moves 📰
Activated RHP Trevor May from the 60-day injured list
Activated RHP Mychal Givens
Activated INF/OF Darin Ruf
Optioned RHP Stephen Nogosek to Triple-A Syracuse
Optioned RHP Yoan López to Triple-A Syracuse
Designated 2B Kramer Robertson for assignment
Playoff Odds Tracker 🎲
The Mets lead the Braves by 3.5 games in the National League East with 58 games to go. They are on-pace for 102 wins which would be their highest mark since 1986 (108):
Playoff odds (FanGraphs):
Make the playoffs: 100 percent ↔️
Win the National League East: 73.6 percent ⬆️
Clinch first round bye: 72.7 percent ⬆️
Win the World Series: 15.2 percent ⬆️
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (66-38) at Braves (63-42)
Where: Citi Field - Flushing, New York
Starters: RHP Carlos Carrasco (11-4 3.79 ERA) vs RHP Kyle Wright (13-4, 2.93 ERA)
When: 7:10 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
The next two weeks will be pivotal in defining the race in the National League East 📝
It’s been about three and a half weeks since the Mets and Braves last tangled against each other. In their last meeting, the Mets won two out of three games at Truist Park, outscoring Atlanta 12-8 thanks in large measure to strong pitching performances from Max Scherzer, David Peterson (even though he lost the middle game of the series) and Chris Bassitt and clutch hitting from Pete Alonso, Luis Guillorme and Francisco Lindor.
After a softer part of their schedule over the last week or so, during which the Mets went 5-1 against the Marlins and shipwrecked Nationals, the Mets enter an even bigger showdown with Atlanta starting tonight at Citi Field.
It’s a five-game series including a doubleheader on Saturday. Recall, the Mets lost a series to the Braves at the beginning of the year due to the lockout, so the doubleheader will makeup one of those games this weekend. That means the Mets are likely to bring Peterson back from Triple-A Syracuse to make one of the starts on Saturday, with Max Scherzer pitching the other game.
Each team is shaped a little differently since the last time they met. The Mets of course added Tyler Naquin and Daniel Vogelbach to add some much-needed pop from the left side of the plate as well as Darin Ruf to help their power outage against left-handed pitching and perhaps get Pete Alonso more pitches to hit against the left side. There is of course Mychal Givens who was acquired from the Cubs on Tuesday afternoon who is supposed to serve as a reliable swing-and-miss arm in late-inning relief, but he didn’t exactly experience the Mets debut he was hoping for on Wednesday against the Nationals.
Of course, the Mets have re-inserted Jacob deGrom into the rotation and added Trevor May back from the injured list, changing the spectrum of their entire pitching staff. That isn’t exactly insignificant.
Then there are the powerhouse Braves, who have gone 10-5 since these two clubs last met and have lived up to their billing, scorching 22 home runs over their last 15 games while scoring 76, an average of 5.1 runs per game during that span while facing the Nationals, Angels, Diamondbacks and Phillies. They were also busy adding to their pitching staff during the trade deadline, bringing in Jake Odorizzi and Raisel Iglesias and shipping out Will Smith and Jesse Chávez while acquiring OF Robbie Grossman to replace Adam Duvall (out for the year) and SS Ehire Adrianza.
Each team looks quite a bit different now.
Entering this series tonight, the Mets are 3.5 games ahead of the Braves in the National League East, but it might as well be a tie at this stage of the season as these two teams will face each other nine times over the next two weeks - five in New York and four more in Atlanta August 15-18.
The Mets only have one off-day in between, so the Mets will undoubtedly be shuffling the pieces on the pitching staff to find fresh arms and attempt to keep the stamina of their rotation as high as possible as well.
Needless to say, the race in the National League East between the Mets, Braves and Phillies could look a whole lot different when the lights go out at Truist Park on August 18.
While the Mets and Braves are battling at the top of the division, the Phillies - who added both Noah Syndergaard and David Robertson to their pitching staff - will be playing second-division clubs (Nationals, Marlins and Reds) with the exception of a series against the Mets at Citi Field Field August 12-14. So they have an opportunity to close a significant gap in the division over the next couple of weeks. They’re 56-48, currently 10 games behind the Mets in the National League East but sit in the third wild card spot in the National League.
The Mets have another series against the Phillies - a four-game set at Citizens Bank Park August 19-21 with a doubleheader sandwiched in between.
That’s 16 games between the top three teams in the National League East over the next 18 days. It’s an arduous stretch.
But hey, nobody said this would be easy.
From the Mets perspective, it’s an opportunity to create breathing room between them and the Braves and to more or less knock the Phillies out of the race in the division. That’s obviously the best-case scenario. In the end, it should be a good battle between these three clubs with perhaps a clearer picture being defined of what the race will look like over the final six weeks of the regular season.
The Mets have been in first place for 118 straight days. Their standing now hangs in the balance in what may not be their most difficult stretch of the season, but their most critical.
Down on the Farm 🌾
Francisco Álvarez (C, No. 1 Prospect, Triple-A): 1-for-4, HR, K
Ronny Mauricio (SS, No. 3 Prospect, Double-A): 2-for-5, RBI, K
Karrell Paz (OF, Low-A): 1-for-1, 3B, 3 RBI
Around the League 🚩
Luis Castillo made his Mariner debut against the Yankees in the Bronx, and allowed three runs over 6.2 IP in a 7-3 win
The Phillies defeated the Braves 3-1 behind seven strong innings from Zack Wheeler and an eighth inning, two-run home run from Nick Castellanos
The new-look Padres warped the Rockies 9-1 in San Diego - Juan Soto went 1-for-3 with two walks and a run scored and Josh Bell walked twice and scored twice in the rout
Sandy Alcantara threw a complete-game, six-hit shutout against the Reds in a 3-0 win for the Marlins in Miami