Mets win, Scherzer is back, and Escobar needs more moments like this
The Mets are getting one of their aces back as Max Scherzer is set to return on Tuesday. Plus, how the club needs more nights like this from Eduardo Escobar.
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾
The Mets defeated the Rangers by a score of 4-3 on Friday night at Citi Field (box)
RHP Chris Bassitt was scratched from his start and placed on the COVID IL prior to Friday’s game
In Bassitt’s place, LHP David Peterson performed admirably, striking out 10 batters while allowing three runs over six innings
3B Eduardo Escobar clubbed a game-winning, three-run home run in the fourth inning, just his seventh of the season
New York got three shutout innings from their bullpen as Seth Lugo, Adam Ottavino and Edwin Díaz combined to allow just one baserunner with four strikeouts
The Mets are now 25-12 at Citi Field this season, the best home record in the National League and second best in all of baseball
New York has not lost a game this season when leading after eight innings
Injury Updates 🏥
RHP Max Scherzer (strained oblique) will be activated from the injured list and make his first start vs the Reds on Tuesday
RHP Trevor May (right triceps inflammation) will throw from a mound for the first time later today
Roster Moves 📰
RHP Chris Bassitt placed on COVID injured list
RHP R.J. Alvarez called up from Triple-A Syracuse
Who’s Hot 🔥
Over his last three starts, David Peterson has gone 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA, 3.02 FIP and has struck out 25 batters with just two walks in 18.1 innings pitched
After another multi-hit performance, Pete Alonso is hitting .289/.391/.644 with 11 home runs, four doubles, 28 RBI, 19 runs scored and a 1.035 OPS over his last 31 games
Since his last blown save on May 24th, Edwin Díaz is 7-for-7 in save opportunities with a 0.71 ERA, negative 0.43 FIP, 27 strikeouts and two walks while holding opposing hitters to a .200/.250/.222 slashline in 12.2 innings pitched
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (48-29) vs. Rangers (36-39)
Where: Citi Field — Flushing, New York
Starters: RHP Trevor Williams (1-4, 3.64 ERA) vs LHP Martín Pérez (6-2, 2.22 ERA)
When: 4:10 PM EST
Where to Watch: SNY
The Mets need more nights like this from Eduardo Escobar 📝
Now that’s more like it.
In their 4-3 victory over the Rangers on Friday night, Eduardo Escobar gave the Mets everything they needed at the plate, slamming a deep three-run home run into the second deck in the right field in the fourth inning, giving the club a lead they’d never relinquish.
These moments have been few and far between for Escobar, who has struggled mightily this year after signing a two-year contract over the offseason. Overall this season, Escobar is hitting just .224/.283/.386 with seven home runs, 33 RBI, a .670 OPS and a 90 OPS+ in 70 games. That isn’t exactly what the Mets thought they were getting when they inked him to a deal this winter.
What New York thought they were getting was a guy who’d hit 28 and 35 home runs in his last two non-COVID-shortened seasons, and a player who’d slugged over .470 in three of his last four seasons overall. Honestly, it’s pretty safe to say that this organization brought Escobar in expecting him to be their second (or, at worst third) biggest home run threat behind Pete Alonso and maybe Francisco Lindor. And for a lineup that’s one weakness comes in the power department, this unexpected outage from the bat of Escobar has been a serious disadvantage at times.
It’s been a year of starts and stops for Escobar, whose best stretch of the season came in late May and early June where he hit .333/.325/.573 with three home runs, seven doubles, a triple, 15 RBI, an .898 OPS and also included a game in which he hit for the cycle in San Diego. The problem, of course, is that Escobar’s hottest stretch of the season only lasted a total of 18 games and didn’t come close to undoing all of the struggles that came before it. What’s exasperated things even more is how he’s performed since, as he hit just .093/.128/.163 with one extra-base hit, six RBI, 17 strikeouts and a .291 OPS over his next 12 games prior to Friday night.
Escobar’s struggles had gotten so bad that super utility man Luis Guillorme has seen an even bigger uptick in playing time at third and people have begun to wonder if it’s time to call-up fifth-ranked prospect Mark Vientos to the big leagues or trade for a third baseman by the deadline.
Ultimately, though, regardless of how they may or may not improve the position, the best version of this Mets team comes from Escobar simply performing up to his own standards over the last few seasons. When Billy Eppler put this team together over the winter, Escobar was a big factor in this lineup and a major key to what this team envisioned they could do. If the Mets can get anything similar to what he and the club expected from him during these summer months and down the stretch of the season, it could be transformative for this lineup.
It will take a lot more than just one home run against the Texas Rangers on a Friday night to believe that Escobar is truly back, but it sure is nice to see a good moment for him at the dish.
Down on the Farm 🌾
Mark Vientos (3B/OF, No. 5 prospect, Triple-A): 2-for-4, HR (14), 2 RBI
Brett Baty (3B, No. 2 prospect, Double-A): 1-for-4, HR (9), 3 RBI
JT Schwartz (1B, No. 19 prospect, Single-A): 2-for-5, HR (3), 2 RBI
Alex Ramirez (OF, No. 4 prospect, Low-A): 2-for-4, HR (6), 3B, 4 RBI, BB
Around the League 🚩
Cardinals 3B Nolan Arenado hit for the cycle for the second time in his career but the club lost to the Phillies 5-3
Astros RHP Christian Javier struck out 14 and allowed just one hit over seven dominant frames in the team’s 8-1 win vs the Angels
Twins CF Byron Buxton blasted a walk-off, two-run homer in the team’s 3-2 win over the Orioles
Dodgers RHP Tony Gonsolin improved to 10-0 this season after shutting down the Padres in a 5-1 victory