The Mets come-from-behind in Oakland, Max Scherzer's soreness, and the most important Met of them all
The Mets earned their third comeback win of the season on Saturday and earned their fourth series win in five tries on the year
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets squeaked out a 3-2 win in the middle game of their weekend series in Oakland (Box)
Pete Alonso crushed his NL leading 7th homer to get the Mets on the board in the 4th
Mark Canha tied the game in the 7th with his 2nd home run, and the Mets took the lead for good on a Brandon Nimmo two out RBI double later in the inning
Carlos Carrasco struggled with his command, hitting three batters and walking one, but he made it through 5+ innings and allowed just two runs
Drew Smith, Brooks Raley, Adam Ottavino, and David Robertson combined to fire four innings of scoreless relief to secure the victory
Injury Updates 🏥
RHP Justin Verlander (back strain) threw a bullpen session at the Mets minor league complex in Port St. Lucie Saturday that went well. He’ll throw another bullpen early next week as he prepares to rejoin the rotation
It was announced following Saturday’s game that RHP Max Scherzer will not pitch today and will instead be pushed back to Wednesday in LA thanks to lingering back soreness
Roster Moves 📰
RHP Stephen Nogosek has been placed on the injured list with a bone bruise on his throwing elbow
RHP Dennis Santana was designated for assignment
RHP Jose Butto was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse and will start today
RHP Jimmy Yacabonis has his contract selected from Triple-A Syracuse
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets @ Athletics
Where: Oakland Coliseum - Oakland, CA
Starters: RHP José Buttó vs. LHP JP Sears
When: 4:07 PM EDT
Where to Watch: WPIX
Pete Alonso is the most important Met and it’s really not close ✍🏻
In 2023, the Mets have not come out firing on all cylinders the way they did last year. We’ve discussed quite a bit in this space the way the bottom half of the club’s lineup has been largely anemic, the starting rotation has been inconsistent, and outside of David Robertson and Adam Ottavino, Buck Showalter hasn’t found a lot of reliable resources at his disposal.
But New York is fortunate to have a not-so-secret weapon that has the ability to hide so many of their warts.
Pete Alonso’s power.
Since the Polar Bear debuted in 2019 no hitter in baseball has blasted more home runs.
Alonso famously declared himself the best power hitter in the game after winning two consecutive home run derbies, and the numbers certainly back that up. His patented tape measure blasts, swag-filled casual bat flips, and the faux high five with third base coach Joey Cora have become must see TV for Mets fans.
But his game changing power is much more than just entertainment.
The Mets line-up as a whole dramatically lacks power. Sure, Francisco Lindor will hit his 25 homers with around 30 doubles. But after that, where is the power on the rest of this team coming from?
Brandon Nimmo can hit some homers out of the leadoff spot but that’s not really his game. Starling Marte has home run power and so does Mark Canha.
But the truth is the 2022 season tells the entirety of a story that hasn’t changed much over the winter.
Last year Alonso and Lindor connected on 66 home runs.
The entire rest of the team hit 105.
And 20 of those came from Eduardo Escobar who unfortunately has looked like he couldn’t hit water if he jumped out of a boat these first two weeks and is currently hitting just .114 with only three extra-base hits—-one of which came against the A’s back-up catcher on Friday night.
Yes, its time for the Mets to strongly consider a change at third base.
If Escobar can’t get on track, if Lindor and Alonso don’t hit the ball out of the ballpark, the Mets don’t have enough firepower to score runs competitively. They’re essentially just sitting around waiting for the sporadic jolt from Nimmo, Canha, Marte, or even Jeff McNeil, and otherwise are a three-hits-for-every-run offense which isn’t a recipe for success.
They could, you, know, call up someone that’s hitting .400 with five big flies in Triple-A but we can’t keep talking about the same thing every day, can we?
Well yeah, we can until it actually (and probably eventually) happens.
In the meantime, when the team finds themselves locked in tight games against good pitching, scoring runs can be a problem. The struggles of the bottom of the lineup have made stringing hits together an immensely challenging task, which is why the Mets have struggled to score runs at times.
But consistently, when the fan base is getting frustrated and ready to stick their heads in the oven, one big swing from the Mets slugging first baseman changes everything.
New York has dealt with its fair share of adversity already this year. Edwin Díaz is not going to pitch anytime soon. Justin Verlander has yet to make his Mets debut. Hell, we were just told Max Scherzer is getting pushed back a few days and Mets fan PTSD has us worried it’s going to be more serious than they’re saying.
But despite all of these things, this team has consistently survived.
If they were ever to lose Alonso for any stretch of time, I really don’t think that would continue. The offense is just not deep enough to offset what he produces, not to mention….who exactly is the backup first baseman on this team? Canha and the seven appearances he’s had there since the end of 2019?
All of these factors, and the ones that are even harder to measure like Alonso’s role in the clubhouse and his importance to the team’s chemistry make him the single most important player on this team. And it’s really not even all that close.
Around the League 🚩
Miguel Cabrera delivered a walk-off hit in the 11th inning as the Tigers topped the Giants 7-6
Rookie outfielder Oscar Colas came through with a walk-off hit of his own in the 10th inning of the White Sox 7-6 win over the O’s
Andrew McCutchen crushed a go ahead two run homer in the top of the 10th that proved to be the difference in a Pirates win in St. Louis
The Rays incredibly lost a 2nd game in a row in Toronto, dropping them to a mere 13-2 on the season
Jake Cronenworth homered twice and drove in six runs as the Padres crushed Milwaukee 10-3
Wil Myers hit his first two home runs of the year in the Reds 13-0 annihilation of the Phillies
Both Sean Murphy and Ozzie Albies had three hits and drove in four runs in Atlanta’s 9-3 win in Kansas City