The Mets still aren’t perfect, but they are effective.
Playing the Phillies (6-6) for the third time in two days, the Mets (5-3) won 5-1 on a nice night in Flushing. David Peterson got the start for the Mets, going six innings while only giving up one run. The Mets racked up 12 hits–the most in a game so far this season. Despite this, they were still mediocre with runners in scoring position. James McCann and Brandon Nimmo both led the pack, going 3-4 and 3-5 respectively. McCann in particular put the cherry on top of the sundae, hitting a win-sealing home run in the eighth inning.
After starting the season out 4-0, the Phillies have gone 2-6 and are on a three-game losing streak. Jean Segura did what he does best, haunting the Mets by going 2-3 with a home run.
Pitching Improvements for the Mets…
Peterson was definitely one of the standouts of the game for the Mets. He had a dreadful first start of the season against the Phillies on April 7th, giving up six earned runs in just four innings–including four in the first inning. In the first inning tonight, however, you could tell it was going to be a different game. Andrew McCutchen grounded out before Rhys Hoskins and Bryce Harper both struck out.
From there, it was mostly smooth sailing for Peterson. He did not allow a hit until the top of the 5th inning; a solo home run for Segura, who has been killing the Mets. Besides that, Peterson was superb. In six innings, he only gave up two hits, one run and struck out 10 batters. It was easily the best start of his young career. Even though he was only at 80 pitches, he was taken out of the game. Because he is still young and is only in his second season, the Mets have stated that they will be closely monitoring his innings.
The Mets also saw a nice improvement from one of their other pitchers: recently-added lefty reliever Aaron Loup. His first and only appearance of the season before today was nine days ago against the Phillies. In just 0.2 innings, he hit Harper and allowed two runs to score. He was much better tonight, pitching 1.2 innings with no hits and two strikeouts. More importantly, he came to pitch in the seventh and induced a crucial inning-ending double play.
…And Offensive Ones Too
One of the main criticisms of the Mets so far this season has been hitting with runners in scoring position. Even though they were only 1-6 in that regard tonight, they were still able to score runs and get the win.
No time was wasted, as the Mets got their bats started right away. After back-to-back singles from Nimmo and Francisco Lindor, Dominic Smith got one of his own, scoring the first run of the game. Pete Alonso grounded into a double play right afterward, giving the Mets an early 2-0 lead. Things stayed quiet until the seventh, when Alonso came through again with a sacrifice fly. Neither play was ideal, but runs are runs.
Mets fans had to wait until the next inning before they got a nice offensive play. Needing some insurance with a measly 3-1 lead, McCann came through. He turned on a hanging breaking ball and hit a two-run home run to left field, his first as a Met. It was a clutch hit, something the Mets have been struggling with so far this season.
Smith and Nimmo both went 3-5, with Nimmo showing great hustle to get an infield single late in the game. He has been electric to start the season, with a .464 AVG and a 1.155 OPS. Additionally, Lindor seems to be heating up a little bit as he acclimates to his new team. He went 2-4 today with a walk and two runs.
The Mets have one more game against the Phillies tomorrow to close out their homestead. It will be a noon start, meaning the Mets will have plenty of time to travel to Colorado for their game against the Rockies on Friday. They will have three games there before three more against the Cubs in Chicago.
Unfortunately, like it has been as of late, the weather threatens to ruin these plans. There is a high chance of rain tomorrow in New York and there is a chance of snow in Colorado on Friday. Tomorrow’s game will be the most interesting because the Mets won’t play the Phillies again for another two weeks. If it’s postponed, it will most likely be made up then.
No matter what happens, however, things are starting to look up for the Mets. Sure, they aren’t perfect but they sure are effective. A small sample size doesn’t help, so we’ll see how they look on this upcoming six-game road trip. If they can finally start hitting with runners in scoring position, the sky will be the limit for them.