As the Mets’ offensive malaise has deepened, many a finger has been pointed—more than a few at the team’s lone 2017 all-star, Michael Conforto. After coming back a bit earlier than expected in 2018 from shoulder surgery, Conforto has struggled to regain his 2017 form. Struggled less than others in the lineup, as his .150 ISO this year would indicate, but that hasn’t stopped some whispers from a leaky front office that Conforto could be demoted to AAA if his struggles continued. Last night, Conforto drove in four of the team’s five runs in what amounted to an offensive explosion for a team starving for runs and desperate for a win.
After a scoreless first inning, Wilmer Flores and Brandon Nimmo led off the second with back-to-back singles. After Devin Mesoraco struck out, Conforto launched his third career home run off of Patrick Corbin into the right field stands, giving the Mets a rare three-run cushion. The lead extended to four the following inning when Amed Rosario led off with a double in the top of the third and came around to score on a wild pitch.
Steven Matz—afforded a rare cushion for a Mets starter—pitched effectively, retiring eight in a row over the middle innings to make the lead stand. Meanwhile, Conforto wasn’t finished, launching an RBI double off the bottom of the right field fence in the top of the sixth to extend the lead to five.
The Diamondbacks finally got on the board in the bottom of the inning when Nick Ahmed tripled down the right field line to lead off the frame, coming in to score on an RBI groundout by Paul Goldschmidt. Matz retired the first two batters in the seventh before getting into some trouble by putting two men on. Robert Gsellman rode to the rescue in the Arizona bullpen cart, first plunking the eminently hittable Jon Jay to load the bases before getting Ahmed to ground into a force out to end the threat.
Gsellman and Anthony Swarzak were perfect in the eighth and ninth, striking out five of the six batters they faced to lock down the game without further incident. With the victory, the Mets not only snapped a four game losing streak, but a streak of 11 straight games of scoring three runs or fewer and 15 straight of recording fewer than 10 hits. The Mets hope to earn a split of the series behind Zack Wheeler tomorrow afternoon in Arizona.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Steven Matz, +24.3% WPA, Michael Conforto, +23.4% WPA
Big losers: None
Teh aw3s0mest play: Michael Conforto three-run home run in the second inning +21.1 WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Devin Mesoraco second inning strikeout -5.4 WPA
Total pitcher WPA: 33.5% WPA+
Total batter WPA: +16.5% WPA+
GWRBI!: Michael Conforto