While the week started with a walk-off victory and a two-game sweep of the Orioles that lengthened the Mets’ winning streak to seven games, the weekend unfolded disastrously in St. Petersburg. The Mets were swept, they played bad baseball, and several players went down with injuries.
Albert Almora Jr. logged three hitless at-bats this week before a collision with the outfield wall landed him on the injured list. It could have been worse for Almora than the bruised shoulder he was diagnosed with; he seems to have dodged a bullet and will hopefully be back soon.
Michael Conforto and Jeff McNeil are also both heading to the injured list with hamstring injuries they suffered in yesterday’s game. Prior to this, Conforto had been having a miserable week at the plate, to the tune of a 27 wRC+ over 17 plate appearances. The highlight for Conforto this week was an RBI single in the eighth inning of Tuesday’s walk-off victory. McNeil had just seven plate appearances this week because of nagging injuries, but had been hitting when he was in the lineup. He had four hits this week, three of which were singles.
The team leader in hits this week is Dominic Smith, who finally had himself a strong week. He posted a 157 wRC+ over 16 plate appearances this week and played a vital role in both Mets victories. He hit a game-tying RBI single in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s walk-off victory and collected three hits and two RBIs in Wednesday’s win. He will have to continue to hit if the Mets have any hope of staying afloat through the injuries.
Nestled among the three singles and then the walk-off fielder’s choice in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s game was a strikeout from James McCann, which is emblematic of how his season has gone so far. Put simply, other than his good relationships with the pitching staff and throwing out runners, McCann has not distinguished himself in any aspect of the game. He had just two hits and one walk in 15 plate appearances this week, good for a 6 wRC+, which earns him his second straight poop emoji. He is leaving runners on base at an alarming rate.
The aforementioned walk-off fielder’s choice came off the bat of none other than Patrick Mazeika, who has become a Mets cult hero. After driving in three runs before collecting a single hit, Mazeika had his first major league hit in yesterday’s game. And it was a home run!
Normally I would talk more about how James McCann should sit more in favor of Tomás Nido, but Nido went hitless over nine at-bats this week. He did walk once and score a run, though in Wednesday’s walk-off victory; he was driven in by Conforto. Nido also remains one of the best catchers in the game when it comes to framing.
Amidst all the injuries, Kevin Pillar and Jonathan Villar continue to be every day players and have stepped up huge for the Mets. It was Pillar and Villar who set up the rally in the bottom of the ninth in Tuesday’s walk-off victory with back-to-back singles. Both players have also played strong defense while continuing to post league average offense, which is all the Mets could ask for from them. Pillar put up a 98 wRC+ this week with three runs scored and two RBIs. Villar leads the team in runs scored this week with four. He had four hits, including a clutch two-run homer in Friday night’s loss that broke a scoreless tie, as well as two stolen bases. He posted an 83 wRC+ in 19 plate appearances overall this week.
José Peraza has also been thrust into a near every day role in McNeil’s absence and performed well this week. In fact, thanks to a three-run homer in Saturday’s loss, he leads the team in RBIs this week with five in total. He posted a 126 wRC+ over 16 plate appearances this week.
Two of the regulars that remain in the lineup—Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso—did not do well with the bat this week. Lindor posted a .167/.211/.333 slash line over 20 plate appearances. He had three hits, one of which was a home run, a walk, two runs scored, and a stolen base. Last week it looked like he was finally breaking out, but unfortunately it was one step forward and two steps back for Lindor. Hopefully he can take a big leap forward in the coming weeks because the Mets will need his bat more than ever.
The same is true for Alonso, who posted a more respectable 89 wRC+ this week over 19 plate appearances, but that is still not a very Alonso-like number. He also hit a home run—a solo shot—in Saturday’s loss, which was encouraging to see. But he is not hitting dingers at his usual clip this season. Alonso walked twice and scored three runs this week.
To bolster the thin bench this week, the Mets brought up Jake Hager from Triple-A. Given the Mets’ roster situation, he was forced into service as an outfielder, which is not his typical position. With McNeil hitting the injured list in addition to Conforto, he may see reps in both the infield and the outfield going forward. Hager went hitless in his first four Mets at-bats.