It was a tale of two series for the Mets this week, who played a whopping eight games over the course of seven days, due to Saturday’s doubleheader in Washington DC. The first series of the week came against the red-hot Cubs and the Mets entered the week having taken two out of three from a powerhouse Padres team. They kept the good vibes going at Citi Field, taking three out of four from the Cubs. But, they were shut out in the final game of that series and with the exception of Francisco Lindor’s big day on Saturday afternoon, the offense stayed dormant as they hit the road, resulting in the Mets dropping three out of four to the struggling Nationals at Nats Park.
We’ll start with Francisco Lindor’s big game on Saturday afternoon, in which he went 2-for-4 with two home runs and five RBIs. It was easily his best offensive performance in a single game in a Mets uniform and it carried him to a 117 wRC+ overall for the week over 31 plate appearances. He had just one RBI the rest of the week, but he did walk four times in addition to collecting six hits. He also stole a base. His 0.2 fWAR for the week is second among Mets hitters.
The leader in that category is Dominic Smith, who accrued 0.3 fWAR this week, bouncing back in a big way from his poop emoji performance last week. Smith also leads the team in wRC+ (200) this week among batters with more than five plate appearances. He was a key part of the team’s success in the first three games of the Cubs series, hitting two home runs, driving in three runs, and scoring four runs over the course of those three contests. However, much like the rest of the team, his bat was silenced in the latter part of the week.
Sadly though, many of the Mets’ bats have been silent all week, particularly members of the bench mob who have filled in so admirably, but are beginning to be exposed over prolonged stints of everyday play. Billy McKinney is the starkest example of that this week, putting up a .100/.217/.150 batting line over 23 plate appearances this week. He’s run a pretty low average during his tenure with the Mets overall, but nearly everything he hit, he hit for power. That has not been the case this week, as he had just two hits the whole week and one of them was a single. He didn’t drive in any runs this week, but he did walk three times and score two runs.
Jonathan Villar also had his first bad week in some time, posting a 41 wRC+ over 30 plate appearances this week. Villar collected four hits—two of them singles—three walks, two runs scored, and a stolen base this week. After weeks of playing pretty much every day, Villar is starting to seem stretched. The return of Jeff McNeil to the lineup and the fact that Luis Guillorme is back should help mitigate this and allow Villar some days off.
Speaking of Luis Guillorme, he had a bit of an odd first full week back in the lineup. He hit .176 this week, which is certainly not what you want, but he also walked six times, which is two more times than any other Met—even those with at least two game’s more plate appearances for the week. That all adds up to a 67 wRC+ in 23 plate appearances. He scored just one run and didn’t drive in any.
Still, Guillorme’s presence is helpful for sending José Peraza—another player who is looking overexposed—back to the bench. Peraza is in a multiweek long slump now, collecting just one hit in ten plate appearances this week. That one hit, however, was a two-run homer that represented the Mets’ only runs in the nightcap on Saturday.
If not for Robert Gsellman hitting the injured list (more on that in the pitching meter), Brandon Drury’s days may have been numbered upon the return of Jeff McNeil. However, it seems Drury will live to fight another day (week). He had one hit this week—an RBI single in Monday’s win—in eight plate appearances. Still, it seems likely that Drury will be the next position player cut when the next injured Met (presumably Michael Conforto) returns to action.
The Mets did get one injured player back this week in Albert Almora Jr., who hit the ground running upon his return. He’s had two hits—both of them extra-base hits—in five plate appearances since being activated. His return to the team, combined with their desperate pitching situation, resulted in Mason Williams being designated for assignment yesterday. Williams certainly didn’t help himself, going hitless in eight plate appearances this week and striking out a combined four times in Saturday’s doubleheader. He reached base once this week via a walk. Still, given the injury situation around baseball this year, it wouldn’t be all that surprising for Williams to be claimed by a team.
Along with Dominic Smith, Kevin Pillar is the only member of the Mets’ outfield contingent who didn’t struggle at the plate this week. Pillar hit just .211 this week, but all four of his hits went for extra bases, including two home runs, good for a 147 wRC+ over 21 plate appearances. The bulk of his production came on Wednesday, when he went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, but he also hit a homer in yesterday’s loss.
Considered to be a leader among the bench mob, Tomás Nido also finds himself mired in a multiweek slump right now. He had just two hits, both of them singles, in 11 plate appearances this week. He scored two runs. Meanwhile, James McCann, while more productive than Nido with the bat, has cooled off some from the hot streak he was on. Still, he posted a very respectable .278/.316/.333 batting line over 19 plate appearances this week with an 87 wRC+. He collected five hits and a walk, driving in a run and scoring one run.
Despite the fact that Pete Alonso hit a dinger off Patrick Corbin yesterday (one of the things he does best), it was one of the few highlights of a pretty bad week for the Polar Bear. That home run was one of just four hits in 30 plate appearances for the week for Alonso and the only extra base hit and only run scored. He walked three times and drove in four runs, but posted an unsightly 35 wRC+ for the week. His big highlight defensively also came in a game the Mets lost, making a sparkling play behind Marcus Stroman in Thursday’s game.