The Mets split two four-game series this week—one with the Braves and one with the Phillies—both of which included doubleheaders. Other than Wednesday’s somewhat comfortable margin of victory, all of the games were close. Even though the Mets have many of their regulars back in the lineup, they are still struggling to score. They were shut out twice in the Braves series, but pulled off two exciting walk-off victories off the Phillies’ bullpen over the weekend.
Because nearly all of the games this week were close ones, the outlook for so many Mets hitters for this week’s meter is, “Well, his overall line doesn’t look that good, but when he did hit, it was clutch.” That is definitely true for Francisco Lindor this week, who put up a somewhat pedestrian 88 wRC+ overall for the week in 32 plate appearances. However, he leads the team in runs scored this week with four, which says something about how much the team has hit. He also is second on the team in RBIs with four, one of which was the game tying hit in Friday’s Game 1 walk-off victory. Lindor also had a big day on Wednesday, smacking a two-run homer off Kyle Wright and driving in three runs total on the day. Although his bat has cooled off a little bit lately, Lindor’s number for June remain very good.
The team leader in RBIs this week is Dominic Smith with six, despite the fact that he posted just a 70 wRC+ for the week in 27 plate appearances. Of his six hits for the week (which matches Lindor for second-most on the team), five were singles, but like Lindor, Smith came through in the clutch this week. His one extra base hit was a bases-clearing double in what was a one-run game at the time in the day game on Monday, lifting the Mets to a 4-2 victory in that contest. He was also responsible for the walk-off single in extra innings on Friday in Game 1.
The key contributors to Saturday’s walk-off victory were also all players whose overall production this week was not strong. In Michael Conforto’s first week back from the injured list, he had just two hits and three walks in 19 plate appearances, good for a 68 wRC+ for the week. But it was his sacrifice fly that ended the game on Saturday. Conforto also had two hits and scored two runs in Wednesday’s victory. He also seems none the worse for wear defensively, as he was one of the many Mets to make a strong defensive play behind Marcus Stroman yesterday.
Preceding Conforto’s walk-off sac fly, Luis Guillorme had what was perhaps his most important at-bat since his return from the injured list, working out a walk to force in the tying run on Saturday. It was one of five walks for Guillorme this week, which leads the team; it’s why he holds an 88 wRC+ this week in 23 plate appearances, despite collecting only three hits this week. He also continues to be a whiz in the field and this play in the ninth inning on Saturday was instrumental to the Mets’ victory; plus it resulted in this iconic image. With Jonathan Villar (two hits, two walks, and two runs scored in six plate appearances this week before being sidelined) now on the injured list for his calf issue, Guillorme is an everyday fixture in the Mets’ lineup.
When Villar was placed on the IL, the Mets recalled Travis Blankenhorn from Triple-A. Blankenhorn has just two plate appearances since returning, but one of them was the crucial rally-starter on Saturday. Blankenhorn reached base on a fielding error to lead off the ninth inning on Saturday and ultimately scored the tying run.
When it comes to Saturday’s win, we also can’t forget Kevin Pillar’s clutch solo homer that tied the game in the seventh. It was one of only four hits for Pillar in 25 plate appearances this week, good for a 69 wRC+ (nice). But given the fact that the Mets’ other backup outfielders are struggling mightily at the moment, Pillar is still the best option for the Mets to play most days.
There is no denying that Albert Almora Jr. is a good defensive outfielder, but he has done himself no favors this week, going hitless in 11 plate appearances across seven games and earning the poop emoji. With Brandon Nimmo’s return imminent when the Mets head to Atlanta, it would not be too much of a surprise to see Almora optioned to Triple-A tomorrow.
That would mean Billy McKinney’s roster spot is safe for the time being, but he is saved by the fact that he is out of options because it’s not like he is hitting much better than Almora at the moment. McKinney had two hits and three walks in 15 plate appearances this week with a 66 wRC+. He scored two runs and didn’t drive in any, although he did walk amidst the Mets’ big rally in Saturday’s walk-off win. He has proved to be a capable outfielder, but has made a couple of miscues this week in the field that have been costly. Once Nimmo returns, McKinney will likely see his playing time diminish.
Other than Villar, the Mets also placed catcher Tomás Nido on the injured list this week. Nido left the first game of Monday’s doubleheader against the Braves after being hit by a pitch in the wrist (he had a walk and a run scored in two plate appearances before leaving the game). As a result, the Mets called up Patrick Mazeika from Triple-A, who did have to catch a game, given the doubleheader on Friday. Mazeika has racked up two hits in four plate appearances across two games so far. When Mazeika was called up, the Mets optioned Brandon Drury (hitless in one plate appearance this week) to Triple-A.
Because of Nido’s injury, James McCann has assumed the overwhelming majority of the catching duties once more. It might be wearing on him, as his offensive production has grinded nearly to a halt. McCann posted a .227/.250/.318 batting line with a 58 wRC+ over 24 plate appearances this week. He drove in two runs and did not score any, but he was part of the second inning rally that tied the game on Saturday.
Much like Conforto, Jeff McNeil had a somewhat rough first week back from the injured list. He had just four hits in 26 plate appearances—all singles—good for an unsightly 28 wRC+ for the week. McNeil scored two runs and drove in a run this week; all of that production came in Wednesday’s 7-3 win.
McNeil’s struggles notwithstanding, his return to the lineup means that José Peraza’s time as an everyday player is at its end for the time being, which is probably a good thing as he was struggling with the bat heading into this week. Peraza had two hits in seven plate appearances this week, including a game-tying RBI double in Saturday’s win over the Phillies.
With this meter containing so much meh, I saved the best for last this week. Pete Alonso is raking. In fact, he is just about the only Met that can be described as hot right now. His nine hits lead the team and he is the only Mets hitter with more than ten plate appearances rocking a wRC+ over 100 for the week (his is 143). Unfortunately though, eight of Alonso’s nine hits this week were singles and he drove in just one run this week via an RBI single in the eighth inning that got the Mets on the board yesterday. Still, it’s hard for the Polar Bear to knock ‘em in if no one is getting on base ahead of him.