After dropping two out of three to the Padres with the two losses being rather ugly ones, the Mets bounced back to take two out of three from the Angels and stay out of the red at .500 for the week and for the tough West Coast road trip. In the meantime, the Braves and Phillies have beat up on inferior competition and put together lengthy winning streaks and therefore the Mets have seen their NL East lead shrink some. However, they come back to Citi Field as the only team in the National League with 40 wins and with a still substantial 5.5 game lead on the second place Braves in the NL East.
Although the bats scuffled in the two losses in the Padres series, they woke up again over the weekend. Both Pete Alonso and Starling Marte had injury scares this week, but were only sidelined for a short time, which is good for the Mets since both are hot right now. Unfortunately, Francisco Lindor is in a deep slump this week, but none of the rest of the Mets’ regulars are concurrently slumping and have been able to pick up the slack for the most part. The Mets posted a 118 wRC+ as a group this week, which is fourth-best in the National League.
Let’s start with the Mets’ offensive highlight of the week: Eduardo Escobar hit for the cycle in Monday’s victory over the Padres, racking up six RBIs in the process. It was the first Mets cycle in a decade. For that and for his overall performance, Escobar is one of two fireball recipients in this week’s meter. Although his six RBIs for the week all came in Monday’s game, that was still enough for him to be the team leader in that category this week. He also leads the team in hits with nine and runs scored with five. Overall, he posted a 193 wRC+ in 25 plate appearances this week, which is second-best on the team among players with ten or more plate appearances.
The team leader in wRC+ this week with a 196 is Pete Alonso, who continues to rake, earning his second-straight fireball. Alonso had an injury scare on Tuesday when a Yu Darvish pitch struck him in the hand as he swung at it, which resulted in him leaving the game. Luckily the Mets were able to breathe a huge sigh of relief when their biggest bat avoided any fractures and only had to miss one game. Alonso came back in a big way, hitting two home runs over the weekend in the Angels series—both solo shots—the latter of which provided a key insurance run for the Mets yesterday. Overall, Alonso collected five hits and two walks this week, scoring five runs and driving in three. Improbably, Alonso also stole a base this week in Friday’s game.
J.D. Davis also had a big day in yesterday’s series victory over the Angels. His solo homer in the fourth inning snapped a 1-1 tie and ultimately proved to be the difference in the game. Both he and Alonso went 2-for-4 with a home run yesterday, which capped off a strong week overall for Davis, who has thrived since getting more playing time with Dominic Smith being sent to Triple-A. Overall, with seven hits and two walks this week, Davis posted a 142 wRC+ in 24 plate appearances.
In addition to Alonso, Starling Marte also had to leave the game on Tuesday after tweaking his quad on a stolen base attempt. However, he miraculously also avoided the injured list, returning to the lineup yesterday after missing three games. And just like Alonso, he also contributed immediately upon his return with an RBI double in the first inning that tied the game at one run apiece. Overall this week in 12 plate appearances, Marte posted a 155 wRC+—collecting four hits, a walk, two runs scored, and a stolen base.
Jeff McNeil bounced back from his mini-slump and in classic Jeff McNeil fashion shares the team lead in hits with Eduardo Escobar with nine hits in 24 plate appearances this week. Also in classic Jeff McNeil fashion, he didn’t walk a single time this week and continues to rely on putting the ball in play as often as possible. He isn’t always going to run a .450 BABIP as he did this week, but it has worked for him more often than not. McNeil scored twice and drove in two runs this week and put up a 151 wRC+ overall.
Similarly, Mark Canha has continued to put up a high on-base percentage week in and week out, also by spraying hits all over the field, but combining that with selectivity at the plate. He leads the team in walks this week with five. That combined with his seven hits, three of which were for extra bases, is good for a spectacular 165 wRC+ this week. He scored three runs and drove in four runs this week.
Unsurprisingly, Brandon Nimmo is second behind Canha for the team lead in walks with three, putting up a respectable .370 on-base percentage despite hitting only .190 this week. He isn’t quite fully out of his slump yet, but he has certainly improved a great deal from poop emoji status last week with a 129 wRC+—thanks to the fact that two of his four hits this week were for extra bases, including a home run. He matches Canha’s four RBIs this week, which is second only to Escobar for the team lead.
The player that is slumping the most at the moment is Francisco Lindor, who posted an unsightly -3 wRC+ in 27 plate appearances this week. He collected just three hits this week. He also walked twice and scored a run, but didn’t drive in a single run this week. He did, however, swipe one bag this week, joining Alonso and Marte as the only players to do so. Hopefully Lindor will heat up again as the Mets return to Citi Field, where he is batting .286 (151 wRC+) this year compared to .216 (82 wRC+) on the road.
Luis Guillorme, too, has crashed back down to earth, unfortunately; his crazy run of success was not going to last forever. This week, he posted a 78 wRC+ in 15 plate appearances, collecting three hits, walking twice, and scoring a run. However, it goes without saying that Guillorme contributes immensely on the defensive side of the ball and with Jeff McNeil heating up again, the Mets can probably ride out a slump from Guillorme. Maybe he needs to shave again...
The Mets have not gotten much out of their catching tandem this week and the absence of James McCann is really starting to have an impact. Tomás Nido and Patrick Mazeika combined for just five hits—all singles—in a combined 25 plate appearances for the week. Half of Nido’s production this week came in Monday’s victory, in which he notched two hits and drove in a run. His most important hit this week was a two-out RBI single in the second inning of Friday’s game, which helped build a three-run inning. Mazeika’s only hit for the week came in Wednesday’s lopsided loss.
After his early success immediately following his callup to the big leagues, Nick Plummer went hitless in seven plate appearances across three games this week. However, perhaps Khalil Lee can have some unexpectedly legendary moments of his own. With Marte and Alonso both banged up this week, the Mets were in need of an extra position player and called Lee up from Triple-A. In the ninth inning of Saturday’s loss with the Mets down to their final out, Lee hit a three-run homer—his first major league home run—to bring the Mets up to a more respectable 11-6 loss. It was one of the only bright spots in what was otherwise an ugly game for the Mets. Lee had been tearing it up in Triple-A prior to his promotion and hopefully will be able to contribute in a positive way like Plummer did while he is with the big league club.