After a tough West Coast road trip, the Mets returned home to Citi Field this week to face off against the Brewers and the Marlins. The Mets took two out of three from Milwaukee and then won two out of the first three games in the four-game set against the Marlins, which concludes today. Over those six games, the offense posted a decidedly average 97 wRC+, but they were facing competition that relies on strong pitching to win and in this case, average offense was enough to win more often than not. The offense’s biggest day came on Friday when the Mets put up a seven-run sixth inning that featured a Pete Alonso grand slam. Francisco Lindor has also heated up again at long last, buoyed by his continued excellence in his home ballpark and a surprise appearance from his mom in New York. By contrast, Eduardo Escobar is slumping and also had a medical scare this week that limited his playing time. And the Mets also got very little production from their bench and semi-regular players this week.
We’ll start with Francisco Lindor since he provided many of the highlights this week. Lindor broke out of his slump in a big way on Friday night, belting a three-run homer to straightaway center off Pablo López to give the Mets a 3-0 lead in the first inning. He pumped his fists and yelled triumphantly as he rounded the bases, knowing that he made his mother—who was in attendance for the first time since Lindor became a Met—proud. He notched an additional RBI and a run scored in Friday’s lopsided victory. He came right back the following day and hit another home run—this one a two-run shot that lengthened the Mets’ lead to 3-0, and they would need every bit of that insurance. Overall this week, Lindor posted a 127 wRC+ and led the team with seven RBIs, all while playing his patented fabulous defense at shortstop.
Right behind Lindor with six RBIs was Pete Alonso, but of course four of those six came on one big swing on Friday night. Alonso blew the doors off Friday’s game with a grand slam in the sixth inning—his 19th home run of the year. Over 25 plate appearances this week, Alonso collected five hits and walked a team-leading four times, good for a 131 wRC+. Not only that, it was Alonso’s strong relay throw that nabbed Hunter Renfroe at the plate as the key moment in Thursday’s thrilling victory. Alonso heads into the day still leading the league in RBIs with 62, with Lindor not far behind him tied for fourth place with 52 RBIs.
Two other players share the team lead in walks with Alonso and one of them is Jeff McNeil who earns the sole fireball in this week’s meter. Despite Lindor and Alonso’s heroics with the long ball this week, it is McNeil who is the team leader in wRC+ with a blistering 235 over 23 plate appearances. McNeil did launch a homer of his own this week; that came in the fourth inning of Wednesday’s loss before that one became a laugher. That homer was one of his team-leading seven hits this week; the first of them was an RBI double that set the tone and got the Mets off to an early lead in Tuesday’s shutout victory. McNeil continues to maintain a high batting average week in and week out; his .326 batting average is tied with Bryce Harper for the third-best in the National League.
The final player to walk four times this week was Mark Canha, whose 196 wRC+ over 18 plate appearances is second only to McNeil for the team lead. Canha reached base three times in Saturday’s victory and of course provided the biggest hit of Thursday’s rubber game against the Brewers—a game-tying two-run homer in the fourth inning. Canha also stole a base (the only Met to do so this week) and scored four runs this week in total, continuing to put up impressive on-base numbers as a Met.
Starling Marte led the team in runs scored this week with seven, as he continues to be a productive force at the top of the Mets’ batting order. Marte posted a 152 wRC+ overall in 20 plate appearances this week. Marte collected five hits—two of them for extra bases—two walks, and one run batted in. The Mets once again narrowly avoided a catastrophe this week at the hands of a hit-by-pitch when Marte was struck by a 97mph Corbin Burnes sinker on Wednesday and had to leave the game. However, his x-ray was negative and he only had to miss one additional game and seems to be none the worse for wear. The Mets continue to lead the league in hit-by-pitches, having been plunked an astounding 49 times this season.
Brandon Nimmo’s six hits this week are only one behind Jeff McNeil for the team lead. However, Nimmo uncharacteristically did not walk a single time this week, so he puts up a so-so 88 wRC+ for the week over 25 plate appearances. Nimmo did not drive in any runs this week, but he did score three runs. And he also made a highlight reel catch in Tuesday’s victory, robbing Hunter Renfroe of a hit and eliciting the patented Gary Cohen “OH WOW!” Gary called it “as good of a catch as we’ve ever seen Brandon Nimmo make” and I tend to agree with that assessment.
Unfortunately, this meter goes rather precipitously downhill from here. The most notable poor performance offensively this week is that of Eduardo Escobar, who went hitless in 15 plate appearances this week—an ugly -72 wRC+. Of course, his teammates are just thankful Escobar is okay after a health scare on Thursday landed him in the hospital for tests. Escobar missed Friday’s game, but returned to the lineup the following day. Escobar walked once and drove in a run via a sacrifice fly in Tuesday’s game, which is the extent of his production this week. Hopefully the headaches and dizziness which sidelined him this week are behind him and he will heat up again with the bat soon.
Luis Guillorme has also been slumping for awhile now after his clean-shaven run of success. He gets a second-straight down arrow for his 62 wRC+ in 18 plate appearances this week. He collected five hits, but all of them were singles. He also scored a run and drove in a run. However, there is no denying the value Guillorme provides with his defense and ability to play multiple infield positions well. The Mets have needed his versatility this week with Marte and Escobar both having to miss some time.
It would have helped if J.D. Davis did more with the bat to make up for Guillorme’s slump while others were out of the lineup, but unfortunately Davis is slumping too—to the tune of a 57 wRC+ in 14 plate appearances this week. He collected three hits—all singles—and walked once this week. His biggest hit of the week was an RBI single that helped kick off the Mets’ huge sixth inning on Friday night.
The Mets continue to get next to no offensive production out of their catching position. Patrick Mazeika only started one game this week and went hitless, but did reach base once via a walk. Tomás Nido, meanwhile, collected just two hits in 17 plate appearances this week, good for an unsightly -5 wRC+. He drove in one run this week. Nido has shown next to no power at all this season and even the balls he hits hard often die on the warning track. James McCann is close to a return and while it’s not very likely he’ll provide much more offensively, it is clear the pitching staff misses his presence and he will send Mazeika back to Triple-A where he probably belongs.