The first week of August was very good for the New York Mets, as they took two out of three from the Nationals in Washington DC before heading home and showing up huge to take four out of five from the Atlanta Braves in a crucial series against their division rivals at Citi Field. The Mets now sit 31 games over .500 and 6.5 games up on Atlanta with a little less than two months of games left to play. Of course, the most notable new name on this week’s meters will come with the pitching meter, but there are some new names to discuss on the position player side as well. After acquiring Daniel Vogelbach and Tyler Naquin last week, the Mets also traded J.D. Davis and three minor leaguers to the Giants for Darin Ruf, to act in a platoon role with Vogelbach at the DH position. James McCann also returned from the injured list, replacing Patrick Mazeika on the roster.
There is some red to account for on this meter, but the Mets’ hot hitters are so hot right now that it almost doesn’t matter. Really the only poor performance from the offense to speak of came in Jacob deGrom’s season debut on Tuesday in which they were held to just one run by Cory Abbott, making just his second start of the season. It seemed like the offense was back to its old ways when it comes to deGrom starts, but they made up for it in yesterday’s game and scored five runs or more in every other game they played in this week. In fact, the Mets lead the league in both position player WAR (2.8 fWAR) and runs scored (48) this past week and their 146 team wRC+ is second only to the Phillies over that span.
Both Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso continue to be smoking hot at the plate and both earn their second straight fireballs in this week’s meter. Each player notched 11 hits and posted a wRC+ over 200 for the week. Lindor posted a 203 wRC+ for the week in 35 plate appearances. He collected seven RBIs, starting his week off right with a game-sealing three-run homer in Monday’s victory in DC. He followed that up with a solo shot the following day, responsible for the Mets’ only run in Tuesday’s loss. But, it was still of somewhat symbolic importance, as it helped Jacob deGrom avoid getting hung with a loss in his first start back. Lindor also had a big game in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Lindor led the team in runs scored this week with nine. Lindor is now just 0.1 fWAR behind Dansby Swanson for the league lead in fWAR among shortstops and is tied for fifth in the league in RBIs.
Alonso is the other standout offensive performer this week, as he continues to rake in the second half. He leads the team this week with ten RBIs—the only Met to put up double digits in that category. His 95 RBIs for the season are the most in the National League and just two behind Aaron Judge for the most in baseball. Unsurprisingly, Pete also leads the team in home runs this week, launching three long balls. The first was a solo shot in Monday’s game, in which Alonso went 2-for-3 with two walks. The next one was a two-run shot in Wednesday’s victory; his RBI single in the first inning also got the Mets on the board in that contest. And then, in the series opener against the Braves on Thursday, Alonso’s two-run shot opened up a 4-0 lead to set the tone for the series. Alonso also carried the offense in support of Scherzer in the nightcap of Saturday’s doubleheader, going 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored and was also resposible for getting the Mets on the board in yesterday’s game. He leads the team in walks this week with six and posted a scorching .367/.472/.733 overall batting line with a 225 wRC+ in 36 plate appearances. There’s simply no stopping the Polar Bear right now.
On multiple occasions this week, Daniel Vogelbach followed Alonso with something brilliant of his own at the plate. On Thursday, Alonso and Vogelbach went back-to-back to open up a 5-0 lead in the third inning. But Vogelbach’s biggest moment this week came in Wednesday’s series finale against the Nationals when he hit his first home run as a Met...and it was a grand slam that blew the doors off the game. Despite getting his knocks, Vogelbach continues to show extremely impressive plate discipline as well; his five walks for the week match Lindor’s total and are second only to Alonso for the team lead. His grand slam helped him on the way to a six-RBI week, which is behind only Alonso and Lindor for the team lead. Overall, Vogelbach put up a fantastic 183 wRC+ over 24 plate appearances. He has been an essential addition for the Mets at the DH spot.
The Mets hit four total home runs on Thursday and Tyler Naquin was responsible for the other two, having his biggest game as a Met so far and proving himself to be an extremely valuable addition as well. Naquin posted a team-leading 324 wRC+ and collected seven hits over just 14 plate appearances this week. He scored four runs, drove in three runs, and stole a base as well. The ability to mix Naquin into the outfield multiple days a week allows Buck Showalter flexibility he did not have before and lets him continue to rest guys like Mark Canha to keep them healthy for the stretch run.
Unfortunately for Mark Canha, he has hit a bit of a skid at the plate, putting up a 53 wRC+ over 22 plate appearances this week. He collected just three hits, but he made them count, notching three RBIs as well. He also walked once and scored two runs this week. Hopefully this is just a temporary bump in the road for the Mets’ left fielder.
Starling Marte is slumping as well; he posted just a 52 wRC+ over 35 plate appearances this week. He managed to collect six hits, but unlike Canha, all of them were singles. But luckily for Marte, nearly everyone around him in the lineup is hot, so when he has reached base of late, he has often scored. He scored six runs this week and drove in three runs. He also stole a base, the only Met besides Naquin to do so this week.
To make up for his slumping outfield comrades, Brandon Nimmo is looking like his old self this week, putting up a team-leading .500 on-base percentage for the week with a 194 wRC+ over 38 plate appearances. The Mets’ leadoff hitter not only walked four times, but collected a team-leading 13 hits. He opened the week with a big performance in Washington, going 4-for-5 with a double and a run scored in Monday’s victory. He also went 3-for-5 with a double and a run scored in support of deGrom in yesterday’s win. With Lindor and Alonso as hot as they are, the Mets are going to need Nimmo to continue to get on base so they can keep driving him in.
Jeff McNeil has turned things around of late as well, busting out of his slump in a big way with a 201 wRC+ in 31 plate appearances this week. I could have conceivably handed out fireballs to both he and Nimmo, as his 12 hits were second only to Nimmo for the team lead this week. Of those 12 hits, five of them went for extra bases, including a home run that brought the Mets a run closer in Friday night’s loss. McNeil drove in two runs and scored two runs in that contest. Overall, he scored five runs and drove in four runs this week.
The presence of Naquin on the roster allows McNeil to log most of his playing time at second base and the Mets to use Eduardo Escobar and Luis Guillorme in a pseudo-platoon at third base. Unfortunately, neither one of them is hitting very much at the moment, although Guillorme continues to provide sparkling infield defense wherever he plays. Guillorme logged five hits (one extra-base hit), walked twice, scored twice, and drove in a run this week—good for a 52 wRC+ over 28 plate appearances. Escobar fared even worse, collecting just two hits over 11 plate appearances this week. He scored a run and drove in a run this week. His wRC+ is down to 89 for the year.
But both Escobar and Mets’ most recent addition Darin Ruf showed what they could do against left-handed pitching in Friday’s game. When lefty Dylan Lee came in the game for the Braves to replace Ian Anderson, Buck Showalter pinch hit Ruf for Tyler Naquin and Ruf laced an RBI double to drive in two runs. Escobar then pinch hit for Guillorme and singled, helping the Mets back in the game. Sadly, the Mets fell short of a comeback, but it was a microcosm of what Escobar and Ruf will hopefully be able to contributed in key spots with their limited chances. Overall, Ruf posted an 81 wRC+ in his first 11 plate appearances as a Met. (J.D. Davis went hitless in two plate appearances this week prior to the trade.)
This week also saw the return of James McCann from the injured list. Patrick Mazeika did not reach base in his one plate appearance before being sent down when McCann was activated. Unfortunately, McCann did not distinguish himself in his first week back. He had a rough defensive game behind the plate in his return and also collected just one hit and a walk in seven plate appearances. However, his one hit was an RBI single in the seventh inning of the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader—part of a rally that produced three key insurance runs for the Mets in that contest.
Luckily for the Mets, Tomás Nido, who is sharing time basically 50-50 with McCann right now, had a good week offensively. He put up a very solid 124 wRC+ over 23 plate appearances this week. He collected six hits, half of which went for extra bases, scored two runs, and drove in three runs. If Nido can hit like this and McCann can improve just a little bit, the Mets can swallow not improving their catching position, given their upgrades in other areas.