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Mets offense comes alive in much-needed victory

After falling out of first place, the Mets responded with a solid all-around game.

MLB: New York Mets at Miami Marlins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday’s ugly loss to the Marlins put the Mets in a place they had avoided for almost the entirety of the 2022 season: second place. It was their fourth loss to a bad team over the past week, so it’s understandable that between that fact and their newfound place looking up in the division standings, some fans were getting more than a bit concerned. Both the team and its fans needed a resounding rebound win to ease their spirits, and the baseball gods cooperated. The Mets offense had one of their most impressive showings of the season and Carlos Carrasco made an impressive bounce-back from his disappointing start last week,

The Mets once again got off to a rough start tonight, as they failed to score against Marlins starter Pablo López in the first inning despite recording three hits (the first one was erased on a double play by Francisco Lindor, the second one he’s hit into in as many days). Then in the bottom of the frame, after recording the first two outs, Carlos Carrasco surrendered a single to Joey Wendle and a run-scoring double to Garrett Cooper (though it should be noted that said run may not have scored if not for a bad relay throw from Mark Canha in left field). Thus, the Mets were quickly once again trailing a bad team in the early goings.

Thankfully, the offense fought back against López starting in the third inning. Francisco Lindor struck a one-out double to right field to get things started, and Jeff McNeil followed that up with a hit to right field that was somewhat generously ruled a double after he advanced to second on the throw to home plate. That throw may have gotten Lindor out if it had been handled, but instead it went past Jacob Stallings, and the game was tied at a run apiece.

The Mets failed to get McNeil home, so the game remained tied heading into the fourth, but the offense once again got to work then. Canha and Daniel Vogelbach got on base to start the frame on a walk and a single, respectively, and Eduardo Escobar—who has been red hot in recent times—socked a double to right field to score a run and give the Mets the lead. You’d best believe that they weren’t done, though: James McCann—who has also miraculously been hot in recent times—blooped a single into right field to score yet another run and make it 3-1 Mets. With the top of the order now up, López—clearly struggling at this point—walked Brandon Nimmo to load the bases, and Lindor then once again came through with an important hit by knocking a single into right field to score yet another run. López finally recorded an out on the next batter, but it was a sacrifice fly off the bat of McNeil to score one more to make it 5-1.

After retiring Pete Alonso on a hard line drive to left field, another walk ended López’s night after just 3.2 innings, and Don Mattingly went to left-hander Andrew Nardi to try to finish the frame. Unfortunately, he did not accomplish the job quite as quickly as Mattingly might have hoped, as Mark Canha greeted him with a home run over the left field wall for a grand slam to make it an eight-run inning—the most the Amazins have scored in one inning all year—and give the Mets a 9-1 lead. Vogelbach added another hit for good measure—his second of the frame and the sixth by the Mets overall—before the inning mercifully came to an end with the Mets offense having finally awakened.

They would add another run in the fifth inning with a Francisco Lindor homer, his third hit of the day, to give the Mets double-digit runs. Though while the offensive outburst was undoubtedly encouraging given the offensive struggles the team has gone through in recent times, Carrasco’s performance on the mound may well have been more encouraging. After giving up a hit to Miguel Rojas in the second inning, he went on to retire the next eleven batters in a row. His stuff looked much sharper in comparison to his dreadful start against the Nationals in his first game back from the injured list last week. As he was still working up his pitch count since making his return, he ended up being done after 74 pitches, and his final line—6 innings, 4 hits, no walks, 6 strikeouts, and one run—were hugely encouraging. The Mets will need more performances like this from Cookie as they continue to fight for the National League East title in September.

Escobar continued his hot streak with a seventh inning solo homer to make it 11-1 Mets. Bryce Montes de Oca came on to replace Carrasco for his third major league appearance, and while he struck out three batters on some nasty-looking pitches, he also allowed three singles, including an RBI knock by Stallings, to cut the lead to 11-2. Trevor Williams came on in the eighth inning and gave up a run of his own on a wild pitch. Alex Claudio of all people was the one person to throw a scoreless inning in the final frame of the game. In the end, those couple runs given up by the bullpen meant little, as the Mets secured a much-needed 11-3 victory. We will need to wait to see how the Braves game goes against the Mariners—we will continue to be scoreboard watching for the rest of the season, given the current state of the standings—but for now, we can feel good about how the Mets came to play tonight. They will go for the series victory tomorrow with Taijuan Walker taking the mound.

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What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: Eduardo Escobar, +17.3% WPA
Big Mets loser: Tyler Naquin, -6.8% WPA
Mets pitchers: +4.4% WPA
Mets hitters: +45.6% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Eduardo Escobar RBI double in the fourth, +16% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Garrett Cooper RBI double in the first, -11.7% WPA