The week started off extremely well for the Mets, as they took two out of three from the Dodgers in a hard-fought three-game series. And the Mets kept the good times rolling in their series opener against the Nationals on Friday night when they won 7-3, putting up their best offensive performance of the week. However, things took a sharp turn for the worst over the weekend, as they dropped two consecutive contests 7-1 and the offense failed to do anything productive against a mediocre Nationals pitching staff. All the while, the Braves kept winning as always and the Mets have seen their NL East lead shrink to just a single game over Atlanta.
Overall, the offense has been in a bit of a rut as a collective for a few weeks now, with a couple of players responsible for the lion’s share of the production while most of the rest of the lineup flounders. Last week, it was Mark Canha playing the hero. This week, the trio of Eduardo Escobar, Starling Marte, and Brandon Nimmo are the only players to earn positive marks, while everyone else’s overall performance was middling to poor.
We’ll start with Eduardo Escobar, who had been slumping badly and also dealing with an injury prior to this week. With Brett Baty having torn a ligament in his thumb that effectively ended his young rookie season and Luis Guillorme still on the injured list (though due back soon), Escobar is back to playing third base every day against righties and lefties alike. Luckily for Escobar, the Mets faced a lot of left-handed pitching this week, but he performed well hitting on both sides of the plate, posting a 206 wRC+ over 20 plate appearances. Half of his six hits went for extra bases, including two home runs—a two-run shot on Friday that put the Mets on the board and a solo homer on Saturday that tied up that contest and turned out to be the Mets’ only run of the game before things unraveled in the later innings. He shares the team lead in RBIs this week with four and was one of only three Mets to walk multiple times this week.
Starling Marte was definitely the standout performer with the bat during the Dodgers series, as he continues to put up steady production week in and week out. In Tuesday’s narrow loss, Marte went 2-for-4 with a home run. The next day, Marte was responsible for knocking in both Mets runs with a two-run homer in the third inning that ended up to be the difference in the game. And then in Thursday’s rubber game victory, Marte went 2-for-3 with a walk, an RBI, and two runs scored. Marte shares the team lead in RBIs for the week with Escobar with four and holds the second-best mark in both hits (7) and wRC+ (155). He also leads the team this week in runs scored with four.
Marte wasn’t the only one to make the highlight reels during the Dodgers series, though. Brandon Nimmo not only fared well this week with the bat, he made the best—and probably the most important—catch of his career this week, robbing Justin Turner of what would have been a game-tying home run Endy Chavez style. He pumped his fist after he landed with the ball secured in his glove in a display of emotion on the field we rarely see from Nimmo and the catch elicited a display of excitement rarely seen from Jacob deGrom as well, as the Mets’ ace raised his arms to celebrate the catch and tipped his cap in a well-deserved acknowledgement of the feat. Nimmo not only led the team in game-saving catches this week, he also led the team in hits with eight. He also scored three runs and drove in two, posting a very solid 126 wRC+ over 25 plate appearances.
Unfortunately, the good news mostly ends here. A small silver lining is that Francisco Lindor improved over his dreadful week last week, but he still isn’t fully out of his slump. He collected six hits, which matches Escobar’s total, but unlike Escobar, only one of those was for extra bases and Lindor only scored one run and drove in one run this week. Overall, he posted a decidedly meh 94 wRC+ over 24 plate appearances, but he was one of only three Mets to steal a base this week.
Jeff McNeil also keeps getting his hits (he too had six hits this week), but had a somewhat pedestrian week overall, putting up a 90 wRC+ over 22 plate appearances. Five of McNeil’s six hits were singles; he scored two runs, drove in one run, and also walked once. McNeil had a game-tying sacrifice fly in yesterday’s game, but he also committed a rare error, which turned out to be very costly for the Mets and contributed to Carlos Carrasco’s afternoon blowing up on him.
With Escobar, Marte, and Nimmo getting positive marks and Lindor and McNeil having so-so weeks, there is a steep decline to the next tier of players, which unfortunately contains the still slumping Pete Alonso. Alonso shares the team lead in walks this week with three, which saves him from the poop emoji, but he had just two hits in 24 plate appearances this week, amounting to a dismal 36 wRC+ for the week. His only RBI this week came on a solo home run in the sixth inning of Friday’s victory, which was the go-ahead run in that contest. That was pretty much Alonso’s only contribution this week to speak of, which is not what you want from your primary run producer in the lineup.
The other player to walk three times this week is Daniel Vogelbach, but he had just one hit this week mixed in with those three walks. Vogelbach did not get as much playing time as he usually does, as the Mets faced a litany of left-handed pitchers this week. He collected the one hit and three walks and scored a run over ten plate appearances.
This meant that Darin Ruf had a chance to distinguish himself with much more playing time than usual, but he unfortunately did not rise to the occasion. Ruf collected just one hit and an RBI in 12 plate appearances—a -56 wRC+ and a poop emoji for mostly being a non-factor during his Mets tenure thus far.
Both DH and catcher continue to be black holes, just as they were before the trading deadline. Other than being the only regular besides Francisco Lindor to steal a base this week, James McCann had a mostly unproductive week again. He had one hit and scored a run in eight plate appearances. Tomás Nido’s most productive day was Friday; he had two RBIs in that game, including an RBI single in the sixth inning that contributed to that big inning after Alonso’s home run gave the Mets the lead. It was one of two hits for Nido in ten plate appearances this week.
After last week’s heroics, Mark Canha has fallen back down to earth a little bit. Canha put up a 65 wRC+ in 23 plate appearances this week. He notched four hits, two of which went for extra bases. His most notable contribution this week was a game-tying homer in Tuesday’s series opener against the Dodgers, which the Mets would unfortunately go on to lose. Otherwise, he collected two hits in Friday’s victory over the Nationals. Still, Canha has been playing mostly every day, along with all the Mets regulars.
Which means that the Mets bench has been getting virtually no playing time. Tyler Naquin went hitless in three plate appearances this week, but did score a run. September call-ups Terrance Gore and Deven Marrero did not log any plate appearances this week, but Gore did appear in a game as a pinch runner and stole second base.