Mancuso: Mets Showed What Can Be Done

On the mound it was Zack Wheeler, Jeurys Familia, and Edwin Diaz. Adeiny Hechavarria hit another home run and his three runs were all the Mets needed Sunday afternoon at Citi Field. They completed a 6-1 homestand after taking two of three from the Detroit Tigers.

This 4-3 Mets win got them back to .500. That’s what this team wanted to achieve. They are more interesting to watch after that horrible four-game sweep in Miami before this homestand commenced. A four game sweep over the Washington Nationals provided the confidence.

Friday night, if it weren’t for the  bullpen letting the game get away, a 9-8 loss to the Tigers, we are talking about the Mets heading to Dodger Stadium with a seven-game win streak.

Jacob deGrom, up against the 4-0 Clayton Kershaw is set for Memorial Day in Los Angeles, a nice way to complete the holiday weekend. And usually by Memorial Day, there are better indications as to where certain teams could be headed, and that applies to the Mets after their 52nd game, even at 26-26.

Regardless,  the Mets are feeling this momentum. That last road trip of 1-5, a sweep at the hand of the Marlins, talk of dismissing manager Mickey Callaway, that’s all in the past.

“Credit this team and fan base,” Callaway said. He was grateful for the support in a week that was at Citi Field. It commenced  Monday and had a little of everything. The speculation was over, because for now, the manager is staying put.

Bill Menzel/ Latino

Callaway, got the reinforcements with the unexpected injuries to Robinson Cano, Jeff McNeil, Brandon Nimmo, and to Michael Conforto who returned to the lineup Sunday.  He gave credit to his front office and the newcomers on his roster who contributed to the success of these past seven games.

“We’ve been harping on our depth all offfseason,” Callaway said. “Trying to build the best we could. It kept things from spiraling out of control.”

He assured the fan base,  saying, “We will be competitive.” He thanked GM Brodie Van Wegenen for adding depth to the roster. Hechavarria, a free agent in February, signed a minor league contract and arrived from Triple -A Syracuse on May 3rd.

The depth was needed. Robinson Cano is on the injured list with a bad quad. In stepped Hechavarria  who had the go-ahead three-run homer in the fourth inning Friday night and added another one on Sunday.  Two of his three games, Hechavarria has homered in Mets wins.

Those home runs have made a difference. But there is a lot more that has suddenly turned a dismal Mets ship into something positive, and one can feel that energy in the clubhouse.

Carlos Gomez, a veteran, came home. His glove in the outfield and three-run homer Thursday night were highlights. This from a player who signed a minor league deal and was quickly put in the lineup after a short stay at Syracuse.  He has quickly been adopted and has adapted.

But it comes down to winning these ballgames and against teams that should be beat. Also, as Todd Frazier said, “You win series, you’re going to make the playoffs at the very least.”

Dominic Smith, he’s another part of this. He is finally getting the opportunity. Off the bench, he leads the National League in pinch hits.  Sunday, Smith’s sixth start, he got hold of a sinker in the fourth that went for a double to right-center which led to a run  More aggressive at the plate and It shows, with two doubles, RBI, three runs scored, two walks in his last seven games.

He said, the Mets had this upcoming Dodgers series circled on the calendar. That’s always an indication about the mood and what went on this week at Citi Field. The fact is, these Mets after those eighth inning heroics this week, well they are never out of a game that is within reach.

The bullpen, and for the most part, has been effective. Familia had the sinker working again and stranded both inherited runners in the eighth inning. Diaz, now in a four-out save role, used 32 pitches in the ninth and notched his 13th save.

All for Wheeler, who is trying to be more consistent. He retired thirteen Tigers in a row and had his longest outing since September 12 of last season with 7.1 innings.

“I know how we’ve been talking about our potential,” Smith said. “And what we can do, and what we’re capable of doing. I felt like this week was just a testament of that.”

Yes, it was a good week for the Mets.

Comment: [email protected]  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso

About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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