Mets Sweep and Are On a Surge

AP Photo/Pamela Smith

The Mets are feeling good about themselves and rightfully so after their Sunday afternoon three-game sweep over the Padres at Citi Field gave them their fifth straight win. Pete Alonso drove in a season-high five RBI including his 15th home run in the first inning that went along with Francisco Lindor leading off the game with his 12th of the season. 

The Mets scored four runs in the first inning and picked up their third series sweep of the season. 11-6 was the final, though the Padres made it interesting with a four-run eighth inning. Regardless it was a 5-1 homestand. Citi Field has not been pleasant for the team or their fans (18-23) this season as they needed to convince their fan base about their standing.

But now the Mets are confident. Who would have seen this coming. After shortstop Francisco Lindor asked for a players-only meeting after a loss to the Dodgers on May 29, the Mets are 11-4. They are now 1½ games behind the Padres and Nationals for the final NL Wild Card in a mediocre NL.

The Mets never believed their season was over, not after their lousy month of May that had everyone talking about selling Alonso and a ton of others prior to the trade deadline in late July. Not now because the Mets happen to be the hottest team in baseball.

We are winning games, but even when it was hard for us, the guys never gave up,” said Mets manager Carlos Mendoza. “They continue to show up every day, they continue to work. Our preparation continues to get better, and they are having fun.”

Alonso, Lindor, Brandon Nimmo, even the resurrected production of J.D. Martinez always believed a miserable May was going to get better. They had expectations coming out of spring training even if it meant fighting for a NL Wild Card, the third and last has always been in reach, and of course their season is nearing the halfway point.

Said Alonso, “When everybody is hitting on all cylinders, it’s really fun as an offense. I felt we had great at-bats all up and down the lineup. I thought we did a great job of capitalizing on pitches in the zone and laying off some tough ones. We did a great job with our execution today.”

Since that team meeting, the numbers tell the story why the Mets have surged and have every reason to be confident. Their past 15 games:

Team Batting .284

-Home Runs- 20

-Team RBI- 81

-Team OPS-.840

Martinez extended his on-base streak to 10 straight at-bats that started last Friday, a stretch that included hitting his first walk-off home run that gave the Mets a win Thursday night against the Marlins. Lindor got his 10th career lead-off home run and since being in that spot, the lineup has been producing on all cylinders.

It was a common belief that this lineup would score runs to take pressure off of a relatively mediocre starting rotation that has forced Mendoza to use his bullpen early and often. But as May turned to June, the Mets have shown they can be contenders and not pretenders.

We have a purpose,” Lindor said. “Our intent usually follows the plan that we have. Yeah, we are playing well. This is a good wave that we are riding right now. We just have to make sure we stay on it as long as we can.”

All along they believed in themselves. But baseball is a long season of winning and losing streaks. The Mets now want to build on what has transpired this past week at Citi Field against the Marlins and Padres.

A lot of people forget that this game is hard and you are going to go through struggles, and you have to find a way to stay positive,” Mendoza said. “The expectations are we will continue to prepare, push each other and compete.”

On the other side, the talented Padres can relate to what the Mets manager said as they continue to struggle (37-38.) Manny Machado, one of their high profile players, ejected over a contested called third strike in the sixth inning, said his team can relate to the Mets highs and lows.

It’s baseball, a long season,” he said. “At times during a long season teams have to fight to get over the losing and bad streaks.” The Padres lost their seventh straight road game and their schedule does not get any easier with three at the NL East division leading Phillies.

In the meantime, the Mets will ride with this winning streak and revival of their offense. Their at-bats have been better, the pitching has been respectable, and of course winning can be fun and makes things easier to deal with.

Alonso alluded to the homestand as playing clean baseball. He said defensively, the good at-bats, and pitching all came together. And it has all come together in these past 15 games. Now it’s on to Texas to face the Rangers and the friendly confines of Wrigley Field versus the Cubs.

The first addition of the Subway Series with the Yankees and three with the struggling Astros await the Mets when they come home in eight days. Then, perhaps we will know more about these Mets. But for now, winning is fun and they are enjoying this surge.

Rich Mancuso: X (Formerly 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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