The Jay Bruce Mets Score Runs & Hit With RISP
Pick a date from this season including last night. If anyone told you Alejandro De Aza and Travis d’Arnaud would lead the Mets offensively to a win, you’d either stare in disbelief, or you’d call that person an outright liar. Frankly, a James Loney stolen base would seem more believable. Well, tonight not only would Loney steal a base, but De Aza and d’Arnaud would lead the Mets offensively.
It started in the bottom of the third when, at the time, Masahiro Tanaka seemed to have no-hit stuff. The early no-hit bid was broken up by Jacob deGrom, and he would score when De Aza homered to give the Mets a 2-0 lead.
This was more evidence that De Aza has been the Mets best offensive player for more than a month now, and the Mets need to find him playing time especially with the team having no true center fielder on the roster.
That 2-0 lead would grow to a 3-0 lead when d’Arnaud hit a solo shot to lead off the fifth.
Since the rumored Jonathan Lucroy fell through, d’Arnaud seems like a much more relaxed and better player.
This was more than enough support for a deGrominant deGrom. The final line for deGrom was seven innings, four hits, no runs, no earned runs, one walk, and eight strikeouts. His velocity and swagger are almost completely back. When he’s this good, you’re reminded why the Mets should not be counted out.
In the seventh, the Mets would put the game far out of reach seemingly taking out their aggression from last night’s game and a season long struggle hitting with runners in scoring position.
It started with Wilmer Flores singling and advancing to second on a Brett Gardner error. He would come home to score on a Michael Conforto RBI double. He would score on a Matt Reynolds RBI single. He’d move to third on a deGrom single, and he would score on a Yoenis Cespedes pinch hit infield single. The hobbled Cespedes certainly turned on the jets when he smelled a base hit. Terry Collins would still play it safe pinch running Curtis Granderson for him. The fourth and final run of the inning would score on a Neil Walker RBI double.
In the inning, the Mets would send nine batters to the plate scoring four runs on six hits.
Jon Niese made his first appearance since the trade, and he was less than warmly greeted by a fan base who remembered him bad mouthing everyone out the door. He worked his way into a bit of a jam in the eighth before striking out Brian McCann on a borderline pitch to end the rally. However, Niese wouldn’t escape the game completely untouched as Didi Gregorious would hit a solo shot off of him in the ninth to break up the shutout. On the bright side, he pitched much better than Antonio Bastardo, which, admittedly, isn’t saying much.
One Met that was warmly greeted was Jay Bruce:
The Mets got Bruce, in part, to revitalize the offense and hit with runners in scoring position. On his debut, Bruce would go 0-4 with two strikeouts, but the Mets overriding goal was achieved for at least one night as the Mets scored seven runs while going 4-10 with runners in scoring position.
Following the 7-1 win, this seems like a different Mets team for at least one night.
Game Notes: Conforto had a great game going 2-4 with one run, two doubles, a walk, and one RBI.