The New York Mets showed they had real fight in the series finale against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and they would show even more in Cincinnati:
1. With all the injuries to the pitching staff, Marcus Stroman had the biggest start of the year. Those eight innings were a godsend.
2. The reason the Mets are in first isn’t just because of performances like we saw from Stroman. It’s because of performances like we saw with Stephen Nogosek and Geoff Hartlieb. Even though they lost that game, it saved the pen.
3. Of course, Robert Stock, who is well past Plan Z, makes a spot start, and he leaves the game with an injury after an inning.
4. For over a month now, Dominic Smith has returned to form. He’s hitting for power, and he’s getting big hits.
5. James McCann has had his adjustment period, and he’s been better than the catcher they thought they were signing. Since May 29, he’s hitting .300/.361/.485.
7. Actually, that wasn’t Rojas, it was Dave Jauss filling in for the suspended Rojas. Jauss certainly seemed to enjoy his time at the helm, and fans seemed to love his infectious personality.
9. Luis Guillorme might’ve had one tough inning defensively, but he’s been great all season. It’s long past time messing around and just let him play everyday.
10. Michael Conforto had a huge Two home run game in the comeback extra inning win. At the time, it seemed like he was taking off, but then he stopped hitting again.
11. That’s not too dissimilar from J.D. Davis who is one for his last 10 with five strikeouts.
12. This is just a reminder that unless the Mets move Jeff McNeil to third, they really need a third baseman at the trade deadline.
13. McNeil’s bat has awoken with him hitting .316/.395/.421 over the past few weeks.
14. The loss of Jose Peraza is going to hurt more than you expected at the beginning of the year. He’s been playing great defense, and he has a bevy of clutch hits.
15. People love to love situational hitting and small ball, but then they go berserk when the Mets are mashing homers.
16. Jesse Winker is a no-good evil Mets killer. Actually, he’s not evil. He has fun with the fans and the game. Still, the Mets should never even contemplate pitching to him in a big spot again.
17. In a big spot late in the game, you don’t know it Kevin Pillar is going to get a base hit, but he’s certainly going to tattoo the ball.
18. Gary Cohen deriding skyline chili was like Bud Harrelson punching Pete Rose combined with Al Leiter‘s one hitter. Put another way, Gare landed a punch, and there was no way Cincinnati could come back from it.
20. The Mets certainly love playing in these band boxes in Cincinnati and Philadelphia because they continue to win games in these cities.
Robert Stock was recalled, and he lasted all of one inning before leaving the game with an injury. That meant the New York Mets bullpen effectively needed to pitch the entire game.
What did the Mets in this game more than anything with hitting with runners in scoring position. That problem reared it’s ugly head again with the Mets going 0-for-7 stranding nine runners.
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 21, 2021
On the downside, the Mets couldn’t take full advantage of their opportunities.
In the seventh, Jonathan Villar and Dominic Smith walked to start the inning. Villar would score from second on a Joey Votto missed catch error. However, the Mets couldn’t take full advantage as Jeff McNeil hit into an inning ending double play.
In the eighth. .Guillorme was stranded at second. Smith drew a leadoff walk in the ninth, but he wouldn’t advance.
In the end, it was a hard fought 4-3 loss. It shouldn’t have been this close, but the pitching held up. The only issue now is can it hold up again.
The NL Central leading Milwaukee Brewers came to Citi Field with their pitching lined up. It was the Mets who took two out of three:
1. While the consternation of the split doubleheader seven inning games is justified, the larger issue is the fact seven inning doubleheaders exist.
2. The extremely long rain delay at Citi Field was the first of the Steve Cohen era, but when you’re trying to get an extra Jacob deGrom start, you do it.
3. Recently, deGrom has gone from super-human to merely being just the best pitcher in baseball.
4. deGrom is correct. With his sitting out the All-Star Game, Taijuan Walker absolutely should take his place.
6. It should be noted they’ve all been so good lately (and for the last few years) we shouldn’t blow it out of proportions. That goes double when you see how they combined to win Monday’s game.
8. Speaking of that moment, Luis Rojas had an excellent series and was pushing all the right buttons. For example, one under the Radar move was pinch running Billy McKinney for Alonso in the late innings, which permitted him to get the faster runner and reset the defense.
9. One thing which is becoming increasingly obvious is Brandon Nimmo is the most important hitter on this team.
10. Jeff McNeil is turning a corner (i.e. getting some luck), and his game winning hit was a huge moment for him and the team.
11. That doubleheader really was a tale of the bases loaded. In the first game, McNeil delivered the walk-off hit. In the second, they literally struck out.
12. We don’t know if it’s the early usage, the lack of substances, or something else, but Miguel Castro looks done.
13. James McCann had a great AB in the first game of the doubleheader fighting for that walk to load the bases. It’s indicative of just how good he’s been lately, and how he’s outplaying J.T. Realmuto (h/t Brian Mangan).
14. Great job by Robert Stock to give the Mets a credible start in the second game of the doubleheader.
15. Giving him 89 is the continuation of a dumb practice of forcing Major Leaguers to try to prove they deserve a real number.
17. If the Mets won’t move McNeil to third, third base is their biggest hole and most important area to attack at the trade deadline. Josh Donaldson would make a lot of sense.
18. Of course Adam Fox is a Mets and Rangers fan. It’s because he’s awesome.
19. Win or lose, this Mets team has no quit. That makes them a very special group, and the Mets may not want to tinker too much with the clubhouse.
20. The Mets have seven straight against the Pittsburgh Pirates. It’s time to make a big run.