Poor starting pitching, contact-based offense, and timely hitting: This wasn’t the team profile the Mets were supposed to have going into this season. That wasn’t exactly their blueprint for success. But that was the formula last night, as the Mets overcame yet another poor start—this time by Jacob deGrom, seemingly the only starter left in the rotation who can still be relied on—and put a thrashing on Bartolo Colon and the ugly part of the Braves’ bullpen to win by a ridiculous score of 16-5, which all but normalizes their run differential after their 23-5 embarrasment in Washington this past Sunday.
And somehow, they scored those 16 runs without hitting a single home run. They banged out 20 hits on the night, three of which belonged to Michael Conforto, because of course they did. Two of those hits were doubles, because of course they were. Conforto is now hitting .344/.421/.700 on the season. Yes, he is slugging .700 on the season, which puts him in a territory with guys named Trout and Sano.
The Mets wanted him to start the season in the minor leagues. Then they had him in the major leagues, but on the bench. The Mets benched Michael Conforto because they thought they had three better outfielders. From now on, Conforto should only be benched in two scenarios:
1: Yoenis Cespedes comes back from injury, reproduces through budding, and creates two more identical Yoenis Cespedi that are contractually obliged to play for the Mets.
2: Conforto needs a day off.
But other than those two scenarios occuring, though, Conforto should never be benched again.
Other standout performers on offense in this game were the two Riveras, Rene and T.J., who both had three hits. Rene drove in three runs on three singles, and T.J. didn’t have any RBIs, but recorded two doubles. Jose Reyes also drove in five runs, three of which came on a bases-clearing double in the eighth inning.
The Mets struck early, scoring five runs off Colon in the first three innings. The Braves inched closer and made it 5-3 on a Freddie Freeman single and a two-RBI triple by Emilio Bonifacio, who is somehow still playing. But the Mets broke through in the fifth off Josh Collmenter, pushing four more runs across to make in 9-3. Atlanta again tried to inch closer and made it 9-5, but New York exploded for seven runs in the top of the eighth by tagging Eric O’Flahrety, who is also somehow playing, and Matt Wisler.
The Mets’ offense has now scored at least seven runs in four of their last six games, and they haven’t scored less than five runs in their last seven games. The offense has unexpectedly come alive without Yoenis Cespedes or Lucas Duda in the lineup, and given the quality of pitching they’ve gotten, it is a welcome sight.
As for that pitching, deGrom was charged with all five runs the Braves scored. His velocity was fine, and he had five strikeouts, but he also struggled with his command, walking five in only five innings. deGrom is the Mets’ best pitcher right now, and if he can’t get it together, then this rotation is in deep trouble. Harvey’s mechanics are a mess and he is struggling with his command, Gsellman has lost velocity and command, Wheeler has never had consistent command, and now Rafael Montero is happening too. The Mets’ vaunted starting rotation has become arguably their biggest weakness.
This was a good win, but wins of this nature are not what this team was built to do, so the sustainability of this is questionable at best.
OTHER NEWS OF THE DAY
Noah Syndergaard is seeking a second opinion on his partially torn lat, but is expected to miss around three months.
The Mets activated Wilmer Flores from the disabled list and sent down Sean Gilmartin again. This is the third time in a month Gilmartin has been demoted, which can’t feel great.
Rafael Montero is scheduled to get a start on Friday night, so hopefully it rains that day. Meanwhile, some doofus thought Montero’s recent demotion could’ve been the end of the road for his Mets career, which was foolishly optimistc and dumb and that writer should be ashamed.
The series finale between the Mets and Braves takes place at 7:35 p.m. from SunTrust Park. Zack Wheeler toes the rubber for the Mets against Jaime Garcia for the Braves.
Photo credit: Jason Getz – USA Today Sports