If Friday night’s win was the kind of baseball game we want to remember, Saturday’s 7-6 win against the Phillies is the kind of win we want to forget. The Mets hit nine extra-base hits and needed everyone to overcome three errors, a starter who couldn’t get through the fourth, and Jose Reyes running his way out of multiple innings. Right now, the Mets don’t need to worry all that much about the quality of victory; they just need a bunch of wins to make the rest of the season interesting.
The Good: Power
When the Mets hit balls squarely, they drove them all over the ballpark; nine of the team’s ten hits went for extra bases. Jose Reyes doubled twice and drove in the Mets’ first run. Lucas Duda homered into the apple to give the Mets the lead in the fourth. After falling behind, T.J. Rivera homered in the seventh and Asdrubal Cabrera launched a two-run shot on his bobblehead day to give the Mets a 7-6 lead they would not relinquish. This lineup was built to rely on power to get around the team’s other shortcomings, and they needed all of that power today.
The Highlight: Cabrera
While we wait for the game to resume…Enjoy this! pic.twitter.com/DRE5wdyeOr
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 1, 2017
The Bad: Wheeler’s Concentration
Zack Wheeler came off his 10-day DL stint for “biceps tendinitis” throwing 97-98 miles per hour in the first inning. He looked like he wanted to strike everyone out, getting three strikeouts in the first but racking up the pitch count. Things fell apart for Wheeler pretty quickly in the fourth after a one out error by T.J. Rivera. Callup Nick Williams worked an eight-pitch walk, then Wheeler was so far out of the zone he couldn’t tempt the free swinging Makiel Franco to swing. With the bases loaded, Duda made a great stop to start the double play. Reyes threw back to Wheeler…who was looking down to try to find first base. Two runs scored as the ball flew by, giving the Phillies their first lead of the game. Wheeler threw two more balls, then hung a 2-0 slider for a single to Cameron Rupp. Terry Collins went to the bullpen after 82 pitches.
The Ugly: Salas’ Second Inning
Fernando Salas came in to the sixth inning and gave up a hit to former Met Ty Kelly. Salas was good after that, getting two strikeouts and, with 19 pitches under his belt, he probably thought his day was done. How much can we expect from the below replacement reliever? Terry Collins expected more, sending Salas out for the seventh in a tied ballgame. Salas immediately gave up two singles and a massive homer to Tommy Joseph. Philly led 6-3. Now that there was no lead or tie to protect, Collins figured we might as well go to the lame end of the bullpen. “Fernando! Don’t go anywhere!” Salas retired the next three hitters.
The Weird Stat: Salas “won” the game
Since the Mets scored four in the bottom of the seventh, Salas is credited with the win. Feel free to use this later in arguments about pitcher wins (since I assume those arguments will never truly go away).
The Latest Mismanaged Injury: Conforto to DL
Michael Conforto was finally placed on the disabled list and will be eligible to come back the Saturday before the All Star break. With the new 10-day DL, teams are limited in how far they can retroactively assign someone to the DL. If the Mets would have placed Conforto on the DL immediately after his injury, he would have been eligible to return this Thursday.
The Mets look to sweep the Phillies. Rafael Montero starts.
Photo credit: Adam Hunger – USA Today Sports