It was definitely the Mets
WHAT HAPPENED, TIME FOR THE NUMBERS:
At this point, it seems safe to assume that the Mets did not enjoy getting blown out 12-2 on Saturday. Why is that? Oh, because the Mets tagged the San Diego Padres for 14 runs on 19 hits and seven walks. Every hitter in the starting lineup, with the exception of Zack Wheeler, recorded at least two hits. Brandon Nimmo, who replaced an injured-Yoenis Cespedes in the bottom of the third, also joined this club by the eighth inning. Of those nine batters with two hits, six reached base at least three times. By the time the final out was recorded, the Mets had collected 30 total bases.
Adrian Gonzalez turned in the biggest performance, going 3-for-6 with a homer and a double. Heck, had the wall in right-center been closer to home plate by five feet in the fifth inning, Gonzalez would’ve had two home runs. Though I doubt Sunday’s performance signifies any real changes to what Gonzalez is at this point, Wilmer Flores’ early season struggles have at least left the door open. Looking at OPS alone, Flores (.634 OPS) had a slight edge on the 35-year old Gonzalez before play on Sunday. However, just six plate appearances is all it took for Gonzalez to raise his .612 OPS to a more respectable .706 OPS. God, don’t you love small-sample sizes?
WHAT HAPPENED, THERE WAS ALSO PITCHING:
Zack Wheeler didn’t look great to start the day. He threw 26 pitches in the first inning, and looked to have some control problems. After a quick second inning, the struggles returned. A 24-pitch inning would eventually come to an end with a strikeout of Carlos Asuaje, but not before the Padres managed to put two runs on the board. Maybe it was just early struggles with the middle of the Padres’ lineup, because Wheeler then went on to set down five of the next seven batters via strikeout. For as sheepishly as the start to his outing looked, Wheeler was able to regroup and finish strong. His final line (5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 9 K) probably doesn’t reflect the volatility of his performance, but it seldom does. All-in-all, it was a good outing.
Then came Paul Sewald, owner of a solid 2.31 ERA in 11.2 innings of work. After a 1-2-3 sixth inning, the Mets managed to bat around in the top of the seventh (they would do so, again, in the top of the eighth). When Sewald returned to the mound, Travis Jankowski greeted him with a single, and Manuel Margot nearly knocked one out of the park (it would end up a ground-rule double). So, with no recorded outs, runners on second and third, and the 2-hole hitter (Eric Hosmer) stepping to the plate, Sewald did what any rational pitcher would do. He struck out the heart of the order to work out of his own jam. As the kids say, that’s quite impressive.
The Mets wrapped up a blowout with an inning of Robert Gsellman and an inning of Matt Harvey. The former pitched well, as he continues to find great success in the bullpen. The latter threw a shutout ending to wrap the game up, the first outing where he hasn’t allowed a run since the first time he pitched in 2018. Progress is being made.
WHAT HAPPENED, YESTERDAY:
The Mets blew out the Padres as repayment for the Padres blowing out the Mets on Saturday. On aggregate, the Mets look great. On not aggregate, the Mets look great. What I’m telling you is that, with April 2018 in the books, the Mets look great.
WHAT HAPPENS, TODAY:
The Mets have a travel day as they head back home to face the Atlanta Braves, who are tied for second place in the NL East with the Philadelphia Phillies. The Mets, who will enter May atop the NL East, will look to keep things going as they will send Noah Syndergaard to the mound.
Photo credit: Jake Roth – USA Today Sports