Well that was a sight for sore eyes.
After struggling to score only 17 collective runs in their past eight games, the Mets offense exploded for 12 runs on 16 hits in Tuesday night’s series-opening win over Toronto, an even more impressive feat when you consider both Yoenis Cespedes and Michael Conforto did not play.
After waiting out a rain delay of nearly an hour and a half, Noah Syndergaard took the mound and overpowered the Blue Jays’ in the first inning, striking out the side with relative ease. After a Mets threat died in the bottom of the inning, Syndergaard labored a little bit in his second frame, but worked around a hit and a walk to carry the game into the bottom of the second scoreless.
Devin Mesoraco has been a substantial upgrade for New York at catcher, both offensively and behind the plate. On this night, he helped the home team grab an early lead, as he walked to begin the Mets half of the 2nd, and later scored on a double from Syndergaard. Back on the mound though, Syndergaard’s second inning struggles carried into the third, as after he surrendered two singles and hit a batter to load the bases, Yangervis Solarte found a hole for a two-run single that gave Toronto a 2-1 lead. That score would hold into the bottom of the fourth, when seemingly out of nowhere the Mets offense came to life.
Leading off for New York, Jay Bruce blooped an opposite field ground rule double, and another Mesoraco walk followed by a single from Jose Reyes loaded the bases with nobody out. Syndergaard then drove a fly ball deep enough to center to score Bruce with the tying run on a sacrifice fly, but the Mets were far from done. Amed Rosario crushed a ball to right center that literally struck the orange stripe atop the wall at just the right angle to keep it in play, missing his first home run of the season by mere inches and having to settle for an RBI double. Two batters later, Juan Lagares rifled a hit through the left side of the infield to score both Reyes and Rosario, and New York had suddenly put up a five-spot in the fourth, their biggest offensive inning since April 29.
Syndergaard’s pitch count was far too elevated for him to go past five innings, a frustrating trend, but on Tuesday night it really didn’t matter all that much. New York added three in the fifth on RBI’s from Rosario, Brandon Nimmo and Lagares and the rout was officially on. Mesoraco put a capper on the night by launching his second home run as a Met in the bottom of the eighth, putting New York up 12-2, which would be the final margin.
Seth Lugo relieved Syndergaard in the sixth and did what what we’ve grown accustomed to, powering through three scoreless innings before ceding the ball to Jacob Rhame, who tossed a 1-2-3 inning to finish the game.
The biggest takeaways coming out of this game aside from the collective offensive performance were the individual games turned in by Lagares, Rosario and Mesoraco. Lagares been one of the Mets’ most consistent hitters all year, and going 4-5 with a triple, stolen base and two RBIs should put him in position for more playing time, particularly with Cespedes potentially going on the DL any day (it’s literally a 10-day DL).
Rosario has slumped for much of 2018 but has turned it on of late, and this quite possibly was his best game of the year. The youngster contributed three hits and a pair of RBIs himself and, as I mentioned earlier, missed a home run by just inches.
Mesoraco, acquired for Matt Harvey last week, is clearly light year’s ahead of what the Mets were getting behind the plate from Tomas Nido and Jose Lobaton. Last night, the former Red went 2-2 with a homer and 2 RBI’s, while drawing three walks and scoring four runs.
The Amazins will look to sweep this short two game set this afternoon when they send Zack Wheeler to the mound against J.A. Happ.
Photo credit: Brad Penner – USA Today Sports