New York Mets
Meet the Mets, meet the Mets, come right out and greet the Mets... As the old song goes, the Mets are really socking the ball. At 21-11, they lead the National League East by 6½ games, the only team in the division over .500. They're doing it by being first in the National League in hits and first in on-base percentage, though their pitching staff is no joke either.
Slugging first baseman Pete Alonso and center fielder Brandon Nimmo lead a strong offensive attack, backed up by second baseman Jeff McNeil, left fielder Mark Canha, and right fielder Starling Marte. They also have shortstop Francisco Lindor, who to date has not lived up to his enormous free-agent contract but has proven himself to be a better player than his numbers suggest; and a capable bench complement. their mound corps is scary as well, led by three-time Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer and former Oakland A's standout Chris Bassitt, both of whom the M's will face in this series. The Met bullpen is very strong, with ex-Mariner Edwin Díaz anchoring a group that includes Chasen Shreve, Adam Ottavino, and Seth Lugo; as a whole, the New York ’pen has limited opposing batters to a .201/.283/.333 line while compiling a decent 3.27 ERA. This promises to be a very tough series for Seattle.
While Alonso is the Mets' best power hitter, it's Nimmo and McNeil who are the better all-around batters that Seattle pitchers will have to work around. Nimmo is currently riding an 8-game hitting streak and has reached base via hit or walk or both in each game he's started this year save one, back on April 11th. McNeil is rebounding from a down year in 2021 with an outstanding campaign, splitting his time between second base and left field.
The Mets will start Scherzer on Friday night, Bassitt on Saturday, and close the series with Carlos Carrasco on Sunday afternoon. Having spent the last several years as a National Leaguer, Scherzer hasn't faced Seattle since 2014, but he does hold a 4-2 record and 3.09 ERA vs. the Mariners in seven starts. Carrasco has more recent experience against the M's from his Cleveland days, with his win in 2019 giving him a 5-3 record and 2.45 ERA vs. Seattle in nine starts. Bassitt was in the American League West with Oakland just last year, and while he owned the M's in 2020, Seattle had his number in 2021 and 2019; overall, Bassitt's career record vs. the Mariners is 1-4 with a 3.98 ERA.
Seattle will go with Marco Gonzales against Scherzer, George Kirby against Bassitt, and Robbie Ray against Carrasco. If you like pitching, this could be a one for the books; if you like offense, well, maybe dial up the archives of Game 4 of the 1993 World Series instead.
Who’s Hot & Not
Last 10 games
.342/.405/.711, 4 HR, 10 RBI
.324/.457/.351, 2 RBI, 8 BB
.317/.333/.463, 4 XBH, 5 RBI
.125/.186/.225, 9 Ks
.125/.205/.150, 11 Ks
.200/.231/.280, 7 Ks
Last 3 series vs. Seattle
|8/30/17||SEA 9, NYM 1|
|8/29/17||SEA 3, NYM 2|
|8/28/17||NYM 7, SEA 5|
|7/23/14||NYM 3, SEA 2|
|7/22/14||NYM 3, SEA 1|
|7/21/14||SEA 5, NYM 2|
|6/25/08||NYM 8, SEA 2|
|6/24/08||SEA 11, NYM 0|
|6/23/08||SEA 5, NYM 2|
Buck Showalter: Known in Seattle as the New York manager that dissed Ken Griffey Jr.'s backwards-facing cap, Buck is managing his fifth big-league team, taking over the Mets this year after a few years away from the dugout. He was the Yankees' skipper for the thrilling 1995 ALDS against the M's in his only postseason appearance with the Yankees; he went to the Diamondbacks next as their first manager, winning 100 games with them in their second season of existence; then managed the Rangers for four years and then the Orioles from 2010-2018. That's three decades of managing in the Majors and a grand total of five playoff appearances, including a one-and-done Wild Card loss in 2016. This year appears to be Showalter's best shot at a winner yet, leading a loaded Mets club that was almost universally picked to at least make the postseason.
Showalter has a reputation for being intense and even obsessive, and maybe that's what the Mets need. "There's not a detail he doesn't think about," pitcher Chris Bassitt said of his new manager. "He wants you busting your butt, and doing it the right way." Apparently "the right way" can sometimes include beanballs, as Showalter was suspended for a game by Major League Baseball for ordering pitcher Yoan López to throw at Phillies batter Kyle Schwarber last week, ostensibly in retaliation for Francisco Lindor having been hit by a pitch earlier in the game.
Edwin Díaz: Maybe the most dominating closer season by a Mariner was turned in by Díaz in 2018, his final year with Seattle. That year Díaz notched 57 saves in 73 appearances, posting an ERA of just 1.96. It made him a valuable enticement in trade talks, and as it turned out, a necessary one in order to relieve the Mariners of Robinson Canó's albatross of a contract. The M's packaged Canó and Díaz, along with some cash, and sent them to the Mets for five players including Jarred Kelenic, the only one still with Seattle. "Electric Eddie," as he became known in the Northwest, did not take to New York quickly, going 2-7 with a 5.59 ERA in his first year as a Met, but rebounded in the mini-season of 2020, was respectable in ’21, and is back to excellence thus far in ’22.
|New York Mets||(1962 - present)|
|World Champions:||1969, 1986|
|League Champions:||1973, 2000, 2015|
|Division Titles:||1969, 1973, 1986, 1988, 2006, 2015|