With a 4-2 win against the Washington Nationals on Tuesday to open a three-game series on the road, the Mets have met early season expectations even without ace Jacob de Grom.
The four-time All-Star and two-time Cy Young Award winner has not pitched in a game since last July when he was placed on the injured list with forearm tightness. He was shut down again this spring training with a right scapula injury in his right (throwing) shoulder and there is no definitive timetable for his return.
But it’s been the ‘next man up’ mantra that has propelled the Mets to a league-tying best 21 wins (21-10) heading into last night’s game versus the Nationals after starter Carlos Carrasco went 6 2/3 innings giving up only two runs.
His teammates picked him up as the Mets ultimately erased the deficit after the Nationals scored runs in the fourth and fifth innings. The Mets came back in the sixth with three runs, the big hit a bases loaded two-run single by second baseman Jeff McNeil.
They added one more in the eighth, and relievers Drew Smith and Joely Rodriquez held the Nationals down before closer Edwin Diaz earned his seventh save in eight opportunities. The 35-year-old Carrasco, who is 3-1 with a 3.19 ERA in six starts, isn’t the only Met who has filled the void left by de Grom’s absence.
Tylor Megill has been outstanding. The 26-year-old righty, who was the Mets’ scheduled starter last night, went into the game 4-1 and boasted a 2.43 ERA in six starts. At the plate, the Mets were second in all of baseball in team batting average at .256 with a .381 slugging percentage.
After finishing the series with Nationals yesterday afternoon, the Mets are scheduled to play their next seven games at their home park Citi Field, starting with a three tomorrow against the Seattle Mariners and four hosting the St. Louis Cardinals.