Instead of faltering with their starting pitching battling injuries, the Mets have thrived, riding a five game-winning streak and a 34-17 record, tied with the Yankees for the most victories in Major League Baseball heading into yesterday afternoon’s game at Citi Field against the Washington Nationals. They held a 10.5 lead over the second place Atlanta Braves in the National League East.
The Mets have achieved their success in the early part of the season without ace Jacob de Grom pitching a single inning, co-ace Max Scherzer on the injured list since May 19 with a strained oblique, and emerging right handed starter Tylor Megill on the IL since May 15 with biceps tendinitis. De Grom has not pitched since last July with a right forearm and then right shoulder injuries.
Schezer could be out up to another month. Megill is close to undergoing rehab starts and optimistically back in the rotation by the third week of this month. The most encouraging news came this week as de Grom has begun long tossing and is expected to be throwing off of a mound soon and perhaps making his season debut in late June or early July.
Chris Bassitt, Carlos Carrasco, Tijuan Walker, David Peterson and Trevoe Williams have more than held the fort, helping drive a bigger gap in the standings between the Mets and Braves in the absence of de Grom, Scherzer and Megill. But the Mets bats also deserve much of the credit for the team’s continued winning. The Mets averaged 10 runs per game in their previous seven games heading into yesterday.
On Tuesday night, they bashed the Nationals 10-0 after a 13-5 battering of their NL East opponent on Monday. The Mets’ top of the order, Luis Guillorme, Starling Marte and Francisco Lindor combined to get on base in their first nine times at-bats on Monday, fueling the run barrage. Unfortunately for first baseman/DH Dominic Smith, he hasn’t been a part of the hot hitting and was optioned to the Mets Class AAA Syracuse minor league team on Tuesday.
Thus far this season, Smith, who turns 27 on June 15, has hit just .186 in 39 games with no home runs and only 14 RBIs. He was the Mets’ first round pick—11th overall—in the 2013 MLB draft.
The Mets begin a 10-game road trip beginning today with four games against the Los Angeles Dodgers, three versus the San Diego Padres and three facing the Los Angeles Angels.