Perhaps the Mets could really survive the looming June Challenge without Jacob Degrom and Max Scherzer. It looks like their squad is poised to make its way through the brutal expanse of playoff contenders.
The latest proof arrived Saturday night at Citi Field, in an 8-2 bombing run from Phillies that demonstrated the diversity of this group.
There was a long shot from Jeff McNeill on the turf and a small ball that produced an early start. The two main players in the middle of the standings, Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor, also produced when called, as the Mets beat the Phillies for the eighth time in 11 attempts and now lead the Braves by the highest level of season 8 ¹/₂ games in the NL East.
They improved to 31-17, which equates to a season’s high water level.
The Mets entered baseball’s second day in recorded runs, behind only the Dodgers, and have now scored at least five runs for the seventh time in 10 games.
Lindor continued his recent hot streak with three RBIs (he’s now led on tour in six straight games, the highest of his career) and scored twice. Alonso set the Mets record for most RBIs in the month of May with 29, after driving a race with the sacrifice fly.
Jeff McNeil produced the big hit, the green light, three running Homer in fourth through raindrops, following a season-long trend of the Mets responding immediately after falling behind.
The squad wasn’t even full force. Leading man Brandon Nemo sat with his right wrist twisted which required a dose of cortisone, but Lewis Gillorm filled his T-roll, making it to base on his first four rackets. The fifth of three runs began with one song that ultimately made the game elusive.
There was no major uprising from Velez this time around, after they nearly rallied from seven runs to win on Friday. The Mets made four rounds off, two from rookie Colin Holderman, who had yet to allow a gaining round during his first six over eight rounds.
The offensive attack made Taijuan Walker (3-0) the winner despite the impressive performance. This was a daunting task for the right-hand man, who was going out seven rounds against the Rocky. His driving was down and his position was inappropriate, but he still limited Velez to two he earned over five rounds.
He played with fire on the fourth, allowing four of the first five Phillies to reach base. But after JT Realmuto’s single, Walker Odubel Herrera retired in a popup. Then, after Johann Carmago walked to load the bases, Kyle Schwarber retired on a trip abroad. Walker also got out of trouble in fifth, having allowed back-to-back singles for Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos, when Lindor played a 6-6-3 double.
The match was not in doubt from that moment on. The Mets went on to add, notching a three-game series victory. Most importantly, they’re 2-0 at his six-game home against the Phillies and Nationals, which preceded a 10-game trip to Southern California to face the Dodgers, Angels and Padres. Altogether in June, the Mets will face playoff teams likely 17 times. It appears that the offense is ready for the challenges that lie ahead.
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