Mets Take Series on Stro's Gem, Dom's Bomb
Mets win matinee in Cincy, head home with some steam
Oh, the Metsies needed this one. In more ways than one.
After having their bullpen taxed to its limit over the last two days (13.1 innings), Marcus Stroman delivered precisely what his team needed in their matinee rubber matchup with the Reds at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati on Wednesday.
The 30-year-old wouldn’t get the chance to notch the Mets’ second complete game of the season (Jacob deGrom, April 23 vs. WSH), but Stroman would gladly settle for eight shutout innings, striking out seven with just a walk and a hit to his demerit.
Masterpiece level stuff that’s even more comforting considering he’d allowed 10 earned runs over his last 18 innings pitched. Turn that page and keep it moving.
Jonathan Villar got the offense started with a solo homer in the top of the second and Dominic Smith reinforced that early lead with an opposite-field grand slam in the third, putting the Mets ahead 5-0.
Another series win for the Mets — 13 out of 24 with four splits since May 1 — with their lead in the NL East at its slimmest since the beginning of the month (up 2.5 heading into the day, two games up on July 1) was also a welcome development.
A few balls fall differently and this very well could have been a sweep, but this team will take what they can get considering the circumstances surrounding this wacky season.
Robert Stock (Tuesday’s brief starter) was placed on the 10-day injured with a right hamstring strain — the Mets’ 32nd player to hit the IL this year; wild — cutting down yet another emergency starter that the Mets have been forced to enroll in recent weeks.
That never-ending story combined with a rare off-day on Thursday makes Stroman’s gem that much more important.
Jeurys Familia closed things out flawlessly, giving the bulk of the Mets bullpen a full two days to rest up for a big home weekend series with the AL East-contending Blue Jays.
The Mets have now scored 5.59 runs per game in July and are beginning to resemble an actual, operational major league offense. And it couldn’t have come at a better time. Things were getting awfully dicey on that side of the chalk for a while.
Mets manager Luis Rojas has spoken at length about his team “connecting at-bats”. We’re beginning to see that process take place more often as of late. Like a breath of fresh air.
We’ll be back in the morning with some additional analysis from Cincinnati and a new episode of Simply Amazin’ drops on Friday morning. LFGM.
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