Image credit: Roberto Carlo
The Mets knocked off the Yankees in their first of three at Citi Field this weekend, beating The Bronx 10-3 on Friday in Flushing. Nice start to what’s going to be a string of live-or-die games from now until that story is told.
Tylor Megill put forth an outstanding effort, allowing two earned runs over seven innings of work, striking out 10, and walking two on 98 pitches.
“[I was able to] command the zone from bottom to the top with all three of my pitches,” Megill said after the game. “I was making them feel uncomfortable. It felt good.”
Unabashedly challenging hitters (as he’s shown a flair for since making his debut), Megill picked up 19 called strikes on his four-seamer with a 45% called strike-and-whiff rate (CSW%) on 66 offerings.
The 26-year-old’s changeup took a backseat to his slider, but both pitches left the Yanks absolutely baffled, racking up whiff rates of 60 and 50 percent, respectively.
With 77.2 major league innings pitched season plus the 40.1 he logged between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Syracuse before making his MLB debut on June 23, the Long Beach, CA product has blown past his professional innings total over 2018 and 2019 combined (99.2 innings).
Megill doesn’t appear to be phased in the least.
“It all comes down to your preparation in between starts. You know, doing the things needed to make your body feel right,” adding that strategic brainstorming sessions with the rest of the Mets’ pitching staff has been helpful, but still prioritizing physical preparedness. “It’s all about taking care of your body, at the end of the day. Making sure you’re healthy.”
Since arriving in the majors (15 starts, 4.06 ERA, 88 K, 20 BB, 1.20 WHIP), Megill’s seen both ends of the spectrum of success. There have been stretches of confident dominance and times that he looks very much like the rookie he still is. Though, the good times have substantially outweighed the bad.
Since June 23, Megill’s 10.20 strikeouts and 2.32 walks per nine innings rank 14th and 23rd in the majors among qualified starters over that span. His 27.7 CSW% ranks 27th among the same group. Encouraging, no doubt.
Image credit: Chris Simon
Javier Báez continued his torrid stretch on Friday, going 3-for-4 at the plate with a double and two runs driven in, giving him a boisterous .343/.397/.672 line over his last 18 games (five homers, seven doubles, 187 wRC+, 73 PA).
Better yet, the Mets as a team found a rhythm that’s mostly eluded them as of late, going 3-for-10 with runners in scoring position, stranding just six out of 16 baserunners on the night.
“I think we’re just being simple. We have one approach as a team and we just went by it, pitch-by-pitch,” Báez said to reporters after the win. “Here, we’ve got a lot of good hitters and pitching, so when we get that together, it’s sort of fun.”
There hasn’t been an overabundance of fun around this team in recent weeks, but Friday night’s romp over their crosstown “rivals” was certainly an enjoyable experience. We take what we can get.
With their deficit in the NL East still at five games following Atlanta’s win over Miami and just 20 games remaining on the schedule heading into Saturday, the Mets will need nothing short of a miracle to extend their season past the first weekend in October.
“The whole year, we’ve been through some struggles,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said at the end of the night. “Whether it’s guys getting hurt, losing some games, and getting back up; everything that’s gotten in our way, the guys have the right attitude towards it.”
Let’s hope that’s enough to make these last few weeks exciting.
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