Flushing, NY- This has become usual for the Mets because when they score more than five runs they compile another win and Wednesday afternoon at Citi Field they swept their fifth season series over the Cincinantti Reds.
The Mets, with their 10-2 win have scored five or more runs in their last nine games and entering Wednesday that was tied for the longest streak in the majors this year. Basically, the Mets are winning ballgames at a rapid pace, their sixth straight, eight of their last nine, 15 out of 17, and 19 of their last 24.
All of this has also continued to increase their NL East division lead to 8.0 games over the Atlanta Braves, 73-39 and 34 games over .500. So right now all the cylinders are working for a Mets team that awaits a three-game series with the third place Phillies at Citi Field after an off day Thursday.
And the wins compile because of a deep starting rotation that follows a healthy Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer. Mets starters are 6-0 with a 1.40 ERA durig their current winning streak. In the series finale with the Reds, Taijuan Walker tossed 6.0 innings, 5-hits, on two runs, three walks and two strikeouts. He reached the 10-win mark for the second time in his career.
Again, it was Walker on the mound and throwing his splitter that has worked to perfection. And Walker rebounded after seeing a career best six- game winning streak conclude against the Braves, then allowing a season-high eight runs over 1.0 + innings the most he allowed since giving up nine runs as a Mariner in April of 2015.
“Splitter started in the Miami start,” he said. Then. Walker threw 5.2 innings down in Miami in a Mets win on July 31. In 20 starts, Walker has used the splitter over 28 percent of the time and has held opposing hitters to a .187 batting average.
“Started with my splitter,” he said. “It has been my best pitch. Entering Wednesdays start, 40 of Walker’s 80 strikeouts have come via the splitter.
But is nore than the pitching that has the Mets on this run and with the second best record in baseball next to the Dodgers. New York has outscored opponents 40-14 and have not trailed at any point during this current winning streak.
The Mets took four out of five from the Braves during the streak and widened their division lead. Manager Buck Showalter continued to see his team focus and not have a letdown after the hysteria and importance of facing the Braves, including a day night double-header sweep last Saturday at Citi Field.
“There’s a challenge to playing those three games.” Showalter said about the Reds series sweep. “
Anf it has been more than Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, and the usual suspects of Brandon Nimmo in the leadoff position. Or the manager giving outfielder Starling Marte, the Mets consistent hitter a day off.
Newcomer Tyler Naquin, acquired from the Reds at the trade deadline, has seen seven of 11 hits with his new team going for extra bases. He hit a home run to lead off the third inning inning that increased a Mets lead to 5-0.
And the duo of Daniel Vogelbach and Darin Ruf, also trade deadline acquisitions, have propelled production at the DH spot in the lineup, first in baseball since the All-Star break as compared to next to last before.
By far, though, the Mets are getting continued production from shortstop Francisco Lindor, the 2016 Latino Sports AL MVP Award recipient. then with the Cleveland Indians.
Lindor scored three runs and matched a franchise record of scoring a run in 13 consecutive games, tying David Wright for the longest streak in franchise history. His 3-for-4 day included a walk, and two-run single in the second inning that increased his RBI total to 82.
Lindor tied Jose Reyes for the most RBI by a Mets shortstop in a single season. He and Alonso are the only pair of teammates with at least 70 RBI in the majors this season.
It has been an impressive every day and good game for Lindor, quite the contrast from last year, his first as a Met since signing a lucrative 10-year multi-million dollar contract.
“It’s a blessing,”Lindor said. “ Next to Reyes who I grew up watching it’s great. Along the way things like this will happen.”
It happens because, as Lindor said.” Comfortable learning from the guys and coaching staff. Feeding off the energy from the crowd. I came to New York to play baseball, that’s part of my description. Just out their grinding. The boys are grinding. I just want to be out there with them.”
Lindor was referring to playing everyday, though Showalter removed him in the 9th inning, after all they needed him healthy and strong during the stretch run and into the anticipated October postseason.
Yes, all about winning for these New York Mets. They have the nucleus to keep this going as they await the Phillies for the next three.
Rich Mancuso is a senior writer with Latinosports.com Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso. Watch “Sports With Rich” with Rich and Robert Rizzo Tuesday evening live 8pmET on the SLG Network and YouTube
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