The New York Mets made a deafening statement this week as they took four out of five games from their archrival Atlanta Braves, while expanding their lead in the division to a commanding six and a half games with a playoff atmosphere in effect alongside the heat and humidity in Flushing.
We learned so many things about this Mets team over these past four days that we should focus in on the outlook about this fantastic performance.
1) The Mets offense looks like that of the 2000’s Yankees, much to the delight of hitting coach Eric Chavez.
There wasn’t a time too long ago when the Oakland A’s were a formidable force in baseball thanks to the Moneyball approach by then-general manager BIlly Beane, and Eric Chavez was their star third baseman, who noted on occasions that the Yankees would never relent offensively, giving his A’s, along with the rest of baseball headaches. Oakland went to the playoffs five times with Chavez, and lost to the Yankees twice in that span.
20 years after the Moneyball concept came to light, Eric Chavez is employed as the Mets hitting coach, and his vision of an offense that could act like those Yankees teams came to fruition, and this series against the Braves was the best example of that. In the five games, they scored 31 runs, batted .302, with 10 doubles, 5 home runs, an .827 OPS, and batted .321 with runners in scoring position.
And like they’ve done all year; they’ve made the opposing starting pitcher work hard. On Friday, the Mets had the struggling Ian Anderson throw 95 pitches in 4.2 innings (he was actually sent to the minors yesterday) On Saturday afternoon, it was Jake Odorizzi that threw 96 pitches in 4.2 innings. And to cap it off on Sunday, the Mets knocked co-ace Spencer Strider out in the third inning while throwing 79 pitches. Incredible plate discipline and the ability to put the ball in play are so often the case in championship teams.
Even in their loss on Friday night, they were down 8-0, but made it 8-5 with their inability to quit, even though the result that night was a loss.
And in the big games, it was the big names that showed up. Pete Alonso went 8-of-19 with 7 RBI’s in the series, while Lindor went 8-of-18 and scored six runs. Lindor drew two critical walks in the opener on Thursday, including one on a 3-2 pitch with two outs in the third, then Alonso and Daniel Vogelbach made Kyle Wright pay with back-to-back home runs that proved to be the difference.
The Mets are such a fun team to watch because they approach at-bats with a team-oriented and championship caliber mindset.