The Mets win and a big part was because of what Francisco Alvarez did behind the plate

Francisco Alvarez's return shouldn't be overlooked.
Jun 11, 2024; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets catcher Francisco Alvarez (4) walks back to the dugout after the top of the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 11, 2024; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets catcher Francisco Alvarez (4) walks back to the dugout after the top of the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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Tomas Nido filled in admirably for about a month as the New York Mets catcher. Luis Torrens outplayed him. For the more than a month the Mets were without Francisco Alvarez, we figured the biggest absence was at the plate. Alvarez went hitless in Friday’s 2-1 win. Somehow, a game ball might’ve landed in his pocket.

Edwin Diaz made his second appearance in as many nights and once again he was back to his old ways. Yeah, the stud closer deserves a lot of the credit. So does the budding youngster behind the plate who instilled some confidence in his teammate.

Francisco Alvarez continues to contribute beyond the box score

In an early “conversation” if you will, one we were privy to, Alvarez communicated his desire to Sean Manaea publicly with an aggressive hand gesture to throw the ball up in the zone. Go figure. It worked.

Alvarez is only 1 for 10 since coming off the IL. An injury sustained all the way back on April 19 has limited him to only 20 games this season. The Mets were a much different team when Alvarez last played both in feel and personnel. 

While the sample size remains small, something about the 2.23 ERA for pitchers with him behind the plate stands out. It was shortly after the Mets lost Alvarez when the bullpen began to falter. Diaz, in particular. Their ERAs were a combined 4.31 with Narvaez behind the plate. We can’t blame Narvaez too much, though. With Nido it was at 5.16.

The Alvarez impact goes well beyond the box score, though. By knowing the right things to say to Diaz, we got a reminder of how developed he already is as a defensive player. He has regularly done these little things well. There might not be a catcher out there who manages the pitch clock better.

Most amazingly, Alvarez and Diaz are still getting to know each other. Diaz has now pitched only 9 innings with Alvarez behind the plate. The result is a 1.00 ERA and a slash line of .100/.152/.200 in 33 plate appearances.

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