WASHINGTON — In years past, the Mets would need perfection from their pitcher to beat their opponent. This season’s lineup, however, offers minimal breathing space for starters. That way, Mets pitchers can allow some mistakes and know that their offense will still keep the team in play.
That’s what Max Schazer experienced Friday night, as he propelled himself to make his Mets debut despite being in pain from a hamstring tightness. Scherzer, in his 15th season as a big-league starter and a virtual lock for the Hall of Fame, knew how to pitch around his injury and still deliver results. The results weren’t perfect – he conceded three runs for three hits in six innings – but it was okay. The Mets offense lifted him.
“The rest of the team had twice the big hits,” Scherzer said on Friday. “When you get a little breathing room, you get some run support, it allows you to be aggressive and attack hitters.”
The Mets’ new offense is exactly what the doctor ordered. The lineup is deep. Hitters are gritty. The first two games of the year displayed smart hitting and aggressive baserunning, hitting bunt singles (looking at you, Robinson Canoe) and two-out, two-run singles (which is an immediate effect of Starling Marte) against Shift. displayed with the third. -Base coach Joy Cora boldly waving the runners home.
Yep, it’s still early in the season. But last year, the Mets fired hitting coach Chili Davis early on May 6, so it’s not like these opening games didn’t matter. Mets’ hot start Not to be overlooked, even though for the simple fact we didn’t see this type of aggressive production last year. The 2022 Mets are refreshing to watch.
On Saturday, Amazon led the majors in hits (25) and on-base percentage (.453). In their third game of the season, the Mets have the opportunity to do something they did only twice last season: a record 10 or more hits in three straight games. In last year’s extremely disappointing season, the Mets scored .204, with two outs and runners in the scoring position, ranking 28th in the league. In these first two games, we have already seen the hitters bat selflessly and capitalize with the runners at base.
“We don’t really have anyone trying to hit a ball 500 feet,” JD Davis. said. “Like Pete (Alonso), he’ll let go around. But we do a great job at trying to work on base hits and at-bats. We’re getting guys on base right now. Putting constant pressure on the pitcher , which made him throw more pitches. It looks like we have a man on the basis of almost every single innings. Leaving him until he breaks is the kind of goal that we have.”
New Mets hitting coach Eric Chavez emphasizes a mix of both traditional, situational hitting and analytical approaches at the plate. He doesn’t want the hitters to be caught in a web of data and information until they dig into the box. At least initially, it has put up a formidable offensive as the Mets are buying into the hitter approach.
Last year, a combination of events negatively affected the Mets at the plate. He went through a hitting coach transition from Davis to Hugh Quattelbaum in May. Then the onslaught of injuries on the starting players caused the remaining healthy hitters to put too much pressure on themselves.
“Last year we were in a funk where we weren’t satisfied or we weren’t ready for the sack fly,” Davis said. “We didn’t want just one run. We needed a couple of runs. There is a runner on third, with an out or no out, we are trying to hit a double or hit a home run.
“A lot of people were so hurt that we were trying to keep the team on our shoulders. We had two to three people (injured), so people were trying to carry the load or be it the guy who gets hit big. But now, with everyone healthy and collectively together, it has become easier to depend on each other instead of relying on one, two or three people in the lineup.”
The gnashing of at-bats is contagious. The team-first approach that manager Buck Showalter has implemented is leading to successful results. The key to these Mets will inevitably be to maintain it even when you’re hurt. For now, Mets hitters are simply enjoying playing baseball, keeping their heads down, and controlling who can control, rather than just focusing on beating the other team. If they do everything right, when they look up, the score will reflect their grind.
“It’s what everyone is trying to do in baseball,” Showalter said of his lineup. “You’re trying to pass the baton. You’re trying to grind them on every bat. Sometimes you don’t score a run, but you can win the innings. It sets up the rest of the game.”