I always get a good laugh when baseball experts say Gerrit Cole is better than Jacob deGrom. It is almost as if those people never saw Jacob deGrom pitch. Nothing against Cole who is a solid pitcher but deGrom is in a class all by himself. He has great stuff but more than that is a student of the game that fully understands that talent with proper prep skills will always result in success.
He knew he was facing a Phillies team the Mets are trying to catch in the NL East and surrendered only 1 run in 7 innings striking out 12 batters in the process. His fastball was electric touching double digits on the radar gun and his change up pitches frustrated every batter in that Philly batting order.
The win moved the Mets closer to the Marlins and the Phils in the NL East and they climbed to within one game of a wild card playoff spot. If you remember I wrote on this site 2 days ago that both last night and today were MUST WINS for the Mets and they approached each contest in that manner.
While deGrom kept the Phils at bay, the Met offense plated 14 runs in this one getting 2 home runs from Pete Alonso whose bat is heating up and Wilson Ramos and Brandon Nimmo chipped in with homers of their own.
But the real offensive star of this day was Dominic Smith who stroked 3 doubles and drove in 3 runs during his 4 hit day. And those doubles gave him 15 two baggers –tops in the National League having played in only 34 of the team’s 41 games.
Smith & Michael Conforto are both stroking the ball to all fields and that makes them very tough outs for the opposition. Smith said, “I could care less about individual numbers because it is only about winning and getting to the playoffs because if we do we could do serious damage,”
And Smith is point on because this lineup is a very tough one to navigate through right now combining the power of hitters like Alonso with the extra base hitting of Conforto and Smith. And with Jeff McNeil and JD Davis beginning to get their stroke coupled with the clutch hitting of Andres Gimenez and Brandon Nimmo you can tell things are starting to fall into place with this team.
In fact you could argue right now this lineup is the deepest in the division and coupled with an ace like Jacob deGrom and the shot in the arm Seth Lugo has given the rotation Smith has a valid point–make the playoffs and the Mets could do some serious damage.
But to get to the post-season more work needs to be done as the Mets play the Phils 4 more times in the 10 days. The opportunity is there but the winning must continue. And deGrom, Lugo, Alonso, Conforto and Smith comprise a quintet of players that could clearly get it done. I have a real hunch Met fans are really going to enjoy the months of September and October.
Please listen to Zoom audio of post game interviews today!