Since the beginning of the season, the Mets have waited for their bats to explode and that explosion has occurred as the Mets scored 7+ runs for the fourth time in five games en route to a 7-0 blowout of the Reds to take the series as they head home to start their longest homestand of the season–an 11 game journey that will feature 3 game with the Jays, 5 with the Braves, and 3 with these Reds that will take us right to the trading deadline.
It should not be lost in the offensive explosion that Marcus Stroman delivered an 8 inning gem allowing only 1 hit in 8 innings of work before handing the ball to Jeurys Familia who struck out the side in the ninth inning. Stroman pitched perhaps his best game of the season and this effort reminded me so much of a game earlier in the season in Denver when Stroman threw 8 solid innings after the bullpen was depleted playing a twin bill the day before against the Rockies.
And much like that day Stroman gave Luis Rojas 8 incredible innings to give most of the bullpen a night of rest which combined with a Thursday off day can really help push the reset button in that bullpen. This was also a day the offense continued to flex their muscles getting a grand slam from Dominic Smith plus homers from 2 light swinging bats–Luis Guillorme and Jonathan Villar who crushed his tenth homer of the season.
“It is amazing that all the bats are coming around and as you can see in the past few days we did exactly what we were supposed to do”, said Guillorme after the game. Only 4 teams have averaged more runs per game since the break than the Mets and although that is a small amount of games, The Mets offense has been cooking the way we thought it would all season and with the depth of starting pitchers being razor thin right now that could really help this team continue residing in that spot in first place.
And Dominic Smith, the owner of the grand slam put it best when he said, “As an offense we know it is a long year. and we are going to go through ups and downs so we just want to stay consistent with both our routines and preparation and just try to chip away. And we knew eventually we would break out.”
With the trade deadline approaching, this offense may not need any retooling and they may focus on starting pitching depth which right now is the biggest need for them. “We believe in each other”, said Smith, “and know we can do damage at any time.” And they are certainly doing damage since the break and history has proven this Met team always hit their stride in the second half of the season.
And that will make the Mets turn their attention away from adding bats to focus on starting pitching as the trade deadline approaches. Adding an arm could be the final puzzle for this team. I know they are hoping Carlos Carrasco and Noah Syndergaard return but As I learned a long time ago–You can NEVER have ENOUGH starting pitching.