Mets Win 8th Straight at Home Sweeping the Phils by Rich Coutinho/TheNYExtra.com
The Mets have now won 8 straight home games and that has been keyed by the starting rotation we all talked about in the off-season. In this 3 game series sweep over the Phils, the Met starters tossed 20 innings giving up only 2 earned runs striking out 22 hitters in this high-octane Philly lineup.
On this day it was Max Scherzer who threw 7 innings of 5 hit ball, putting this game in the win column and in his last 4 starts he owns a stingy 1.08 ERA. This rotation is starting to get healthy and are still missing one key piece from this group in Jose Quintana but the quartet of Scherzer, Carrasco, Senga and Verlander are rounding into form. In this 3-game series we did not even see Verlander and the Philly bats were put in a deep freeze.
When Met starters go 6 innings or more, they are 16-0 and that also speaks to the depth of the bullpen which was illustrated on this day getting six outs without the help of David Robertson or Adam Ottavino. . That gave the team the ability to rest that combo as they will play the tough Jays and Braves in the next 7 days. Those two will be badly needed in those games and Buck Showalter who manages a bullpen as well as anyone in the game, knew he had to give that duo a break today.
As for the offense, Mark Canha hit a 2-run homer for the second consecutive day and both Jeff McNeil and Mark Vientos provided RBI at-bats to plate 4 runs for the winning Mets. Last year, I thought a big key in this team’s offense was not being afraid to pass the baton and take a walk when tough pitches were thrown in 2 strike counts. In the past few weeks, I have seen that philosophy return which is a key component that is helping this team beat quality opponents.
That combined with the amazing pitching we have seen has given this team 8 straight home wins over the Rays, Guardians and Phils–all playoff teams from 2022 who have their sights set on returning to the post-season festivities this year. Of course, the Mets want the same and this rotation can do that because of the depth it provides.
I hear so many people debating if the new rules shorten the game and make it a better watch for fans. My thought has always been that quicker games can be summed up in two words–starting pitching. And we saw that these past 3 games as the Mets carved out great performances on the mound which translated into 3 contests that were each played in less than two and a half hours.
It also translated into the Mets climbing to within 3.5 games of the division leading Atlanta Braves while widening their lead over the Phils to 4.5 games. In this coming week, the Mets play the Jays and Braves–2 more high octane offenses that will test these Met pitchers. It will be interesting to see how they will fare against the best arms in baseball.