Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | Twitter |
When the Mets opened their series in Philadelphia on May 11, Ron Darling and Gary Cohen spoke on SNY about how if Michael Conforto is hot, the Mets will be hot. In case you don't remember, this was the game where the Mets were losing to the Phillies, 1-0, going into the ninth.
Conforto hit a bomb that just missed and landed foul. He then compensated for this by hitting a two-run home run, putting the Mets in front. He sparked a rally, with Devin Mesoraco knocking it out of the park right after him for his first homer after becoming a Met. The Mets, who were reeling at the time, desperately needed that come-from-behind win.
And Conforto needed that big hit, too, as he had hit a slump towards the end of April and beginning of May, to the point where he was kept out of the lineup twice in order to have mental health days off. That is not the Conforto any of us know, or ever want to see. Shortly before the Phillies series -- upon returning from being benched for two days, Conforto led off a Monday game against the Reds, going 2-for-5 with a solo home run, helping his team finally win a game. Not a bad way to break a slump, right?
Since then, Conforto has continued to heat up. Over his last 10 games, he is hitting .333/.366/.590 with 13 hits -- including three home runs -- and seven RBI. To put things into perspective, from April 13 - May 6, Conforto was just 8-for-58, hitting .138. He's improved in a drastic, much-needed way.
And the Mets have started to heat up as well. Coincidence? I think not. Conforto is a crucial part of this team, even at such a young age. Yes, it can be a lot of pressure, but how he's responded is very promising.
In an outfield that is already down Yoenis Cespedes and Juan Lagares, Conforto stepping up and leading this team to wins could not have come at a better time. Prior to last weekend's series, the Mets had lost 10 of 13 games, with the season having taken a dark turn. But Conforto helped turn things around.
One week after the above-mentioned Friday night game against the Phillies, Conforto had a four-hit game against the Diamondbacks. He was responsible for two of the Mets' three runs. In that game alone, Conforto boosted his batting average from .200 to .231.
Saturday night was another great performance by Conforto, as he hit his first home run against a lefty since August 5, 2017. In three at-bats, he had a run, a hit, a walk, and two RBI. Then in Monday night's game, he went 2-for-4.
Of the last ten games, the Mets have won six of them. Is it safe to say that when Conforto is hot, the team is too? That hitting is contagious, and that Conforto is a good person to start that trend? He has that huge contributing factor, one that can be contagious as seen by Mestaroco hitting a home run immediately after him in the Friday night game of the Phillies series, and then following suit again in Saturday night's game against the Diamondbacks (this time not back-to-back).
It was easy to tell that Conforto was bothered by his slump. That's not the player he is, or the player we all know he can be. He took it seriously, did not speak out against getting a couple of mental health days off, and has now begun heating up.
Conforto is one of those players who is exciting to watch. It's exhilarating to go on this journey with him, and it's just plain 'ole fun to watch him help lead this team to wins.