Asdrubal Cabrera's pinch-hit homer snapped a 1-1 tie and Amed Rosario homered twice to back Noah Syndergaard as the Mets completed a three-game sweep of the Diamondbacks, 4-1, on Sunday afternoon at Citi Field.
Things you should know about today's game...
1) Having been limited to one hit through five innings by Clay Buchholz, Rosario went deep for the first time in 200 at-bats dating back to last season to tie the game. D-backs reliever Jorge De La Rosa retired the first two batters of the seventh, but Tomas Nido singled and Cabrera followed with his third career pinch-hit homer. Rosario went deep on the next pitch to increase the Mets' lead to 4-1.
2) Syndergaard (4-1) scattered six hits and allowed one run over seven innings to win his second straight start following a six-start winless streak. He walked one, struck out seven and benefited from his defense in the fifth when Jay Bruce threw out Jeff Mathis at the plate, which kept Arizona's lead at a one run.
3) The Mets were limited to a Wilmer Flores double in the first and Nido's walk in the third against Buccholz before Rosario led off the sixth with a homer. The veteran right-hander was making his first Major League start since April 11, 2017 when he was with the Phillies.
4) Jerry Blevins got an out in the eighth and Robert Gsellman retired the last five batters of the game while striking out the side in the ninth for his first Major League save.
Michael Avallone, SNY.tv | Twitter |
The Mets' offensive struggles made it harder than it should have been, but they came up clutch when it mattered for the second straight game. It all kicked off with one of the unlikeliest of sources in Amed Rosario, who had gone hitless in 12 at-bats following a three-hit night on Tuesday. It's been a struggle for the 22-year-old, who was predicted by many -- and not just the Mets -- to be strong, two-way player once he gained his footing in the bigs. Poor plate awareness plus some bad luck sprinkled in with a lineup that has been dead for a majority of the season has put a microscope on the struggles Rosario is going through.
It certainly doesn't help that he's being compared with other young prospects in the N.L. East who have come up and performed exceptionally. Truth be told, Rosario has looked better at the plate over the last two weeks and the numbers bear that out (.302 with five extra-base hits and six RBIs in 13 games), but New York needs some consistent traction from their shortstop, particuarly with Todd Frazier and Yoenis Cespedes out. Is that fair? Probably not, but it's needed.
On the mound, Noah Syndergaard looked more like the ace we're used to seeing, although he's still not quite there yet. Aided by a four-pitch fifth, which also included Jay Bruce nailing a runner at the plate, Thor was able to complete seven innings for the second time in 2018. It's a testament to how good people expect a pitcher to be that a guy with a 2.91 ERA who is averaging more than 10 strikeouts per nine can be labeled "off," but it's not an unfair criticism. The biggest wart so far on Syndergaard's season has been inefficiency, which has kept the right-hander from pitching deep into starts. Granted, this isn't the baseball of 40 years ago where pitchers were still tossing shutouts, but the Mets need more of what he gave them today and what Jacob deGrom did on Friday night if the Mets hope to compete.
It's the bare minimum of what the unofficial definition of a winning streak is, but the Mets have accomplished their first official streak in five weeks. With the Marlins coming to Citi Field for three games, they have an opportunity to start re-writing the script they've penned since mid-April.
Highlights from today's game...
News and notes...
The Mets completed their first three-game sweep at home since Sept. 16-18, 2016 against the Twins. It was their fourth sweep of the season and helped them improve to 4-1 on the homestand and .500 (11-11) at home.
New York entered the series 2-11 in its last 13 games against Arizona. It was the Mets' first sweep of the D-backs since July 10-12, 2015.
The Mets' 14 come-from-behind wins are the third-most in the Majors behind the Phillies (17) and the Red Sox (15).
Syndergaard has allowed three runs or fewer in each of his last nine starts dating back to Opening Day. He has a 2.53 ERA over his last seven starts and completed seven innings for the second time in 10 outings this season.
Rosario became the fourth Met to homer twice in the same game this season, joining Adrian Gonzalez, Todd Frazier and Cabrera. He had not gone deep since Aug. 27, 2017.
Cabrera and Rosario became the second Mets players to hit back-to-back home runs in 2018. Michael Conforto and Devin Mesoraco achieved the feat on May 11 against the Phillies. New York hit consecutive home runs seven times last season.
Flores (1-for-4, 2B) is 5-for-15 (.333) with four doubles in his last four games.
New York's bullpen struck out 14 over nine scoreless innings in the series.
The Mets (23-19) go for a fourth consecutive win when they open a three-game series against the Marlins (17-29) on Monday night at Citi Field at 7 p.m. on SNY.
Jason Vargas (0-3, 13.86 ERA, 9 Ks, 2.68 WHIP) makes his first start in 13 days after being skipped in New York's rotation following his third consecutive awful start. Since returning from the disabled list, the 35-year-old has allowed 34 baserunners, 19 runs and five homers in 12 1/3 innings across three starts. Vargas surrendered four runs over six innings in his only career start against Miami on June 25, 2011 while pitching for Seattle.
Elieser Hernandez (0-0, 2.25 ERA, 3 Ks, 1.25 WHIP) opens the series for the Marlins coming off the first start of his Major League career. The right-hander held the Dodgers to one run and three hits over five innings Wednesday after starting his big league career with two relief outings. Hernandez has never faced the Mets.