|Pete Alonso celebrating one of his home runs on Saturday with Mark Canha. @Mets.|
The Mets, after a mixed road trip in which they dropped a pair of games in Houston to the Astros before taking two of three from the Miami Marlins over the weekend, return home on Tuesday night for the start of a five-game homestand with a pair of interleague matchups.
First up is the Astros for a pair of games Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon, followed by a three-game set with the Texas Rangers Friday July 1 through Sunday the third.
ASTROS IN A NEW YORK GROOVE: The Astros are in the midst of a nine-game stretch against the New York teams, which began with their wins against the Mets, 8-2 last Tuesday night and 5-3 on Wednesday. They then came into Yankee Stadium on Thursday and split the four-game series, which featured Yankee comeback wins on Thursday and Sunday, and Houston winning the middle two games, with Justin Verlander throwing a gem on Friday night and three pitchers combining to no-hit the Yankees on Saturday. After the pair with the Mets at Citi Field, they host the Yankees for one game on Thursday night, a makeup from their three-game set that would have opened the season, but was lost to the lockout. The other two games against the Yankees in Houston will take place in a doubleheader on Thursday, July 21.
MIAMI WEEKEND: The Mets went to Miami on Friday, and they opened the series with a 5-3 win, which featured a very unlikely play of the game, from Manager Buck Showalter.
It happened in the sixth inning after Tomas Nido opened the inning with a single and moved to second base when Nimmo got one of his own. Starling Marte was up next, and he grounded one to second baseman Willians Astudillo (who just moved to second from third after Jazz Chisholm, Jr., left the game), who appeared to tag out Nimmo and then fire to first to retire Marte for a double play. After he realized he tagged Nimmo with his glove, he got the ball from first baseman Jesus Aguilar, and tagged Nimmo out.
Showalter challenged both outs and he won both of them. Marte was ruled safe at first, as he beat the throw, and Nimmo was awarded second base because, if he had not been erroneously ruled out, he could have kept going to second.
Francisco Lindor followed with a three-run double to open up a 5-2 lead for the Mets. He also homered in the first inning, so he drove in four of the Mets' five runs on the night. Mark Canha brought in their other run, as he hit a solo shot, his sixth of the season, in the fifth inning.
Taijuan Walker got the win, his second in a row against Miami (he beat them at Citi Field on June 18), to improve to 6-2 on the season, as he went six innings, allowing three runs (all earned) on eight hits and two walks, with five strikeouts.
On Saturday, the Mets won by a 5-3 margin for the second straight day, as they were led by two home runs from Pete Alonso, giving him 22 homers on the season. Both were solo shots, and his one in the eighth gave them a 4-3 lead. Brandon Nimmo gave them some insurance with an RBI double in the ninth.
Chris Bassitt turned in his second great outing against Miami, but this time he got the win to improve to 6-5 on the season. He went seven inning, allowing three runs (all earned) on six hits and no walks, with five strikeouts.
The Mets lost the series finale on Sunday, 3-2, as Nick Fortes got a walk-off solo home run in the ninth off Mets reliever Adam Ottavino.
The Mets had taken an early 2-1 lead in the third, as Brandon Nimmo got a solo homer, his fifth of the year, and Alonso got an RBI double, giving him 69 RBI on the season. He is five RBI away from matching David Wright's team record of 74 RBI before the All-Star break, set in 2006.
Dsvid Peterson got the start for the Mets in this one, and turned in a better outing against Miami his second go-round against them. On Monday, June 20, he trudged through 5 1/3 innings, in which he didn't allow a run, but gave up six hits and two walks, along with sevne strikeouts. On Sunday, he went seven innings, allowing two runs (both earned) on four hits and no walks, with eight strikeouts.
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST RACE: The Mets gained ground over the weekend on the recently red-hot Atlanta Braves, who dropped two of three to the Los Angeles Dodgers, in the National League East race. The Mets (47-27) now have a five-game lead over Atlanta (42-32). Philadelphia is in third, at 8 1/2 back, and suffered a major setback when Bryce Harper broke his thumb and is out indefinitely.