Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Vintage Verlander Leads Mets To Cruise Past ChiSox

Justin Verlander firing one in to Jake Burger in the fourth inning. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Mets got another vintage performance from Justin Verlander,as they cruised to a 5-1 win over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night at Citi Field. 

Verlander went eight innings, and allowed just one run on three hits and a walk, with seven strikeouts. He is now 4-5 on the season, and he lowered his ERA (earned run average) to 3.47. He threw exactly 100 pitches, 76 of which were strikes, an incredible ratio.

The Mets' offense had another solid night, which got on the board first when Brett Baty homered for the second straight night, a solo home run to center field in the third inning. This was the seventh homer of the season for the Mets' rookie third baseman, and he now has 23 RBI.

That was just the start of the Mets' taking it to White Sox starter Touki Toussaint. In the fourth, Pete Alonso opened it with a walk, followed by Jeff McNeil reaching on a hit-by-pitch.

Francisco Alvarez then got an RBI single to bring in Alonso to make it 2-0 Mets. That was the Mets' rookie catcher's 40th RBI of the season.

Daniel Vogelbach then drew a walk to load the bases, and Baty then grounded into a force out that brought in McNeil. Luis Guillorme, playing second base in this one with McNeil in right field, then hit a sacrifice fly to score Alvarez.

Brandon Nimmo then crushed an RBI double to bring in Baty and open up a 5-0 lead for the Mets.

Chicago got on the board in the seventh when Luis Robert, Jr., crushed a solo shot to left field for his 28th homer of the season. 

The White Sox would get two more runners on in that inning before Verlander struck out Carlos Perez to end the threat. 

Verlander ended his night by retiring Chicago in order in the eighth, and Adam Ottavino threw a 1-2-3 ninth to finish off the Mets' third straight win.

The Mets, who are now 45-50, will look to sweep Chicago on Thursday afternoon, as Jose Quintana will take the mound in his long-awaited Mets debut.

MARTE’S MIGRAINES: Starling Marte has been suffering from migraines, which have now kept him out of three of the Mets' last four games, going back to when he was out of Saturday's lineup, and after he played Sunday, he was pulled initially in Tuesday’s starting lineup before a late scratch.

On Wednesday afternoon, in his pregame press conference, Mets Manager Buck Showalter said of what Marte has been going through, “He’s had them before, but not this close; that’s why we’re going to do some tests and do some things to rule out some things. I think about a lot of stuff, you know, remember - I know it’s fashionable, I’m sure, for people to critique him, it’s part of the gig, but this guy had double hernia surgery, he had a borderline concussion at third base (on a stolen base attempt on April 9), he’s had a lot of things physically. When you steal the bases he does, the way he does, so we just want to make sure he’s okay because sometimes these things are, from what I understand, could be triggered by something else. I mean, he’s eating the same stuff, he’s working and sleeping the same. 

“I know his wife’s due on the 29th, they moved it up, not going to get into some of their personal stuff, I was talking to him yesterday that they had moved it up, so he has paternity coming up. 

“He can talk without squinting, I mean, not like he’s sensitive to light or the noise at this point, a lot better, can just tell he’s weak, been vomiting, can’t hold anything down.” 

Showalter then confirmed the one he suffered from Saturday and Tuesday are “separate; he came out in the eighth inning (on Tuesday), not to play, to see and be seen, but I think what they’re trying to do is figure out what triggers them.”

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