Three weeks from Monday the Mets will either be preparing for a National League playoff series or cleaning out lockers to begin their offseason.
Whether they reach October will hinge largely upon starting pitching, with the bullpen also hardly immune from worry. The lineup is by far the least of the Mets’ concerns.
A fruitful offensive stretch continued Sunday with a 17-hit beatdown that gave the Mets their fourth victory in five games, 14-1 over the Phillies at Citi Field.
Dominic Smith and Pete Alonso were the hitting stars. Smith’s contribution was a 4-for-5 performance with three RBIs and Alonso blasted two homers. Jeff McNeil, Brandon Nimmo and Wilson Ramos also homered, ensuring the Mets wouldn’t waste another terrific Jacob deGrom start.
The Mets began play two games behind the Rockies in the loss column for the NL’s second wild-card spot. The Mets also moved within 2 ¹/₂ games of the Phillies for second place in the NL East, which carries an automatic postseason berth in this year’s expanded format.
DeGrom (3-1) allowed one run on three hits with 12 strikeouts and two walks over seven innings and lowered his ERA to 1.69. The Cubs’ Yu Darvish might be his biggest threat to him trying to win the Cy Young Award for a third straight year. Darvish began Sunday as the NL leader with a 1.44 ERA. But deGrom’s 70 strikeouts lead the league. Darvish is third with 63.
DeGrom allowed a solo homer to Andrew Knapp in the second before settling in and holding the Phillies to one hit for the remainder of his outing.
The Mets turned the game into a runaway with seven runs in the seventh when Alonso homered for the second time and Ramos cleared the right-field fence.
Andres Gimenez stroked a two-run single in the fourth that extended the Mets’ lead to 4-1. It continued a surge for the rookie, who for now at least has displaced Amed Rosario as the primary shortstop. Gimenez is 5-for-11 in this series after he delivered his first major league homer last week.
Both the runs in the inning were unearned against Aaron Nola after the Phillies botched a rundown between second and third on Robinson Cano’s grounder. Alec Bohm was charged with the error, giving the Mets runners on second and third with nobody out after Smith had opened the inning with a double. Gimenez’s single came with two outs.
Alonso’s first homer of the game, a shot off the façade of the second deck in left, gave the Mets a 2-1 lead. Alonso also went deep in the eighth, giving him four homers in his past four games. He leads the Mets with 10 homers.
Smith’s RBI double in the first accounted for the Mets’ first run, after Conforto doubled. Nimmo had led off with a single, but was thrown out attempting to steal second.