New York Mets fans might be at a loss of words in trying to describe the Amazin's over the past 6 weeks. Going into the Cubs series this weekend, the team was 11-15 so far in June. They went 2 and 4 against the Braves, the worst team in the National League, including getting swept at home. They were just swept in Washington to fall 6 games back of the Nationals. Not exactly how you would want to head into a weekend series against the best team in the league, the Cubs.
With the Chicago Cubs sending John Lackey, Jason Hammel, Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester, it would stand to reason that the Cubs would take at least 3 out of 4. But what happened was a pure repeat of the NLCS, with the Mets leaving the series having won 8 in a row against Chicago. The offense came back from the dead, especially on Sunday where they tied a team record with 22 hits in a home game. The long ball also returned, as the team hit a combined 11 in the series.
Last week, I had a hard time finding 3 stars, as it was hard to find 3 players who excelled, this weekend it’s again hard as there are so many candidates, it’s hard to pick just 3. With that in mind, here are the three stars:
Neil Walker: 5 for 17, Home Run, 3 Runs, 4 RBIs
Walker, along with Yoenis Cespedes, together combined to go 11 for 33, 3 Home Runs, 7 Runs, and 8 RBIs to provide a good chunk of the team offense this weekend. The production can be attributed to the fact that whomever was hitting at the top of the lineup was getting on base, providing Walker with the opportunities to produce.
Brandon Nimmo: 5 for 13, Home Run, 4 Runs, 4 RBIs
Nimmo scored the game-winning run to cap a 3-run comeback in the series opener. He hit his first Major League Home Run on Friday, and is showing that he belongs in the lineup on a regular basis at this point.
Wilmer Flores: 6 for 17, 2 Home Runs, 4 Runs, 4 RBIs
Flores came into Sunday’s game 0 for 11 in the series, but his career day earns him the top star for the weekend. Flores became the second Met to go 6 for 6 in a single game (Edgardo Alfonzo). With Jose Reyes set to make his return to the team in the near future as a Third Baseman, Flores certainly made his case to remain in the lineup.
The Mets now stand 5 games behind the Nationals. After 81 games this year, they are 44-37. Last year, they were just 41-41. Hopefully this series will be viewed as the ‘turning point’ for this season.