Despite just going 4-3 since last Tuesday, things are starting to look up for the New York Mets, both offensively and from a pitching perspective.
Curtis Granderson, Lucas Duda, and Neil Walker all have come alive in the last week of May, giving the offense a jolt as Michael Conforto has cooled down a bit. Granderson went 7-24 in the past week, amassing 4 RBI’s and 3 extra-base hits. Perhaps the prospect of becoming a fourth outfielder has ignited the former all-star. However, Lucas Duda’s recent performance will force New York to sit Granderson when Yoenis Cespedes returns. Duda has gone 11-27 with 3 home runs and 9 RBI’s. He has been mashing at the plate, hitting 60% of his batted balls were categorized as “hard contact” by FanGraphs. His soft contact percentage was only 5%, explaining his red hot week. Walker has also come alive, going 10 for his last 27 with 2 homers. The recent offensive outburst from the Mets should scare opposing pitching staffs, especially once Yoenis Cespedes returns.
The pitching staff has also shown significant signs of improvement. In his two starts last week, Matt Harvey finally resembled the Dark Knight of old, even if he wasn’t nearly as dominant as he has been in the past. Harvey posted a 2.45 ERA in 11 innings en route to picking up his third and fourth wins of the 2017 season. If Harvey can come close to his 2015 form, the Mets pitching staff will have another reliable arm that can take pressure off of the bullpen. Jacob DeGrom had the best performance of the week, lasting 8 and 1/3 innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night at PNC Park. The former Rookie of the Year struck out ten while allowing just one run in the 8-1 victory. Perhaps the most important week came from Robert Gsellman. After being moved to the bullpen following his struggles in the rotation, Gsellman made two quality starts in the past week. While his start against the Padres was impressive, Gsellman’s seven inning gem against the first place Milwaukee Brewers on Memorial Day provides hope that the 23 year-old has a future as a starter. Gsellman allowed just one earned run and three hits in a big win to end the month of May. Gsellman may be in line to move back to the bullpen as Seth Lugo and Steven Matz are set to return next week, but the righthander is giving Terry Collins reason to think twice about the potential move.
As they prepare to enter June, the Mets sit five games under .500, but the upcoming schedule provides an opportunity to improve their record. They have three more games against the Brewers, who lead the National League Central but are not viewed as serious contenders by many baseball pundits. Then, they will face the Pittsburgh Pirates for the second straight weekend, this time at Citi Field. With the offense clicking and the pitching staff getting on a roll, the Mets are positioned to gain ground in the National League Wild Card race.