Going into their series against the Texas Rangers, the New York Mets‘ offense had been atrocious. But after averaging a little over five runs per game this series, the Mets’ offense may have finally found their way.
Less than 24 hours after Bartolo Colon got lit up for four first-inning runs by the Rangers, the Mets put up an unfathomable five runs against Nick Tepesch and those same Rangers. This was the most runs the Mets have scored in the first inning of any game so far in 2014. The main highlights of the first inning were Anthony Recker‘s three-run home run and Curtis Granderson scoring on a Lucas Duda opposite field hit after drawing a leadoff walk. The five first-inning runs were enough to carry the Mets to an 8-4 victory in the rubber match of their series against the Rangers. It may have only been a three-game series, but it appears as if the Mets’ offense is finally clicking a little over halfway through the season.
In 2014, the Mets have been known for having one of the best pitching staffs in the majors offset by a very poor offense. On Friday night, starter Jonathon Niese lasted only 0.1 innings after getting hit with a come-backer. The offense managed to put up six runs as the bullpen was able to keep the team alive, giving up four runs. On Saturday night, Colon got knocked around, but the Mets managed to put up three runs to make it interesting. On Sunday afternoon, the Mets finally managed to have a game in which the pitching and the offense complemented one another.
The most promising thing for the offense was Granderson drawing two walks and scoring both times on base in the game. Signing Granderson to a four-year, $60 million deal was the biggest move the Mets made in the offseason. For much of the season, though, the 33-year-old outfielder who hit 43 home runs for the New York Yankees two seasons ago appeared destined to be a Jason Bay-esque bust for the Mets. But Granderson appears capable of turning things around in the leadoff spot, and he is now tied with Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins for fifth in the majors and second in the National League in walks with 52.
Lost in this eight-run offensive coming out party for the Mets’ offense was Zack Wheeler‘s successful outing following back-to-back less than ideal starts. Wheeler gave up one earned run and walked only two en route to his first victory at Citi Field since Aug. 20 of last year against the Atlanta Braves. This was Wheeler’s 11th quality start of the season.
After the news of Jonathon Niese going to the DL came out this afternoon, the Mets needed today’s feel-good victory.