Pitching AND Offense? -May 24, 2018-

Picture: SNY

The Mets offense has been essentially nonexistent lately.

Brandon Nimmo wasn’t having it Thursday night.

As the very first batter of the game, Brandon Nimmo doubled down the right field line. His teammates were unable to bring him home. He would score the first run of the game in the 3rd.

Nimmo hit a ball down the right field line again, but this time he reached third base as Christian Yelich had a little difficulty fielding the ball. A Wilmer Flores sacrifice fly put the Mets ahead 1-0.

The Mets went back to work in the 5th inning, and Brandon Nimmo was right in the middle of things again. After Amed Rosario led off the inning with a single, Brandon Nimmo hit his second double of the game. Asdrubal Cabrera followed with a double of his own, scoring Rosario and Nimmo, and the Mets had a 3-0 lead. A Wilmer Flores single drove home Cabrera and gave the Mets a 4-0 advantage.

That was all for Milwaukee’s starter, Zack Davies, who was making his first start since landing on the DL. Steven Matz gave New York a much better outing.

The Brewers did put Matz on the ropes in the third inning. Lorenzo Cain led off with a single, and then Christian Yelich walked. After Ryan Braun hit into a fielder’s choice, Jesus Aguilar walked which loaded the bases. The Mets 1-0 lead which they had at the time looked to be in jeapordy. Hernan Perez popped up to Adrian Gonzalez, and then Manny Pina flew out deep in the right center gap. Crisis averted.

Aside from a walk and single in the 2nd inning, the Brewers had no answer for Matz. Over six innings of work, Matz kept the Brewers off the scoreboard, allowing just 4 hits and 3 walks. He also struck out 3. Matz lowered his ERA to 3.80 after this outing. You look back to a couple innings that got away from him, and Matz’ ERA might be closer to 4 than 3.

It was a sight for sore eyes seeing Matz work out of that bases loaded jam in the 3rd. I still believe he is going to be great for us. I also think that he pitched only 66 innings last year after missing much of 2016. Factor in the bone spur surgery, and some ups and downs are to be expected. If we can just keep the Niese-like innings to a minimum, we should be in good shape.

The Brewers are not so great against left handed pitchers. Matz’ next opponent, the Atlanta Braves are among the very best. So it should be interesting.

Matz’ start last night provides a number of interesting talking points. This last turn through the rotation was fantastic.              31 IP, 23 H, 2 ER, 7 BB, 34 K, 0.58 ERA. Wow. Three of those outings were shutouts.

Devin Mesoraco, since he was acquired has caught 82 innings. Pitchers have given up 18 runs, which is a 1.98 ERA. How much of that can be accredited to Mesoraco, is tough to quantify. It’s been well documented how hard he has been working with the pitching staff though, so when you factor in the little bit of offense he’s provided, you have to like the deal that brought him here.

Let’s talk Nimmo. What a game he had last night! 4-4 with a walk, a triple and two doubles. Ladies and gentlemen, your MLB leader in On Base Percentage, (.450) Brandon Nimmo. He has now reached base in 8 straight plate appearances. He’s been an on base machine. If anybody else would start hitting consistently, we might be in business.

Amed Rosario had another two hits last night. His at-bats have been very impressive. He’s working deep into counts, seeing a lot of pitches and laying off balls out of the zone. Baby steps.

In the top of the 7th, Devin Mesoraco doubled home Michael Conforto which made the score 5-0. That’s how the game would end as Paul Sewald gave the Mets 2 perfect innings and Jacob Rhame pitched a scoreless 9th.

Jose Bautista got a pinch hitting opportunity last night and he drew a walk. He was then picked off first base. Jose. Reyes, Bautista. It’s all the same thing.

It was an all around great game for the Mets after an awful close to the Miami series. The Mets will hope to go on a run with Noah Syndergaard on the mound in the second game of the series. In 18 innings against the Brewers in his career, he has 27 strikeouts and only 2 walks with an 0.49 ERA.