Image: Press and Sun-Bulletin
Welcome back to the Amazins in Astoria, a season long chronicle of my life in relation to the 2022 New York Mets.
For the first entry in this series, click here.
For the previous entry in this series, click here.
June 24th-26th Away Series vs. Miami Marlins (45-26 Pre-series)
After the beatdown that the 'Stros gave them in Houston, the Mets could use a series like this one against Miami. Do I think that they'll beat the Marlins down three games in a row? No, but the Marlins are the perfect team to face that will present a challenge, and help improve your record at the same time.
The Mets are challenged right out the gate in this series, going up against Sandy Alcantara in Game 1. He lit the boys up in their last meeting, but is struggling to capture that same magic today. After a solo homer from Lindor in the 1st, Sandy is keeping runs off the board, but thanks largely in part to some really strong Miami fielding. That is, until Jazz Chisholm leaves in the 5th inning due to back spasms. A tough situation for one of the best young players in the league, as well as the rest of his team. His absence is very apparent in the last few innings, such as in the 6th, where some bad miscommunication in the infield lets Marte and Nimmo reach safely on what should have been a bang-bang play. As the Mets take this one 5-3, Don Mattingly's Marlins are once again foiled by reviews not going their way.
As Game 2 gets going on Saturday, it's another scorcher in Astoria. It's so hot, in fact, that I can't bear to have such a big electronic like my tv on, so I opt for Howie and Wayne today. During the pregame warmups, the boys in the booth are speaking over a near-deafening roar, to which Howie comments, "That strange sounds you're hearing is a crowd." Apparently, it's "Salute to Bahamas" day in Miami, and Loan Depot park is packed. The Marlins are also wearing their bright red City Connect jerseys, which makes me even happier that I opted for the radio today. Chisholm, despite leaving yesterday early, is back in the lineup, going just 1-for-4 as Chris Bassitt continues his redemption tour. He strikes out 5, Alonso homers twice, and Diaz gets his 16th save of the year.
Of course, since these are the 2022 Mets, sweeps are hard to come by, and by Game 3, fatigue sets in hard. Turns out Mad Max needs another Binghamton start before returning to form, and we've got Peterson on the mound instead. Through 7, he honestly kills it, allowing just 2 to score in the 3rd while striking out 8. His changeup is so deceptive, coming in straight as an arrow before shifting just outside. Of course, as the pitching duel subsides, the bullpen, namely Adam Ottovino, unravels this game in just 6 pitches, giving Nick Fortes a perfect slider for the walk-off home run.
Hey, at least the Braves played the Dodgers this weekend.
June 28th-29th- Home Series vs. Houston Astros (47-27 Pre-Series)
Houston, what is your deal? What beef do you have with the City of New York? What did we ever do to you, besides collectively lambast you for cheating your way to a ring? After sweeping the Mets in your own ballpark, then no hitting the Yankees in the Bronx, surely you'd have gotten it all out of you, no? Clearly not, as the Astros continue their Metropolitan Massacre. Houston pretty much justifies the amount of All-Star ballot leader they have in this series, as Yuri Gurriel and Alex Bregman light up Carrasco in Game 1, and Justin Verlander continues to turn back the clock in Game 2.
However, may I divert your attention once again to a little town in upstate New York, where Max Scherzer makes his second rehab start with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, Scherzer goes 4.2 Innings, fans 8, and earns 2 runs.
Am I using this news as a distraction from the Mets dropping 3 of their last 5? Kind of, but as a lot of fans sound the alarms, Max's return to the lineup this weekend, as well as the slim lead the Mets still hold in the East, show that this is just one tough trial on the path to greatness.
July 1st-3rd-Home Series vs. Texas Rangers (47-29 Pre-Series)
This weekend's set was defined by the excessive home runs hit by both the Mets and Rangers, as well as the fact that I had food poisoning, forcing me to stay inside and watch baseball instead of partaking in any other classic 4th of July festivities.
Despite giving up 2 Homers, Peterson is still very effective through 6 innings pitched. His slider is on point tonight, helping him tie his career high with 10 strikeouts which no doubt kept those homers solo. While I would never accuse a pitcher performing like that of not being focused on the game, I'm sure his upcoming paternity leave sting motivated him to get this game moving a bit quicker than usual. In Game 2, the Mets turn up the dial offensively, as Starling Marte homers in the 2nd to give the Mets a quick 2-0 lead. While Eduardo Escobar is hot behind the plate as well, going yard for the 2nd day in a row, the Mets cannot handle the 4-dinger onslaught that the Rangers provide.
Luckily, Escobar leads the Mets to a Sunday win with 1 of 2 homers on the day, the other one coming from Marte, and the Mets hold firmly onto their lead over the Braves. When asked about his current hot streak, Escobar attributes his homers to the fact that he...changed the way he wore his belt?
I guess he also set it to Wumbo.