Surging Mets at top of their game, about to get ‘challenged’

They opened the homestand by bashing the Braves and ended it by stifling the Phillies. In between, they overmatched the Reds. 

The Mets are at the height of their powers. They shut out the Phillies for the final 18 innings of the series while allowing two runs in total to a loaded lineup, albeit without Kyle Schwarber and Bryce Harper. They went 9-2 over these last 11 days in Queens, scoring five or more runs nine times while allowing two or fewer in eight of those ballgames. They have gone 17-3 since dropping the first two following the All-Star break. 

They are at the height of their powers. 

“This is a real contender,” Chris Bassitt said after tossing five shutout innings on a day when he was anything but picture-perfect. “No doubt about it.” 

Everything seems possible even if this is merely the middle of August. Now, though, the club embarks on a 10-game road trip beginning Monday that features four in Atlanta, four in Philadelphia and two at Yankee Stadium where the Mets won’t so much be big-game hunting as being hunted. 

“We know we’re going to get challenged,” said manager Buck Showalter, whose 75-40 team holds a 5 ¹/₂-game lead over the Braves. “Let’s line them up, take it one at a time and see what happens. 

“These guys get it. They take it day by day with a lot of maturity.” 

Mets
The red-hot Mets are at the height of their powers.
Jason Szenes

The Mets scored 60 runs on the homestand but hit only 10 home runs. That’s their way. They are a contact team and if soft ones drop in, well, that’s not necessarily lucky, but more so residue of the design to get the bat on the ball. They strike out less than any team in the NL other than Washington. 

“Tough at-bats,” said Jeff McNeil. “Good things happen when you put the ball in play.” 

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