Two-straight wins over the Arizona Diamondbacks have offered a dim promise that there could be better times ahead for the New York Mets, who have been one of the worst teams in baseball since an 11-1 start this season. Though winning consecutive games for the first time in a month isn’t necessarily much to write home about.
Regardless, the feeling has shifted around the Mets, especially after Sunday’s come-from-behind victory over Arizona in which New York trailed 3-1 heading into the top of the ninth inning. With two outs, Brandon Nimmo launched a two-run home run to put the Mets in front for good in a 5-3 win.
The following night, he followed it up with a monster 4-for-6 effort with two home runs, one an inside-the-parker, and four RBI in a 12-2 victory. It was the first time the Mets scored that many runs since May 15 against the Toronto Blue Jays, which was more than good enough to provide NL Cy Young candidate Jacob deGrom with his first win in a month despite allowing just five earned runs (1.25 ERA) in the five starts between wins.
Nimmo’s big contributions were just further confirmation that he has developed from a promising bat to a possible middle-of-the-order weapon.
Injuries to Yoenis Cespedes and Juan Lagares paired with the slumps that have mired Michael Conforto and Jay Bruce has given Nimmo an opportunity to play every day, which is something Mets fans were calling for after Nimmo’s strong spring training in which he looked like a classic lead-off man that would provide a high on-base percentage, but not a lot of power.
A lot of that had to do with a natural comprehension of the strike zone. Not often will you see Nimmo chasing bad pitches, allowing the 25-year-old to get a pitch he’ll be able to drive.
While he used to be patient almost to a fault, Nimmo now has shown an ability to attack early in the count, which has paid off. After hitting just two home runs in his first 44 games, Nimmo has hit 10 in his last 25 appearances, which also includes a .323 average.
The hot streak has made Nimmo one of the Mets’ most valuable players this year, in fact, he’s the only non-pitcher with a Wins Above Replacement over 2.0 (2.4). Jacob deGrom, who would be the clear Cy Young favorite if he was given any semblance of run support, has a WAR of 4.8 which ranks third-best in Major League Baseball.
Nimmo leads the Mets with a .287 batting average, .410 on-base percentage and .603 slugging percentage while tying Asdrubal Cabrera for the team lead in home runs with 12.