Mets get plenty of help from Diamondbacks to win another series
PHOENIX — Forgive the Mets if they will miss playing the Diamondbacks the rest of the year.
They beat Arizona again Sunday, 6-2, to complete the teams’ season series. The Mets took four of the six games the past two weekends, a major boost to their five consecutive series wins — matching the 2018 club for the most to begin a season in franchise history.
Like the previous installments, the finale suggested that the D-backs (6-10) perhaps will not be postseason contenders. They had a lineup that featured two players hitting above .220, committed three errors and allowed two runs in a pseudo-rally that included one hit.
The Mets (12-5) pounded out 10 hits, highlighted by J.D. Davis’ first home run, and had righthander Tylor Megill hold Arizona to two runs in 6 2⁄3 innings. That was one out shy of tying the longest outing of his career.
“We’re going to savor it,” Davis said. “We know how this game goes. It can humble you really quick. We’re happy, but it is April. We gotta stay on the gas pedal and learn from our mistakes and continue to get after it and win ballgames.”
Manager Buck Showalter said: “It’s a good positive vibe for the club. It’s a mature approach. Our guys haven’t gotten too up or down yet. It’s a mature group that understands the task ahead of us. Each day you have to put yesterday’s successes and failures behind you. That goes without saying. They’re a very professional group.”
In a sign of progress from his previous outing, when the Giants roughed him up early and he settled in late, Megill came out firing, striking out four in two perfect innings. He finished with seven strikeouts and one walk.
A notable statistic in the context of Megill’s ongoing development as a pitcher, just 10 months removed from his major-league debut: He totaled six curveballs against the Diamondbacks, according to MLB’s pitch-tracking technology. That was one more than he threw in his first three starts combined.
The fourth offering after his fastball, slider and changeup, this curveball was “definitely” the best it has felt this year, if not longer, Megill said. He likes it because it starts at the top of the strike zone, much like many of his fastballs, so it gives opposing hitters something else to think about when they see a pitch up there.
“It allows my fastball to play a little better,” he said. “I’ve been working on it, trying to get it game-ready. I threw probably three or four good ones and one that almost hit a guy in the head.”
The Mets managed a lone unearned run and four hits in five innings against Arizona lefthander Madison Bumgarner. He struck out four and walked none, exiting after 78 pitches.
They scratched the run across in the first inning. Mark Canha singled on a weak grounder to third and advanced to second on Sergio Alcantara’s throwing error. Canha scored easily on Francisco Lindor’s hit-and-run single to center.
Starling Marte created a run all on his own in the sixth. His hard ground ball ended up in the left-centerfield gap and he turned it into a double when Daulton Varsho failed to field it cleanly. Moments later, he stole third and scored when catcher Jose Herrera’s throw sailed down the leftfield line.
When the D-backs’ bullpen provided relief in name only, the Mets added a pair of runs in the seventh. Davis walked, Luis Guillorme singled and James McCann was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out.
Travis Jankowski broke out the RBI BB play — a bases-loaded walk — to force in a run against Edwin Uceta. Marte had an RBI HBP for another against Taylor Widener. “I’ll take 1,000 of those,” Jankowski said. “Four pitches, not even close. Thank you. That was awesome. By far the easiest [RBI] I’ve ever had.”
The Mets have been hit by a pitch 14 times, the most in MLB, a trend often bemoaned by Showalter. “About the only time you like getting hit by a pitch,” he said, “is when they force runs across.”