Todd Frazier, Michael Conforto help Mets put together 3-run ninth to earn sixth straight win
CHICAGO — The Mets in the clubhouse saw what the Mets in the front office did — and didn’t do — before the trade deadline, and they responded with their play the same way they responded with their words: strongly insisting their season is not over.
In the Mets’ 4-2 win against the White Sox on Wednesday night, hours after the deadline that afternoon, Todd Frazier had the go-ahead single and Michael Conforto added a two-run insurance single. Edwin Diaz allowed a two-out homer but struck out the side to finish it, progress from his blown save a day earlier.
That marks a sixth consecutive victory for the Mets (52-55), their longest win streak since April 2018, when they won nine in a row amid that 11-1 start to the Mickey Callaway Era. They are 4 1/2 games back of the last National League wild-card spot.
General manager Brodie Van Wagenen voiced his opinion via trades: adding Marcus Stroman, subtracting Jason Vargas and keeping Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard and Diaz. Now, the on-field Mets will attempt to make the front office’s decisions worth something by trying to make a run to legitimate postseason contention.
“We’re going to make a run at this thing,” said Callaway, whose team hasn’t had a winning record since May 2. “With this rotation, anything is possible. So let’s go out there every day and put up zeros and score some runs and get it done.”
Jacob deGrom said: “I would’ve hated to see anybody go. We’re staying together, and that says they believe in us.”
Callaway isn’t alone in believing the Mets, who have staked their hypothetical contention on a strong starting rotation to little success every year since their 2015 World Series appearance, are in it. Van Wagenen said the team “has earned the right to now go play meaningful games over the course of the next two months.”
Wheeler and Diaz, relaying their post-deadline conversations with the GM, both said the Mets can “make a run at this.” On his first day with his new team, Stroman said he is "looking forward to making the playoffs this year.”
And in a Wednesday morning Twitter missive, which highlighted the Mets’ home-heavy schedule the rest of the season, Pete Alonso said, “We need you guys, the fans, more than ever.” He also amended the Mets’ abbreviated slogan — “LGM,” for “Let’s go Mets” — to better convey his urgency and excitement: “LFGM.”
“The boys are hot and we’ve been working our [expletives] off,” Alonso wrote in part. “The rest of the season is going to be a really fun, wild, and memorable ride. Our goal is to make history.”
On Wednesday, deGrom and White Sox righthander Lucas Giolito were effectively equals, each lasting seven innings and allowing one run. In the third, deGrom walked a pair and Jose Abreu had a sacrifice fly. The Mets tied it against Giolito in the sixth, when Conforto led off with a walk and scored with a nifty slide on Wilson Ramos’ grounder to third. That rally also included a single from Robinson Cano, snapping an 0-for-23 streak, the longest of his career.
Giolito struck out nine and walked three. DeGrom struck out 11 and walked two. With 1,174 strikeouts, deGrom passed David Cone (1,172) for fifth on the Mets’ all-time list.
DeGrom retired 13 of his final 15 batters, striking out 10.
“I felt like I was kind of nibbling, not really going right after guys and kind of after that inning I was just like, ‘Here it is. Let’s see if you can hit it,’” deGrom said. “I actually made a lot better pitches from the third on.”
With deGrom leading a pitching staff that has a majors-best 2.71 ERA since the All-Star break, the Mets, at least, still believe in the Mets. FanGraphs pegged their postseason chances at 19.5 percent (up from 3.9 percent last Wednesday).
“We feel like we have a very, very good team — even from the beginning of the year,” Conforto said. “We underperformed a little bit, and I can tell you right now the guys are excited about the rest of the season.”