After a stretch that saw the Mets drop nine of their last 13 games before returning home for a six-game home stand that started with an 8-5 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, the fan base’s hope was at an all-time low.
The Mets then called up top prospect Mark Vientos, and the 23-year-old hit a game-tying two-run home run to spark a comeback and beat the Rays in extras before winning every remaining game on the homestand and reigniting hope with a five-game winning streak.
Let’s look at five stars from the Mets’ five-game winning streak:
Nobody has been a better power hitter in baseball this season than Pete Alonso, and he has shown why during this five-game winning streak.
Alonso hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the tenth to beat the Rays on Wednesday before hammering another ball out during the Mets’ 3-2 Thursday win.
The two-time all-star hit another huge home run on Friday when he launched a grand slam 400 feet to right center to tie the game.
Alonso was quiet in the doubleheader on Sunday, going just one for eight, but his impact in the other three games earns him a spot on this list.
Fransico Álvarez has been excellent for the Mets all season and has come up clutch lately. The 21-year-old hit a two-out, three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth in Wednesday’s game before hitting a solo shot to spark the blue and orange on Friday.
In the bottom of the tenth of Friday’s game, Álvarez slapped a single to left field to tie the game before coming around to score the game-winning run.
On Sunday, Álvarez’s single to lead off the bottom of the eight was the baserunner that came around to score to give the Mets the 2-1 lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
After starting the regular season on the injured list, Justin Verlander has been fantastic since returning and gave the Mets a signature performance Sunday night.
Verlander threw eight innings, allowing only three hits and just one run while striking out five.
He also allowed zero walks for the first time in his Mets career.
Not only did the former American League MVP keep the Mets in the game long enough for Jeff McNeil to give them the lead in the bottom of the eighth with a sacrifice fly, but he saved the Mets from having to use some of their lower-end bullpen guys in a close game.
Starling Marte had a clutch moment of his own during game one of Sunday’s doubleheader when he hit his first home run since April 7th in the bottom of the eighth when his two-run shot helped the Mets retake the lead.
The 34-year-old did not start game two but came in to pinch-run for Álvarez in the bottom of the eighth and used his speed to go first to third before tagging up on McNeil’s sacrifice fly.
Without Marte, the Mets may not have swept the doubleheader.
While key bullpen pieces David Robertson and Adam Ottavino have gotten hit as of late, Brooks Raley has been immaculate.
During the five-game win streak, Raley has thrown three scoreless innings allowing only one hit and striking out two. What’s most impressive is that the 34-year-old pitched a scoreless seventh in game one of the doubleheader before coming in the ninth and securing the save in game two.
If the bullpen has an MVP from this most recent stretch, it has to be Raley.