The Mets can play small ball, and yes they can play it very well. They compiled 20 hits – with no homers – in Wednesday’s rout of the Braves, and then strung together six straight hits in the season’s largest comeback to beat the Marlins.
“I think [this game could give us] a huge lift,” manager Terry Collins said. “You have to be resilient you have to play nine innings and put up good at-bats.”
Then came what could become one of the most important innings of the season when they strung together six hits against Brad Ziegler.
It began with a single by Wilmer Flores and a double by Jose Reyes. Rene Rivera and pinch-hitter Asdrubal Cabrera followed with RBI singles. Michael Conforto singled to load the bases and T.J. Rivera – who hit a solo homer – ripped a two-run double.
“I was looking for something up in the zone where I could out the barrel on it … it just so happens it came on the first pitch,” said T.J. Rivera.
“I’m just trying to be patient,” said Flores.
The Mets have now scored at least five runs in eight straight games, all without Yoenis Cespedes. Collins, who managed his 1,000th game with the Mets – to trail Davey Johnson and Bobby Valentine – said his hitters aren’t trying to do too much, which is common for teams losing its best hitter.
BULLPEN OVERLOOKED: As impressive as the Mets’ offense was, it was made possible by the bullpen. After the lines of Montero (five runs in 3.2 innings) and Josh Smoker (two runs in one inning), five Mets relievers combined to throw 4.1 scoreless innings.
MONTERO TO START AGAIN: There was no waffling by Collins when asked if Montero will get the ball again.
Considering Montero has never taken advantage of previous opportunities and gave up five runs in 3.2 innings tonight, it was a logical question.
So was Collins’ answer: “If it’s not him, I don’t know who it will be. We have to get him going.”
UP NEXT: Rookie Robert Gsellman (1-2, 6.75 ERA) is coming off his first victory of the season Monday in Atlanta.