Mets thump Yanks again, climb back to .500 (2024)

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Mets thump Yanks again, climb back to .500 (2)

Alvarez leads way with 3 hits, 3 RBIs; Lindor: 'The vibes are in a good place'

June 27th, 2024

Mets thump Yanks again, climb back to .500 (34)

Anthony DiComo


NEW YORK -- A few hours before Wednesday’s Subway Series finale at Citi Field, as Francisco Lindor returned to the dugout following his final round of batting practice, the Mets shortstop saw owner Steve Cohen standing nearby, walked over, and clapped him on the shoulder.

Turning to face him, Cohen smiled. “Back to .500 today?” he said.

“One at a time,” Lindor replied.

It was, Cohen said later, rather remarkable that the Mets had even put themselves in position to return to a .500 record, which they secured with a 12-2 win over the Yankees in a rain-soaked Subway Series finale. As recently as the morning of June 3, the Mets were 11 games under .500, prompting many to wonder which players the club might deal away at the Trade Deadline.

But the season, Cohen noted at the time, is long. There was little reason for team decision-makers to be rash. As unlikely as it might have seemed back then, a Mets renaissance was always within the realm of possibility.

Now, it is within the realm of reality. With the Yankees in their rearview, the Mets (39-39) have won 15 of their last 19 games dating to June 3, the day they began a five-game, transatlantic road trip through Washington and London. They are back at a .500 record for the first time since May 7, when they were 18-18.

“I’m not going to lie -- where we were a few weeks ago, to be in this position now, it’s important,” manager Carlos Mendoza said.

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In retrospect, Pete Alonso said, that England trip was “energizing” for the Mets and “a huge bonding experience for everybody.” Others have credited Grimace, the McDonald’s mascot that threw out a ceremonial first pitch during their last homestand, and backup infielder Jose Iglesias, whose soon-to-be-released song “OMG” has become a clubhouse anthem.

“We have a great group,” catcher Francisco Alvarez said.

“The vibes are in a good place,” Lindor noted.

Added starting pitcher Sean Manaea: “We definitely have this team aspect down.”

It’s never just one thing, as these Mets have proven. Wednesday, Alvarez was their most noteworthy performer, hitting a two-run homer off Luis Gil in the third inning, adding a run-scoring double in the fifth, and finishing a triple shy of the cycle to join Mark Vientos in the conversation of thriving young Mets hitters. Those two have been the most recent centerpieces of an offense that’s been the league’s best in June, but the team has also received plenty of output from veterans including Lindor, who hit two doubles on Wednesday, and Tyrone Taylor, who clubbed a three-run homer.

Meanwhile, a bullpen missing Edwin Díaz (sticky stuff suspension) and Drew Smith (right elbow sprain) managed to cobble together four innings in relief of Manaea, who threw five scoreless before a one-hour, 27-minute rain delay interrupted the proceedings. Adrian Houser, a rotation castoff who has found new life as a long reliever, pitched the final three innings for his first career save.

Those sorts of contributions have become routine for the Mets, who painted over April and May with one of the finest Junes in franchise history. Wednesday’s victory moved them to 15-6 this month, good for a .714 winning percentage. Only the 1990 version of this team (21-7, .750) posted a higher win rate in June.

“The mentality is we’re not giving anything away,” Mendoza said. “It doesn’t matter if we’re down big or we’re up big. Every pitch matters. Every at-bat.”

Eventually, the conversation will shift back to the Trade Deadline and a short-term future that looks a heck of a lot rosier now than it did three weeks ago. Cohen may not be ready to talk about the Mets as potential buyers, but the fact that the question was even posed to him Wednesday speaks volumes about how far this team has come.

“It feels good to be playing good baseball -- not just the past two nights, but a month, I would say,” Lindor said. “We’ve been playing good baseball, and this is what we expect.”

In three-plus weeks, the Mets have gone from a wobbling franchise to one on steady ground. The vibes have changed. The record has transformed. The outlook has, too.

“I like winning better than losing,” was how Cohen put it. “You can quote me on that.”

Homers on homers 💪

— New York Mets (@Mets) June 27, 2024
Mets thump Yanks again, climb back to .500 (2024)
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