Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the Mets have gone 15-1 in their last 16 games. And their strong play started before that, with their nearly unbeatable stretch only interrupted by three extra-inning losses in San Francisco when the Giants were playing their best ball of the season. Everyone is looking for comparisons in team history but those are few and far between.
After the 2011 season, there was a look here at the best hot streaks in Mets history. The challenge with tackling that type of article is defining a hot streak. In that piece it was defined as any stretch with at least 20 wins. And typically in those hot streaks you have multiple end points from which you can choose. It was decided to rank on winning percentage, so a 20-5 record was more impressive than a 25-7 mark.
The 10th-best Mets streak using those terms came in 1988, when the Mets had a streak of 28-8, which is a .778 winning percentage. Right now the Mets are 21-5 in their last 26 games for an .808 winning percentage. So, that kicks that 1988 streak out of the top 10 and drops the 20-5 marks of the 1969 and 2000 squads into a tie for ninth place. The current streak ranks as the eighth-best in team history, just four percentage points behind the 1985 Mets, who went 30-7.
The best hot streak under these terms came in 1990, when the club went 20-2 from 6/12-7/6. That team had a considerably longer stretch of great play, as in a 55-game stretch, it went 40-15. The 2019 Mets have a chance to match or better that mark, which is kind of remarkable for anyone who watched the club on a daily basis in May and June.
THE RETURN OF CONFORTO’S BIG BAT – There were high hopes for Michael Conforto coming into this season, after his strong finish to 2018. And Conforto was meeting those expectations, as he had a .927 OPS through the first 42 games of the year. But then came the collision with Robinson Cano, which gave him a concussion and resulted in a trip to the IL. Conforto came back in 10 days but he was nothing close to the guy he was prior to the injury.
In his next 49 games, covering 209 PA, Conforto put up a .729 OPS. Over essentially one-third of the season, he was simply a below-average player.
But in this hot streak, we’ve seen Conforto get back to the guy he was in the beginning of the year. In the last 16 games, he’s slashing .356/.457/.763 in 70 PA. Somewhat incredibly, he’s doing this with a .318 BABIP. It wouldn’t be surprising to have a BABIP 100 points higher with these numbers. The balls in play number isn’t higher because Conforto has struck out just eight times in this stretch and he’s also got seven homers.
THE BEST TRADES ARE THE ONES YOU DON’T MAKE – For the second straight year, the Mets were shopping Zack Wheeler at the trade deadline. And for the second time, the Mets did not get any offers they felt were good enough to pull the trigger. Last year, my opinion is that teams were low-balling the Mets unjustifiably. This time, Wheeler came down with a shoulder injury and missed most of July. It’s hard to criticize teams for not paying the freight when the target has shoulder woes right before the deadline.
Wheeler came back and made a start on July 26, after not pitching in 19 days. He retired 12 straight at one point, but he tired in the sixth inning and allowed 3 ER in 5.1 IP. Still, in his last seven games, Wheeler has a 2.62 ERA and a 0.985 WHIP in 44.2 IP. And after struggling with the gopher ball most of the season, he’s allowed just 3 HR in this span. He’s currently working on a stretch of 15 scoreless innings.
THE TEAM’S BEST RELIEVER – When the 2019 season began, the thought was that Seth Lugo was the squad’s third option out of the pen. But while Edwin Diaz and Jeurys Familia have been shaky or downright bad, Lugo just keeps sailing along. He did not allow a run in the month of July and his first two August appearances followed suit. He finally gave up a run in Saturday’s game but went two innings in the outing and picked up the win. Since July 1 he has a 0.51 ERA in 17.2 IP and has held opponents to a .228 OPS.
GIVE ME A HOME WHERE THE BUFFALO ROAM – Before the trade deadline, some fans were angling for ways to send Wilson Ramos out of town. Which was just crazy. Ramos had a three-week span early in the season where he was just dreadful. But since May 10, a span of 68 games and 254 PA, Ramos has an .830 OPS. No one would ever call him a good defensive backstop at this point in his career but an .830 OPS covers a lot of sins.
Mickey Callaway finally paired Noah Syndergaard with Tomas Nido and that helped turn Syndergaard’s season around. But last night he decided he wanted Ramos’ bat in the lineup, so he was behind the plate for a Syndergaard start. It didn’t look good early, as Syndergaard allowed two runs in the first inning. But the pitcher ended up giving the team seven innings without allowing another run. And Ramos came through with a homer.