Order bottom carrying the Mets right now

The Mets have stayed on top recently by relying on the bottom (of the roster).

While much of the roster struggled, their No. 7-8-9 hitters came out on top last week.

James McCann is finally showing signs of the bat that forced the Mets to lock in the catcher on a four-year contract. Eduardo Escobar is on a six-game hitting streak and is playing his best baseball of the season. Tyler Naquin and Mark Canha – when in order – swung better and helped lengthen the formation.

In Wednesday’s double sweep at Pittsburgh, the Mets received a total of 12 hits from the bottom three spots on their roster. From early September to the end of the doubleheader, the Mets’ .971 OPS from their seventh, eighth and ninth batters was second-best in baseball, behind only the Rays’ bottom three.

James McCann

“If one through nine someone can hurt you, it’s extremely difficult to navigate a lineout,” McCann said after going 1-for-3 with two walks on Wednesday. “Especially when 7, 8, 9 becomes on base like we were. A lot of RBI guys have multiple chances to get guys in – which makes it extremely difficult.

Of the bottom hitters, McCann’s emergence may prove most significant. With the White Sox, McCann was a 2019 and 2020 All-Star hitter (seven homers in 31 games), which he used to secure a long-term pact with the Mets.

He didn’t strike last season, and the 32-year-old’s 2022 season has been a mess. Surgery to repair a broken hamate bone in his left wrist cost him nearly seven weeks in May and June, before an oblique strain cost him nearly four weeks in July and early August.

Between those stints on the injured list, there was little offensive production. McCann said the biggest difference in his swing right now is his health.

“Everything I’ve been working on is finally getting to the point where I want to be,” said the catcher, who is batting .201 with a pair of home runs this year but looking much better since returning from IL. . “Unfortunately the season has unfolded for me is that I’ve had starts and stops, starts, stops. It’s been a chore to get that groove. That’s what I have been able to get these last two weeks.”

The same can be said for Escobar, who had fallen into a squad role at third base with first Luis Guillorme and then Brett Baty. The 33-year-old has been excellent since returning from a slant stump in late August and is averaging .526 at bat in his last six games with three home runs.

Add Naquin’s recent hit, who is 5 for 11 in his last three games, and the bottom of the order has come alive.

“We knew they were good hitters. It’s just a matter of clicking,” Francisco Lindor said Wednesday. “They have their moment right now.”

McCann was named the Mets nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, which is given to the player who “best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy, and positive contributions, both on the field than outside”.

Each team nominates a player for the league prize.

McCann, a first-time candidate, has helped families with children receiving care in the newborn intensive care unit. In June, McCann visited Cohen Children’s Medical Center in Queens, then donated a suite for a Mets game to nurses he met during the visit.

McCann and his wife, Jessica, have a set of twins who spent their first seven weeks in the NICU.

New York Post

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