Sunday, June 26, 2022

Nick Plummer goes yard into second-straight MLB start as Mets route Nationals 13-5 on Memorial Day

If you were writing a how-to manual on coming back from a three-run, first-innings deficit, scoring 12 unanswered runs would be a strong start.

The Mets were down to three even before they got a chance to bat on Monday night. Then he got two runs in the bottom of the first, four in the second, three in the third and added three more in the fourth. At the end of the Memorial Day game, the Mets won 13-5, extending a lead so large that it was funny to feel like they were once playing from behind.

“Sometimes we like to stay down so we can come back,” said Starling Marte lightly.

Like any bang, there were plenty of players on the winning side who had huge nights. But Nick Plummer, a 25-year-old starting his second career in the major leagues, was certainly the most memorable. Plummer had three hits, including his second home run in as many nights. On Monday the opposite field shot made Plummer the first player in Mets history to score as many home runs after just two starts.

“We’re a bunch of big guys playing the game that we’ve been playing for 20-30 years,” Plummer said. “You try to keep it light and have fun at the end. It’s a game of lots of ups and downs. You like to ride good waves.”

Plummer also hit a game-tying hit for the second night in a row. While the latter lacked the drama of Sunday’s home run in the ninth inning, a double was also helpful to knot things up in the second innings of Monday’s game. With Plummer’s next bat in the fourth inning, the Mets took a sledgehammer on Washington’s pitching, and the rookie’s home run cut the lead to 12–3.

“It’s fun to sit there and see the joy that comes from being here and contributing to the big leagues,” Buck Showalter said of Plummer. “You take pleasure in it with him.”

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Almost every mate who saw the field on Monday did something worthwhile, but the top order was on a whole other level. Luis Guillorme, Marte and Francisco Lindor did not record in any of their first three plate performances. The trio began the game in 8-for-8 with a Marte home run, a guilloche walk, and seven RBIs between them. Lindor, who continues to disappoint segments of the fanbase who expect a higher batting average, now has 40 RBI.

Getting to that point by Memorial Day is pretty impressive. But in terms of the league, it looks even better. When the Mets came to an end, those 40 RBIs all led to major league shortstops leaving only Pete Alonso and Paul Goldsmith behind for the National League lead. Lindor’s two RBIs on Monday also extended his streak to eight straight games with a run. The Mets are the only team in baseball with two players already in 40 RBIs.

Coming into the season, strong numbers from Lindor and Alonso are exactly what the Mets were expecting. However, they could not have imagined such a phenomenal start from Guillorme. Ticket to a reserve role coming out of Spring Training, Guillaume has recently made its way into the starting lineup after some injuries and his own play made it difficult to keep him on the bench. The bearded infielder got just 33 plate appearances in April, compared to 60 in May. He started catching fire at the end of April, and as of April 21 he has a ridiculous .500 on-base percentage, meaning he gets on base the same number of times he records outs.

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On Monday, he went 2-for-4 with a walk and scored three, though it was his defense that earned him postgame praise, with David Peterson calling him a “wizard” after some clever plays.

“Louis put in a clinic on second base tonight,” Showalter said. “I’m not sure we’ll win games tonight if he doesn’t make some of those plays. He has great imagination, good hands. But he’s imagining defensively, reading hops and knowing when to come, watching It’s fun.”

Defense, especially his legendary fast hands, have always been Guillaume’s calling card. But it was his bat that helped the Mets achieve a remarkable feat on Monday, as his 14 hits in the first four innings set a club record. He scored as many runs in the first four innings for the first time since 29 May 1994.

With the game already out of reach late in the evening, Alonso launched his 13th homer of the season, taking a pitch straight into center field on his knees. Mart’s 3-for-4 line with four RBIs also looked great, as did two more hits and on-base machine Mark Canha was running for it.

With the Dodgers, Padres and Angels touring shortly after the National Series, knowing they would soon run up the gauntlet of California teams, the Mets did not play Monday night with their meal. He ate it. With embattled Nets starter Patrick Corbin up the hill on Tuesday with his league-worst 6.30 ERA, the Mets are in a good position to eat.

“Actually we talked about spring training,” Plummer said. “That DNA, the hallmark of the mindset of not giving up. Innings from one to nine – whether we’re up 15 or under 15 – taking good bats and playing really good defense. It’s been really cool to do that. “

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Nation World News Desk
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