NEW YORK -- Jeff McNeil and Dominic Smith are two names that play an important part in the Mets' future. Both players have been given their chances to prove themselves at the Major League level and have had differing levels of success entering Wednesday night.Both contributed to New York's 5-3
NEW YORK -- Jeff McNeil and Dominic Smith are two names that play an important part in the Mets' future. Both players have been given their chances to prove themselves at the Major League level and have had differing levels of success entering Wednesday night.
Both contributed to New York's 5-3 win over the Giants at Citi Field. McNeil stayed hot, going 2-for-4 with an RBI and raising his average to .333. Smith, two days after committing an error that cost the Mets the series opener against San Francisco, opened the scoring with a solo home run off Giants starter Casey Kelly in the second inning.
McNeil has been a powerhouse for the Mets' offense since he made his Major League debut on July 24. After a triple in the first inning, he registered his eighth straight hit with an RBI single on a 3-0 count in the second inning. A groundout in his next at-bat left him one hit short of Jose Vizcaino's franchise record of nine straight at-bats with a hit.
"He's kind of in that spot where he feels comfortable when a pitch is going to be hittable that he's going to put the barrel on it," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. "He's got the confidence to square a 3-0 pitch up and drive in a run, a big run."
Smith, who entered the game hitting .192 in 73 at-bats, has been up and down from Triple-A Las Vegas this season and has split time between first base and left field, which is where his miscue on Monday took place. Smith was not in the lineup on Tuesday, but he emphatically bounced back in his first at-bat on Wednesday.
"I think that was big for him," Callaway said. "Obviously, he hasn't performed the way he has liked to this year at the Major League level, and to get that one out of the way now that he's back, it's probably big for him and gives him some confidence moving forward."
Smith doesn't feel his defense has affected his mindset at the plate.
"Defense is defense and offense is offense," Smith said. "If you take your at-bats to the field, that's when you kind of mess up and vice versa. I try to separate both and I just try to put together good at-bats, and tonight, it kind of showed."
After the 22-year-old Smith hit the first pitch he saw from Kelly into the upper deck in right field, McNeil added his RBI knock before Todd Frazier's double drove in Jose Bautista. McNeil initially scored on the play as well, but was sent back to third base because the Giants successfully challenged that Frazier's hit bounced over the line atop the left-center-field fence for a ground-rule double.
Following the Mets' three-run second inning, the Giants answered with a pair in the third. Austin Slater crossed the plate after an RBI from Steven Duggar, and Joe Panik then added another RBI with a single to bring in Gorkys Hernandez. The only other Giants run came in the seventh inning on a home run from Slater.
The Mets kept the bats going when Bautista launched a solo home run to center field in the fourth inning and Frazier, who went 2-for-4 on the night, ripped a homer of his own to left field in the seventh.
Noah Syndergaard was the winning pitcher for the Mets, throwing six solid innings, giving up only two runs on five hits and striking out six.
SEWALD GETS FIRST SAVE
After left-hander Daniel Zamora started the inning by retiring the left-handed-hitting Brandon Crawford, Paul Sewald was called upon to seal the Mets' win. After getting Slater to ground out, the right-hander struck out Alen Hanson for his first career save.
According to Elias, McNeil is the first Mets rookie to record at least two hits in five consecutive starts in a season since Jose Reyes collected five-straight multi-hit starts in August 2003.
HE SAID IT
"You kind of want to have a short memory because we have games every day, but we're still human at the end of the day. I still care. I care about the team, I care about the fans and I don't want to let anybody down and I just want to play hard." -- Smith
Jacob deGrom has continuously dominated start after start, having held opponents to three runs or fewer in 22 straight outings. In his last start against the Giants on June 24, 2017, deGrom allowed one run over eight innings while striking out seven. Thursday's series finale is a must-see matchup between the Mets' National League Cy Young Award candidate and Giants ace Madison Bumgarner. First pitch is set for 1:10 p.m. ET.
Erin Fish is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.