Ramos adds 4 hits, streak continues in big win
PHILADELPHIA -- While the Mets were anything but consistent in August, there was one constant throughout the month -- Wilson Ramos just kept hitting.
Ramos went 4-for-5 with an RBI in Saturday's 6-3 victory over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park to extend his hitting streak to 24 games. The win pulled the Mets within four games of the Cubs for the second National League Wild Card spot.
“I don’t want to be thinking about [the streak],” said Ramos, who is hitting .446 over the 24-game span. “I just want to go out there thinking about getting a good pitch to hit. … I don’t want to put pressure on myself, I just want to go out there and have fun.”
Regardless of whether he wants to think about it, Ramos is now one of just five players in franchise history with a hit in 24 straight games -- and just the fourth to do so in a single season. It's also the longest single-season hitting streak in the Majors since Freddie Freeman had a hit in 30 straight from Aug. 24 to Sept. 28, 2016.
"He's been fantastic," manager Mickey Callaway said. "Feeding off his energy, he's got this great streak going. ... Hopefully he keeps it up."
In a month when the Mets had separate winning streaks of eight and five games before eventually enduring a six-game losing streak, Ramos was seemingly at the center of it all. With that in mind, here's a look at each of the key moments from New York's roller coaster month, which prominently featured Ramos and leaves the Mets within striking distance of October baseball as the calendar flips to September.
Result: Won (7-5 vs. Pirates)
Ramos: 4-for-5, HR, 6 RBIs
New York's victory in the series finale in Pittsburgh proved to be a sign of things to come not only for the Mets but especially for Ramos. The team began the day three games below .500 and five games out of the final Wild Card spot.
With the Mets trailing, 3-2, Ramos crushed a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning followed by a bases-clearing double in the ninth to lead New York to victory. That would be the start of Ramos' streak, as well as the first of eight consecutive victories for the Mets.
Result: Won (4-3 vs. Nationals)
Ramos: 1-for-4, HR, RBI
Fast forward exactly one week, and the Mets were one of the hottest teams in baseball. Though Ramos had only one hit in the club’s eighth straight victory, it was a big one -- a game-tying 412-foot homer off Nats left-hander Patrick Corbin.
Suddenly, the Mets were five games above .500 for the first time since being 9-4, and more important, just a half-game behind both Washington and Milwaukee for a Wild Card spot.
Result: Won (2-0 vs. Indians)
Ramos: 1-for-3, 2 RBIs
New York dropped four of its next five following the impressive eight-game run, but quickly rebounded with another five-game winning streak. A team that did not win five in a row at any point in the season's first half now had three winning streaks of at least five games since the All-Star break, including two in August.
Not surprisingly, Ramos provided the only offensive production with a two-run double in the rain-shortened 2-0 victory to keep the streak alive. With their fifth straight win, the Mets pulled back to within 1 1/2 games of that elusive final postseason spot.
Result: Six-game losing streak
Just as they did after reeling off eight straight, however, the Mets took another giant step backward on the heels of their five-game streak. They lost six consecutive games to the Braves and Cubs, dropping five games back of the last Wild Card berth.
But that skid could in no way fall on the shoulders of Ramos, who had multihit games in five of the six losses. The lone exception came on Aug. 25, when he entered the game as a pinch-hitter with the Mets trailing, 2-1, and down to their final out. Even then, he roped a line-drive single to move the potential tying run into scoring position before Joe Panik grounded out.
"This streak is unbelievable," Callaway said. "He’s had three of them where he’s pinch-hit off the bench and kept it alive. That’s insane.”
While Ramos went 11-for-20 during the six-game slide, the rest of the club hit a combined .191.
Result: Won (6-3 vs. Phillies)
Ramos: 4-for-5, RBI
In a fitting end to the Mets' wild month, Ramos was again at the center of everything. He roped an RBI single in the first, beat out an infield knock to set up Michael Conforto's RBI double in the third and started a three-run rally with a leadoff hit in the fifth. He added a leadoff double in the ninth and came around to score New York's final run.
This, one night after he extended his hitting streak with a pinch-hit game-tying RBI single in New York's series-opening win.
Through all the ups and downs -- and each of Ramos' 41 hits during his streak -- the Mets enter September just four games behind the Cubs.
“We’re close," Ramos said. "We’re close in the race. So we have to keep playing like yesterday and today. Never give up.”