It is hard to keep the Mets down for long this season.
Whether it’s a freak injury, hit by pitch or a loss, the Mets’ players and coaches have consistently found a way to bounce back.
As Pete Alonso and Tylor Megill returned to the field on Friday, the Mets got back to their winning ways, breaking past the Angels, 7-3, in the teams’ series opener at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.
After two straight losses to the Padres, the Mets avoided losing a third straight game for the first time this season while sending the Angels back to the losing side of the ledger. The Angels had snapped a franchise-record 14-game losing streak with a win over the Red Sox on Thursday.
With the Mets showing off their grittiness once again, here is how they were able to score a series-opening win over the Angels on Friday:
Big Drip’s return
Once again, Megill came out firing.
Much like his season debut on Opening Day, Megill featured his blazing fastball that topped out at 99 mph more than half the time and kept the Angels’ batters honest by mixing in his slider, changeup and cutter.
After missing nearly a month with right biceps tendinitis, Megill proved why he has earned a spot in the Mets’ rotation in his return. He pitched 3⅓ innings and struck out four as he builds back up; he was coming off a 3⅔ inning, 53-pitch rehab start in Class AA Binghamton.
Megill gave up five hits, including a two-run home run from Brandon Marsh, but was able to get outs when it mattered. With a runner on third in the third inning following a nice diving play by Eduardo Escobar, Megill was able to strike out Jared Walsh on a fastball.
He gave up two straight baserunners to begin the fourth but struck out Jo Adell on a cutter before being removed in favor of David Peterson.
Can’t keep him out
It takes something major to keep Pete Alonso out of the Mets’ lineup.
During the 2022 season so far, Alonso has been hit by pitches near the face twice and seven times overall. The latest was a 95 mph sinker from Yu Darvish that hit Alonso in the right hand on Tuesday night.
While X-rays were negative, Alonso exited the game and sat out the series finale on Wednesday with a swollen hand. Three days after the scary incident, Alonso, who has played 59 of the Mets’ 60 games, was back at first base and in his normal cleanup spot in the lineup.
Alonso finished 1-for-5 with an opposite-field single. He tested that hand after the base hit in the fifth inning, sliding headfirst into second base with the seventh stolen base of his career.
It was a positive sign for the Mets that Alonso was back out there.
Starling Marte, who also exited Tuesday’s loss with left quad tightness, told reporters that he is close to returning to the lineup.
David Peterson picks it up
Peterson was no longer the opener, he was the stopper.
After making six straight starts for the Mets after pitching in relief in his season opener on April 11, Peterson returned to the bullpen behind Megill.
The 26-year-old lefty proved his value in that role on Friday, inducing a double play against his first batter of the day in the fourth inning. He gave up a two-out single and walk in the fifth but was able to get a groundball out.
Peterson allowed Marsh to knock his second home run of the game in the sixth inning, but was able to strike out both Tyler Wade and Andrew Velazquez on sliders to close his outing.
Peterson tossed 2⅔ innings with one earned run allowed on three hits with three strikeouts to notch the win and improve to 3-0.
Brandon Nimmo is one of several Mets players who have been dinged up in the last few weeks.
Nimmo missed three games with a sprained wrist and had struggled since his return to the starting lineup on June 1. He was 3-for-29 in the last eight games.
On Friday, Nimmo was back showing off from the leadoff spot. He belted solo home run in the fourth inning — his first homer since April 25 — and added an opposite-field, two-run double down the left-field line in the sixth inning that helped put the game away.
Mark Canha, who was filling in for Marte in his usual No. 2 spot, helped the Mets build a 3-0 lead with a two-run, opposite-field double in the top of the second inning. He added an RBI single in the sixth.
Both Nimmo and Canha finished with three RBI, and Nimmo added two runs.
Two-down, not out
Four of the Mets’ seven runs came with two outs.
Tomas Nido started things off with an RBI single into right field in the second inning, while both of Nimmo and Canha’s RBI hits came with two batters retired.
The Mets have driven in a major-league leading 114 RBI with two outs this season and their .249 batting average with two outs is sixth-best in MLB.
In addition to Nimmo and Canha, both Eduardo Escobar and Jeff McNeil had two hits in the win.
Andrew Tredinnick is the Mets beat writer for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to all Mets analysis, news, trades and more, please subscribe today and download our app.
Email: [email protected] Twitter: @andrew_tred
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism