Mets' playoff push keeps rolling; Bo Bichette looks like a future star and everything else we learned this week in MLB
Here's what you need to know from the last seven days of MLB action
We'll be taking a look at the most interesting takeaways every week this MLB season so check back every Sunday for our recap. Now, here's what we learned from the last seven days in the majors:
Second-half Mets making playoff push
The New York Mets completed a three-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians on Thursday in a clash between two of the hottest second-half teams in baseball. In June and July, the Mets were making headlines for clubhouse drama more than they were for their play on the field. They didn't sell at the deadline, and instead picked up right-hander Marcus Stroman and held onto top trade targets Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler and Edwin Diaz. It was a head-scratcher at the time, but now, entering Sunday, the Mets are just two games out from the final NL wild card spot and they've gone 15-7 since the July 31 deadline.
The Mets are seriously making a playoff push and managing to win games against other contenders. Fangraphs is giving them a 37.8 percent chance of making it to the postseason for the first time since 2016. NL Rookie of the Year frontrunner Pete Alonso is powering the Mets offense, and on Saturday, he hit his 41st home run on the year to Offseason acquisition J.D. Davis has also provided a second-half boost to the team's offense, and the team got NL batting leader Jeff McNeil back from the injured list (hamstring) this weekend.
As far as the Mets pitching goes, the rotation has been on the right track as of late. Noah Syndergaard took a perfect game into the sixth inning agains the Indians on Thursday, and his ERA is now at a season-low 3.71. Reigning NL Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom put together a signature performance on Friday against the Braves. He hit a home run and struck out at least 13 batters for the second time this season, becoming the first pitcher in MLB history to do so.
New York has a tough schedule for the remainder of the regular season where the club will face the Cubs, Phillies, Nationals, Dodgers and Braves. But the Mets have been resilient thus far. We'll see what September holds.
Indians' Bieber stepping up amid pitching injuries
Despite being without Carlos Carrasco and Corey Kluber, the Indians rotation is still one of the best in baseball thanks to the team's depth. Right-hander Shane Bieber has stepped up this season amid the pitching injuries, which also included Mike Clevinger missing time.
Bieber, 24, has been a steady force in the Indians rotation this season. In August, Bieber has gone 2-2 with a 2.57 ERA. He's not just pitching well, but he's pitching well against hot offenses like the Astros, Twins and Red Sox. In his last four starts against the Astros, Bieber carried a 2.48 ERA with a 29.3 percent strikeout rate to go along with a 3.5 percent walk rate.
In his start against the Mets on Tuesday, Bieber struck out seven batters over six innings, and allowed two earned runs (both off home runs). It marked Bieber's 13th consecutive game where he struck out six or more batters. Bieber's consistency is a one of the reasons why the Indians have managed to stay in the playoff conversation.
Blue Jays' Bichette proving superstar potential
The Toronto Blue Jays have introduced a handful of second-generation MLB players this season, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. before. But another rookie making a name for himself this season is shortstop Bo Bichette.,
Bichette's had himself a pretty good week. The 21-year-old homered off Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw twice.
And then, the shortstop also managed to get this out at home plate.
In six games this past week, Bichette hit .333/.333/.704 with a 1.037 OPS. He racked up three homers, five RBI, 19 total bases and four extra-base hits while picking up a few accolades along the way:
Now, the rebuilding Blue Jays have no hope at a postseason run this season. But it seems like it's not going to be too long before Bichette, along with Vlad Jr. and the rest of this fun team's young core, break through and propel their team into the spotlight.
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