Worth noting: After roaring out of the All-Star break with five straight wins while outscoring opponents 28-19, the Mets have stalled mightily on offense, resulting in a pair of extended losing streaks. St. Lucie enters Monday’s series finale at Fort Myers on a four-game losing skid and is just 2-7 since June 22nd. Oh, the dramatic swings that seemingly define a minor-league season.
Since their five-game run to open the second half ended, the Mets have been held to fewer than three runs four times, including in each of the past three outings. Not surprisingly, all of those games have resulted in losses. Part of the reason for the slide can be attributed to nagging injuries as slugging infielder Aderlin Rodriguez has not played since June 12th because of an undisclosed issue.
But St. Lucie, which belted 39 home runs during the first half, has recorded just three extra-base hits over its past three games and none have left the park. The Mets could turn their fortune around quickly as they play five of their next six games at home after Monday. They finished 19-12 at Tradition Field during the first half.
Surging in the batter’s box: Outfielder Dustin Lawley. As good as Jayce Boyd and Kevin Plawecki have been since their arrival from Low-A Savannah, Lawley has been equally impressive. The 24-year-old turned in another sensational week at the plate, producing a five-game hitting streak that included two doubles, two homers and six RBI. Boosted by four multi-hit performances, he hit an astounding .552 during that stretch with a 1.391 OPS. His 16 homers this season have already established a career high, which could be an impetus behind a shift to Double-A for the first time to determine how he fares against tougher pitching.
Surging on the mound: Starter Matthew Bowman. After hitting his first bump from a control standpoint June 9th at Jupiter (three walks), Bowman has reverted back to the crafty artist he has developed into during his second pro season. The right-hander fanned seven batters over eight innings during a no-decision against Palm Beach last Friday, with his only blemish being a solo home run in the second inning — one of just two hits he allowed in the game. Over his past three starts, Bowman has totaled 22 strikeouts and just three walks with a sparkling 1.80 ERA and a .162 batting average against.
Number to remember: 11. Despite the Mets’ recent offensive struggles, Boyd and Plawecki continue to shine at the plate. The dynamic duo has combined for 11 multi-hit performances, and Boyd is boasting a .391 batting over his first 11 games with St. Lucie. Plawecki, who missed two games at the end of last week with a minor hip issue, is hitting .361 through nine contests. However, and rather surprisingly, neither player has drawn a walk after combining for a staggering .415 on-base percentage with Savannah.