Jeff McNeil keeps flourishing at bottom of the Mets’ lineup

Jeff McNeil keeps flourishing at bottom of the Mets’ lineup

WASHINGTON — Jeff McNeil is perhaps the Mets’ hottest hitter, however that doesn’t imply a major bump within the batting order is critical for him.

The surging second baseman batted seventh on Wednesday towards Nationals right-hander Aaron Sanchez, an evening after he hit eighth towards lefty Patrick Corbin.

“You are able to do about something with [McNeil],” supervisor Buck Showalter mentioned earlier than the Mets’ 8-3 loss. “It’s type of, you have a look at the batting order, and I’m making an attempt to guard some issues.”

With out divulging too many specifics, Showalter indicated Dominic Smith’s presence within the lineup — he batted fifth — affected the place McNeil was slotted.

After going 1-for-4 Wednesday evening, McNeil is 20-for-53 (.377) in his final 16 video games.

“It’s simply good to have such a flexible piece,” Showalter mentioned. “You want a leadoff hitter or three-hole hitter, he can go about anyplace. It’s actually an asset for us.”

The Mets’ Jeff McNeilAP

Showalter was nonetheless undecided earlier than the sport whether or not Max Scherzer or Chris Bassitt would obtain the additional day of relaxation this flip by the rotation. Each began Sunday in a doubleheader, and one might be wanted to pitch Friday towards the Mariners at Citi Subject. Taijuan Walker is the scheduled starter for the sequence finale Thursday towards the Nationals.

Edwin Diaz’s ninth-inning dominance has been a major a part of the Mets’ early success, however Showalter mentioned there might be occasions this season when the right-hander might be thrust right into a high-leverage function within the eighth.

Diaz entered Wednesday having allowed three hits and one run, with 17 strikeouts, over his final 10 innings.

“It’s one factor to have an excellent eight innings after which abruptly, from a psychological standpoint you by no means, you don’t need your workforce saying, ‘How a lot is sufficient tonight?’ ” Showalter mentioned. “I feel once we do sure issues Edwin has received an opportunity to make it maintain up and matter. It’s a tough job.”

Sean Reid-Foley underwent Tommy John surgical procedure in Texas and can return to Florida for rehab. The precise-hander possible might be out till after the All-Star break subsequent season.

Drew Smith is one among two MLB gamers this season to pitch not less than 13 innings and never give up an earned run. The franchise document is 21 scoreless innings to start a season, final achieved by Duaner Sanchez in 2006.

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