NEW YORK-- If there were ever a turning point in the Mets' roller coaster of a season, you could potentially look back at this point in time, where a thumbs-down controversy sparked a miraculous turnaround.
And while it is definitely far too early to say that, with a long way left to go and a lot of ground still to make up, the Mets are beginning to play a better brand of baseball, which might start making fans believe again.
Following their wild comeback walk-off victory in Game 1, the Mets wrapped up a dreadful month of August on a high note, as they won their fourth game in a row by sweeping Tuesday's doubleheader from the Marlins in a 3-1 night cap win.
The Mets' bats started off quiet in the second game, until Michael Conforto, the hero of the first contest, crushed a 434.9 foot two-run home run off Edward Cabrera that landed in the second deck in right field. This gave the Mets a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth.
"I feel like I'm less focused on a sustained stretch of being hot and more focused on being ready to hit every single pitch that is thrown to me," said Conforto after the game.
Conforto has had a rough season, where he hasn't looked like himself. But he has been better in August with a .268/.388/.488 slash line and four home runs. And it was his walk-off hit in Game 1, and his tape measure homer in Game 2, which ultimately led the team to a doubleheader sweep of the Marlins, who usually give the Mets a hard time.
“We just want Michael to carry this over and have that consistency,” manager Luis Rojas said. “Michael’s a special hitter. I know it hasn’t been there for the most part this season, but that was a good sign in Game 2 tonight.”
“The quality at-bats were more in August,” Rojas said. “We saw him laying off of more pitches and taking better swings as a whole. Probably results-wise, he wasn’t exactly what you expect out of Michael. But I think he’s really close to being that guy.”
Following Conforto's two-run shot, the Mets' two-out rally wasn't finished yet, as Javier Báez singled, and Jeff McNeil knocked him in from first with an RBI double to extend the lead to 3-0.
Trevor Williams got the spot start in Game 2 and tossed four scoreless innings to begin his outing, retiring 10 batters in a row at one point. However, an error, a hard-hit come backer turned into an infield single, and an RBI double from Jesus Aguilar ended his night in the top of the fifth.
With the tying runs in scoring position and one out, lefty Aaron Loup came into the game to try to escape a king-sized jam. After walking Jazz Chisholm, Loup induced a nifty 1-2-3 double play, which started on a sharp liner back to the mound that some how found its way into his glove, to get out of the inning unscathed.
Williams' final line was 4.1 innings, one-run (unearned) on four hits, to go along with four strikeouts. The right-hander now holds a 0.69 ERA in four appearances (two starts) since the Mets acquired him from the Cubs at the trade deadline.
In the top of the seventh, closer Edwin Diaz came on to lock down the victory for the Mets by picking up his 27th save of the season.
After their latest win, the Mets are 65-67 and 5.5 games back in the NL East, after the Braves lost to the Dodgers.
"I think we did a great job of carrying over the momentum from the first game into the second," said Brandon Nimmo. "I was really proud of these guys with all the negative stuff going around."
The Mets were able to flip the script and make the noise all go away after their thumbs-down fiasco. While they still have a lot of work left to do if they are going to turn their season around, with 30 games remaining in the regular season, anything can happen.
"It's a great feeling, we just want to carry this over," said Rojas of his team's recent winning streak.
“I mean, those guys were having a party in there,” Rojas said. “They were celebrating with each other, congratulating each other. A lot of guys participated in both wins, and it was a big two team wins.”
On an additional note, the Mets-Marlins game on Wednesday has already been postponed due to impending rain. This matchup will be made up on September 28 as part of a single-admission doubleheader.