Mets bounce back with shutout win over Rockies

Mets bounce back with shutout win over Rockies

DENVER — On Saturday night, the mood around the Mets was relatively austere. The team had split a doubleheader against the Rockies precisely the wrong way — a win, followed by a loss — to engender good feelings. They were all eager, in Buck Showalter’s words, to get back to their hotels, “pack up, get some sleep, and come back and start over.”

These Mets seem uniquely qualified to do just that: ignore, sweep, and move on. Baseball players talk about such clichés all the time. The Mets actually live them; When they returned to Coors Field on Sunday to beat the Rockies, 2-0, they won their 14th straight game after a loss – the longest streak at the Majors in nearly a decade.

“We’re just ready to play every day,” said starter Taijuan Walker, who became the first pitcher to throw at least seven shutout innings at Coors this season. “[Saturday] has been a very long day. The fact that the guys show up and play really good defense and get the timely hits and runs that we needed says a lot about us.

The way the Mets rebounded from losses perhaps says more about them than any other stat. Since the 2011 Phillies, no team has won 14 straight games after a loss, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Mets are 14-1 in those situations; they haven’t lost straight since their fourth and fifth games of the season.

Ask club players why this has been the case, and the answers tend to differ. Walker is an important part of the equation: start throwing. While injuries to Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer and Tylor Megill have weakened the rotation, Walker and others have still managed to keep this unit in the ERA Top 10 in Majors all season. On Sunday, Walker performed one of the rarest tricks of all, preventing the Rockies from recording a single extra hit in their home ballpark — something that has only happened five times in the five last years.

But this run of excellence wasn’t just about getting started in throwing, hitting, or any other aspect of the field. Showalter credited the Mets’ mental advantage, calling them a “pretty stable mental team.”

“They don’t enter this ‘sky is falling’ [mentality]“, explained Showalter. “It’s difficult, because it’s not just sport. He is a kind of [modern] society that we all want to know something before it happens, so we always say, “This happened, so this could happen.” They don’t live in this world. I hope it will continue.”

It’s worth noting that just as the Mets didn’t build any losing streaks, they also didn’t have any significant winning streaks. Despite going 28-15 and finishing first in Newfoundland East, the club has yet to win more than three games in a row – a feat it has accomplished five times. But the Mets didn’t need to because they hardly ever follow a loss with another loss. That has helped New York go 11-1-1 in the series so far this season.

On Sunday, the Mets picked up another series victory thanks to a major contribution from Walker, as well as some smaller notable accomplishments. Brandon Nimmo’s hustle from first to third on a fielding error set up the first inning of the game, which Francisco Lindor brought home on a single. Luis Guillorme, who worked his way into the starting lineup most of the time, had two hits. Closer Edwin Díaz locked in another trouble-free ninth inning, prompting Showalter to say “no one takes what Edwin does for granted.”

Those are the ingredients for a winning streak, to be sure. They can also be the preventative measures needed to avoid losing streaks before they happen.

“Nobody cares about the past,” Lindor explained. “When we arrive tomorrow in San Francisco, no one cares what we did today. Enjoy today, celebrate it, have fun — have a good flight. Once in San Francisco, turn the page. That’s kind of how we do it every day.”

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