Mets continue red-hot run, hammering rookie Shota Imanaga for 10 runs in a disastrous start for rookie

Written by on June 22, 2024

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Two teams trending in opposite directions opened a three-game series at Wrigley Field on Friday afternoon. The fading Chicago Cubs and red-hot New York Mets met on Chicago’s North Side (NYM 11, CHC 1), and the Mets wasted no time taking control of the game. They hung 10 runs on NL Rookie of the Year candidate Shota Imanaga in three innings and change.

Friday is the fourth time in the last nine games the Mets scored 10-plus runs.

J.D. Martinez (three-run), Francisco Alvarez (solo), and Brandon Nimmo (two-run) all took Imanaga deep. The Mets put the first two runners on base in each of the first four innings — all against Imanaga — for the first time in franchise history, according to the SNY broadcast. Here are the three long balls:

All 10 runs charged to Imanaga were earned and his ERA skyrocketed from a pristine 1.89 to a still excellent 2.96 in a single afternoon. Imanaga now has a higher ERA than fellow Japanese rookie Yoshinobu Yamamoto (2.92), who had gradually whittled his ERA down following his disastrous five-run, one-inning MLB debut in the Seoul Series. Yamamoto is currently out with a shoulder injury.

Imanaga was certainly not going to maintain a sub-2.00 ERA all season. Very few pitchers do that. And, truth be told, Imanaga’s regression has been tied up entirely in two starts. The Mets hammered him on Friday, and the Milwaukee Brewers tagged him for seven earned runs in 4 1/3 innings on May 29. Otherwise, Imanaga has allowed two earned runs or fewer in each of his other 12 starts.

As for the Mets, they entered play Friday third in batting average (.283), fourth in on-base percentage (.351), and third in slugging percentage (.477) in June. Those numbers went up after the hurting they put on Imanaga. They’ve averaged 6.60 runs scored and 3.67 runs allowed in their last 15 games. In other words, the Mets are playing their finest baseball of 2024 right now.

Friday’s loss dropped the Cubs to 19-31 in their last 50 games and 36-40 on the season overall. The Mets improved to 12-3 in their last 15 games and are 36-38 this season. It is the closest New York has been to .500 since they were 19-21 on May 13.

The Mets are a half-game behind the National League’s third wild-card spot. The Cubs are only 1.5 games out of postseason berth.

The post Mets continue red-hot run, hammering rookie Shota Imanaga for 10 runs in a disastrous start for rookie first appeared on CBS Sports.


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