The difference between the Mets and Braves last night was Dansby Swanson.
Swanson made a number of great plays in the field. In the third, he made an incredible diving catch on a Michael Conforto sinking liner to start an inning ending double play. In the eighth, Swanson went deep into the hole to field what should’ve been a sure Wilmer Flores single turning it into an out.
Swanson killed the Mets at the plate too. His two out two RBI double in the sixth gave the Braves a 2-1 lead. In the ninth, Swanson took advantage of Curtis Granderson playing no doubles defense and Granderson having a poor arm. Swanson busted it right out of the box for a hustle double.
Rio Ruiz followed with an RBI single. It was quite the juxtaposition seeing Swanson race past Asdrubal Cabrera on his way to scoring the game winning run. Swanson might’ve been able to field or knock that ball down. Cabrera had no hope.
With Swanson, the Braves not only beat the Mets last night, but they’re also ahead of the Mets in the standings.
Now, it hasn’t been a smooth road for Swanson. After playing well in his call-up last year, Swanson struggled to start the year. In April, Swanson looked completely overmatched hitting just .156/.200/.233 with a double, two homers, and five RBI.
Since, he’s hitting .250/.353/.402 with seven doubles, four homers, and 21 RBI. Over the last week, he’s hitting .350/.409/.500 with two doubles, a homer, and five RBI.
Needless to say, he no longer looks overmatched. Better yet, he looks like a game changer out there, and the Braves are being rewarded for sticking with him.
This is a stark reminder the Mets have Amed Rosario, who is every bit as capable of having the game Swanson had last night. In fact, Rosario is the only man on the Mets 40-man roster capable of replicating the things Swanson did to beat the Mets.
Sadly, this won’t motivate the Mets to do the right thing. They’ll make excuses. Many will point to the Super Two cutoff that has likely already passed. For those pointing out Rosario needs more at-bats in Triple-A, Swanson never played a game at that level. The arguments the Mets don’t want him to struggle ring hollow when you consider the season is close to being over . . . if it isn’t already.
Last night, the difference between the Braves and the Mets was the Braves dynamic young shortstop being in the lineup, and the Mets dynamic young shortstop playing in Triple-A. Seeing how this was the difference, it makes you question how much longer the Mets can wait on Rosario.