Buck Showalter will vie for his 1,600th managerial win on Saturday when his New York Mets continue their three-game interleague series against the visiting Texas Rangers.
Showalter tied Hall of Fame member Tommy Lasorda for 22nd place on the all-time managerial wins list after the Mets’ 4-3 victory over the Rangers on Friday in the opener of the series.
“It means I’ve had a lot of good players, and a lot of opportunities,” Showalter said of his success. “Pretty good health, pretty good wife, pretty good family. … I wish I had as many last teams standing as Tommy had.”
While Lasorda picked up two World Series titles as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Showalter is off to a good start in his first season as the skipper of the Mets.
National League East-leading New York ended a season-high three-game skid due in large part to two hitters showing signs of breaking out of their respective slumps.
Mark Canha snapped an 0-for-14 skid with an RBI single in the fourth and Eduardo Escobar halted a 1-for-15 slump later in the inning by belting a three-run homer into the upper deck in right field.
“I said this morning that we started a new month, hopefully I’ll start hitting more,” Escobar said.
The Mets mustered just six hits on Friday. Slugger Pete Alonso had two of those hits to improve to 6-for-15 with two homers, three RBIs and two runs in his past five games.
Alonso, however, has struggled in a small sample size against Saturday’s scheduled starter Martin Perez (6-2, 2.22 ERA). Alonso is 0-for-6 versus the left-hander, while Canha is 2-for-13.
Perez, 31, has won two consecutive starts to improve to 6-0 in his past 10 trips to the mound. He allowed four runs on seven hits in six innings in a 10-4 victory at Kansas City on Monday.
“It happens in the game,” Perez said. “They’re going to score runs. But I never lost my focus. Their approach I think was outside, so I just started throwing in more and I got my game plan back. I’m paying more attention to the hitters. If you throw the ball in where you want it, with conviction, it doesn’t matter (who the hitter is).”
Perez has a 2-0 record with a 3.18 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in five career appearances (three starts) against the Mets.
New York right-hander Trevor Williams (1-4, 3.64 ERA) will get the nod on Saturday.
Williams, 30, received a no-decision on Tuesday after allowing one hit in 2 1/3 scoreless innings against the Houston Astros.
He has yet to face the Rangers in his career.
Marcus Semien belted a solo homer in the third inning on Friday. He is 6-for-12 with four extra-base hits (two doubles, two homers) with five RBIs in his past three games.
Adolis Garcia, however, went 0-for-4 to see his career-high 11-game hitting streak come to a halt.
–Field Level Media