Buck Showalter hasn't won very often on his birthday. But it's already clear he hasn't managed many teams like the 2022 New York Mets.
The Mets will look to lock up another series win Tuesday night when they visit the San Francisco Giants in the middle game of a three-game set.
Chris Bassitt (4-2, 2.77 ERA) is slated to start for the Mets against Logan Webb (5-1, 3.54) in a battle of right-handers.
The Mets rolled to a 13-3 win Monday night as Pete Alonso hit a three-run homer to cap a five-run third inning and J.D. Davis finished with four hits.
The Mets had a season-high 18 hits hours after helping Showalter celebrate his 66th birthday. The team presented Showalter with a cake and blindfolded him before spinning him around as he took aim at a pinata that contained chocolate.
Showalter, who was hired by the Mets in December and is looking to manage a team into the World Series for the first time in a managerial career that dates to 1992 with the New York Yankees, improved to only 4-12 on his birthday.
"They had some old guy on top of the cake," Showalter said. "I didn't know who that was supposed to be, and I figured out it was me."
The Mets, who are 14 games above .500 (29-15) for the first time since finishing the 2015 season with a 90-72 record, have begun figuring out they're pretty good. New York is 11-1-1 in 13 series this season and has won its last 14 games following a defeat -- the longest such streak in franchise history and tied for the third-longest streak in big-league history.
Brandon Crawford's two-run homer in the second inning gave the Giants an early lead Monday, but the Mets scored all five of their runs in the third with two outs.
"They got into a real pass-the-baton thing there," Showalter said. "It worked out."
Not much has worked out lately for the Giants, who have lost five straight, including their last two by a combined margin of 23-4.
As he did against the San Diego Padres on Sunday, outfielder Luis Gonzalez mopped up Monday, when he gave up three runs in the ninth.
The Giants' recent misfortune was displayed when they fell behind for good during a quirky rapid-fire sequence in the third inning Monday. With two outs and one on, Brandon Nimmo and Starling Marte each legged out infield singles to load the bases for Francisco Lindor, who blooped a first-pitch, two-run, ground-rule double just fair and beyond the grasp of Darin Ruf in left field. Alonso homered on the next pitch.
"It all happened so quickly," Giants starter Alex Cobb said. "I felt I executed decently, and then I looked and I saw (the pitch to Alonso) caught a lot of the plate."
Bassitt and Webb didn't factor into their decisions in their most recent starts. Bassitt gave up four runs over 6 1/3 innings Thursday as the Mets beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-6 in 10 innings. Webb allowed three runs over seven innings Wednesday in the Giants' 5-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies.
Bassitt is 1-2 with a 3.33 ERA in four career starts against the Giants. Webb is 1-1 with a 4.09 ERA in two starts against the Mets.
--Field Level Media