After a weekend of praising the mythical “Donnie Stevenson” for their offensive turnaround in Philly, the Mets faced a new challenge upon Monday’s arrival at Busch Stadium.
They couldn’t let this four-game series against the Cardinals become a Donnie Fiasco (to borrow from the Johnny Depp-driven mob flick).
Say this much for the Mets: They don’t lack confidence, despite a virtual zero return on the $341-million investment in Francisco Lindor and two big pieces, J.D. Davis and Brandon Nimmo, absent from Monday’s starting lineup due to injuries for a second straight game. Shortly after manager Luis Rojas was finished speaking, the team placed Davis on the 10-day IL with a sprained left hand.
Crediting the aforementioned Mr. Stevenson — unlisted in the team’s media guide — as the mysterious spark for their attitude adjustment at the plate was an amusing side note to a wild two-game winning streak over the inept Phillies. It might have been better if hitting coach Chili Davis was the headliner instead, but whatever works. If the Mets needed to lean on “Diesel Donnie,” as Pete Alonso referred to him after Sunday’s 8-7 victory at Citizens Bank Park, his arcane powers apparently worked like a charm.
But can the Mets make that shtick stick? With Sunday night’s season-high 17-hit attack, they batted .325 (25-for-77) and a remarkable .429 (9-for-21) with runners in scoring position. That was very out of character for a club that still is…