Michael Conforto’s May had been a frustrating one. His .115/.148/.269 slash line was troubling at best, and his uncharacteristic 11 strikeouts-to-one walk contributed to his demotion from the top of the batting order. He desperately needed a productive game to get his season back on track.
Enter Hector Neris and a four-seamer up and out over the plate.
Conforto’s two-run dinger in the top of the ninth put the Mets up over the Phils for good, and it capped off what may prove to be the game we point to as the one that turned things around for the 25 year old outfielder.
Conforto looked like he was seeing the ball well all game. He battled back from 0-2 to work a walk in the seventh, smoked a line drive to center in the fourth that was caught, and hooked a ball deep, but foul, in the ninth, just barely missing a homer two pitches before his game winning blast. The walk was almost as encouraging as the go-ahead homer in ninth; Conforto’s .384 OBP in 2017 tells us he’s the type of hitter to work deep into counts and be happy with a free base, and he’s clearly been trying to do too much over the past few weeks.
Jake Arrieta had everything working last night in his 7.1 innings of shutout ball, but Conforto was one of the few Mets to put together a couple of quality at-bats against him. His homer is what obviously helped the team the most, and symbolically-speaking, it’s the play that may be the turning point in his season, but it’s the the complete stat line that is most encouraging about Conforto’s huge Friday night.
If you're hitting the final home game on Thursday at Citi Field, swing by the Marina Lot to see some friends, maybe meet some new ones, and responsibly wash down your sorrows before heading inside.