DENVER — Other than Pete Alonso, their slugging first baseman who might challenge the 60-homer plateau, the list of Mets players who have performed at a consistently high level offensively this season is short.
It starts and ends with Brandon Nimmo.
“Through thick and thin, he’s been a constant for us,” manager Buck Showalter said before the Mets’ 10-7 loss to the Rockies at Coors Field on Saturday night.
The best of Nimmo was on display Friday when, to begin his annual homecoming, he reached base five times (including two triples).
Nimmo, who went 1-for-5 in Saturday’s loss, entered the game with a .303/.387/.455 slash line, four homers and 21 RBIs.
Alonso, who hit his MLB-leading 20th homer on Saturday, has largely carried the Mets.
But Alonso can’t hit a home run every night, leaving the team to find other avenues.
Too often, there haven’t been answers because players such as Francisco Lindor, Starling Marte, Jeff McNeil and Daniel Vogelbach have been inconsistent.
In recent weeks, Francisco Alvarez, who had a triple and a three-run homer on Saturday, has emerged to provide production from the bottom of the lineup.
Nimmo reaching base atop the batting order, with Lindor delivering behind him, is one such method of attack. Lindor knocked in four runs on Friday, with Nimmo scoring three of them.
“That is how this lineup was designed,” Nimmo said. “And that is how it’s at its best, is me getting on in front of those guys and them driving me in.”
There is certainly no buyers’ remorse at this point by the Mets on the eight-year contract worth $162 million they gave to Nimmo this past offseason.
In a lean market for quality center fielders, the 30-year-old Nimmo was an obvious choice for a return to the organization that drafted and developed him.
“This is not a surprise for me,” Lindor said. “I know he’s still got better years to come. What we have seen is a byproduct of him putting quality swings on the baseball, but we knew he was going to get on base and he’s too good of a hitter to not hit .300. He’s going to hit .320 or .330 one year. I truly believe that.
“He’s really good at the plate and he’s really consistent in his approach. He’s pretty amazing. He’s running the bases great and playing outstanding defense. He is a big part of why we are winning these games.”
Lindor pointed out Nimmo’s first plate appearance Friday as an example of the mental warfare he wages on an opposing pitcher.
Nimmo walked on the eighth pitch of the at-bat.
“Eight more years we have together?” Lindor said. “I can’t wait.”
Coors Field has always been nirvana for Nimmo, who grew up about 100 miles north of Denver in Cheyenne, Wyo., idolizing former Rockies star Todd Helton. He said at least 60 family members and friends were in attendance Friday and he was expecting another significant showing from the Wyoming crowd on Saturday and Sunday.
Nimmo entered play with an 1.113 OPS at Coors Field, his highest career total in any ballpark in which he has played more than three games. It could be the altitude, or something even beyond the thin air.
“I don’t know if there is something in the water or I just enjoy playing here, but I love that I am doing well in front of my family and friends,” Nimmo said. “It’s really cool to do well in front of them and make them proud because there are a lot of things that they did and sacrifices they made that I wouldn’t be here without them.”
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