Mets excited for games in London, but it’s still a 'business trip’

Right before the doldrums of a long baseball season can set in, the Mets are getting the opportunity to break out of the routine with a trip to London.

But for manager Carlos Mendoza, who traveled to London in 2019 when he was bench coach with the Yankees, yes there is excitement about the opportunity to experience a new atmosphere, but there’s two games to be won.

“I am really excited to go over there and experience the whole thing again and it’ll be fun,” he said Wednesday from Washington, before adding, “You gotta treat it as a business trip.”

“Obviously it’s in a different country, but the games count. Our preparation will be the same, the intensity, the focus,” he continued. “Yeah it’s a different country, different atmosphere, different ballpark, [but] we’re gonna be playing a really good team in the Phillies.

“And our job is to go out there and get the job done. That’s how we’re gonna treat it.”

With the Mets moving ahead five time zones, Mendoza said it is important for the players to “get their sleep on the way there” as they are scheduled to land in the UK around noon on Thursday.

“We’ve been talking to the players, our performance staff has done a tremendous job of preparing us ahead of this trip and we feel good with where we’re at as a team and we’ll be ready for it,” he said.

The Mets will be traveling with the full contingent of players, no starting pitchers will be left behind, Mendoza said. And a three-man taxi squad of third baseman Brett Baty, catcher Joe Hudson and reliever Cole Sulser will be joining them.

New York will be able to activate one of the position players from the taxi squad to be a 27th man on the roster, but Mendoza added they have not yet decided if that will be Baty or Hudson, who was added to the 40-man roster on Wednesday.

Left-handers Sean Manea and Jose Quintana will be the starting pitchers for the games on Saturday and Sunday.

New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) gestures to his dugout from second base after hitting a double against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Nationals Park.

Mendoza on recent offensive performance

Mendoza said the club is always looking for ways to improve when asked about the offense going through a bit of a team-wide slump in May.

“Talking about our process and the decision making, there’s a lot that goes into it on a day-to-day basis and… we feel like we’ve made a lot of progress, we raised the floor, and credit to the guys,” he said, pointing toward the clubhouse. “The guys are very vocal about it and holding each other accountable and pushing each other and that’s good to see.”

And there have been signs the work is paying off. Over the last seven games, the Mets are batting .302 as a club with an .859 OPS with 15 doubles, four triples and nine home runs.

“Good at-bats top to bottom, guys getting on base, controlling the strike zone, doing damage, hitting the ball hard, and sometimes you’re gonna get results and sometimes it’s baseball,” Mendoza said. “What I like where we at day-to-day [is] our approaches against different guys: lefties, righties, bullpen guys.

"It’s good to see. And I’m pretty confident that this will continue to happen.”

One recent switch to the lineup has been batting Francisco Lindor in the leadoff spot and moving Brandon Nimmo to the three-hole.

“They’re professionals and they keep saying, ‘I’ll hit wherever you need me to hit,’” the manager said. “Obviously Lindor’s having success, good at-bats, but we knew [that would happen]. He’s too good of a player. Nimmo, clutch, but we’re gonna need all of them and they’re willing to hit anywhere in the lineup.”

Since Lindor moved up in the order on May 18 he is batting .311 (23-for-74) with six doubles, two home runs and 10 RBI with an .854 OPS. The shortstop posted a .235 average with a .697 OPS in 29 games in the three spot and .093 average with a .419 OPS in 13 games in the two spot.

Nimmo’s numbers aren’t as impressive, but in 16 games from the three spot this year he is 15-for-62 (.242) after going 32-for-148 (.216) as the leadoff hitter.