Much of the pre-series buzz is about sending a message to the Philadelphia Phillies. Nice hype, but I’m not buying. Even should the Mets sweep the Phillies this week, what message could they possibly send to a team that has reached the playoffs the last three years, including the World Series twice?
By most accounts, the Phillies – even with Chase Utley and Brad Lidge shelved – remain the class of the NL East and are well aware of the annoyance they call the Mets. It’s usually electric when the teams play, but the Phillies are the superior team and they know it.
What’s important to the Mets is they don’t believe it, even though that has been the prevailing feeling in the clubhouse when they compare themselves to Philly. With a good series, the only message the Mets would be sending is to themselves, and the best way to start is to not get ahead of themselves by making more of this series than it really is.
“As far as I’m concerned it’s Game Four,” David Wright said. “It’s obviously a very, very good team. I think it’s a challenge. I don’t think either team is out to necessarily prove anything this early in the season. But it would be nice to go in there and win a series.”
A competitive series would also help in setting the stage for the home opener this Friday. If the Mets get waxed it won’t make for a festive mood this weekend.
Chris Young gets the ball tonight for the Mets. Young threw well during spring training,but coming off a shoulder injury and signed for a bargain basement price, the Mets don’t know what to expect from him.
Young, who hasn’t started 30 games in a season since, 2007, threw 25.1 pain-free innings while compiling a 1.78 ERA in spring training.
“I feel good,” Young told reporters in Florida, where the Mets opened their season by winning two of three from the Marlins. “I’ve made some good strides. I think my arm strength’s increased, breaking ball’s gotten sharper, command’s better. It was a good spring training.”
But, will it be a good year? That’s one of the Mets’ significant questions.