The Mets and Yankees were at opposite ends of the broom over the weekend, but it didn’t take much to guess where most of the newspaper attention went. Right – in Florida where the Rays were disposing of the Yankees.
Being a Mets fan, you’re used to that, but today you want it this way. Let the Mets fly in under the radar; let the Yankees deal with the pressure and panic.
The weekend was all about pitching, with Jon Niese flirting with the franchise’s first no-hitter. The string remains intact for 7,971 games. Who cares how long the streak goes as long as they keep playing well.
How long this will last nobody knows. For now, enjoy the good pitching and timely hitting. Manager Terry Collins wants to measure progress by performance and competing, and so far that’s what he’s received.
The Mets have been more solid than spectacular, and that’s what you want at this stage. For the Mets to sustain, they must beat struggling teams such as the Braves and win at home, where they’ll be for three more games this week against Washington, a team they should handle.
There are several topics worthy of note to pull from the weekend, beginning with closer Frank Francisco, who converted three straight save opportunities, but not too long ago was dealing with a sore knee. I’m betting Collins has a cutoff date – or he should, anyway – on consecutive appearances by Francisco before he gets a breather. Jon Rauch did not pitch yesterday, so he could close tonight if the situation dictates.
Another thing to note has been Ruben Tejada, who collected four hits in the leadoff slot with Andres Torres injured. As long as the Mets play well, there’s no reason for Collins to experiment with anybody else in the role. Tejada has been juggled enough as it is.
Also important is the Mets are doing this without Ike Davis, who is 0-for-11 through the first three games. Nobody doubts Davis will hit, but there’s no reason to change things now. Just let Davis work himself out of it.
However, it all begins with starting pitching, and Niese was superb through six innings before unraveling in the seventh. By then the offense had given him the support to withstand a Braves’ run.
Nobody is naive enough to believe the winning will last forever, but there’s no reason to believe the solid play can’t continue. And, with one, odds are you’ll get the other.
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