Apr 30

Mets, Nationals Not Just Another Series

While it is still early in the season, it is NOT premature for the Mets to approach this weekend’s series with Washington with a sense of urgency and purpose.

It would be wrong to call it critical, just as it would be to say it is like any other series. Clearly, it is not. Earlier this week the Mets held an unlikely eight-game lead over the Nationals in the NL East. It is now down to six.

DE GROM: Gets ball tonight. (Getty)

DE GROM: Gets ball tonight. (Getty)

Who didn’t think at the time, even for one moment, that the Mets could be up by 12 games if they swept the Nationals? I did, but I also thought today the Mets’ lead could be down to two if they were swept.

That’s the thing about math, it works both ways.

That’s why it is important for the Mets to play well. They can’t be thinking things like they will be fine if they just split, because they won’t. Splitting would be a disappointment. They need to go in wanting go for the throat. Playoff caliber teams don’t think about splitting series in May. They think about winning them.

Messages can be sent early in a season and the Mets need to reaffirm, 1) their hot start was not a fluke, 2) this is a different team and they will be around this year, 3) Citi Field does give them a home field advantage, and, most importantly, 4) they aren’t afraid of the team that beat them 15 times last year.

Washington enters on an upswing, while the Mets limp in after losing four of their last six. However, in looking at how they have played, they really only had two stinkers – both losses at Yankee Stadium – and played the Marlins tight.

Prior to the Miami series I wondered if it could be a trap series, but the Mets played well. They rallied to lose late in the second game, and Bartolo Colon gave them a solid start Wednesday night. They just got beat and it wasn’t because they lost focus.

One of the reasons why they lost Wednesday was because they couldn’t turn a double play in the first inning and Giancarlo Stanton followed with a two-run homer.

Later, Colon said, “things happen.’’

Michael Cuddyer, who hit a two-run homer Wednesday, said the Mets are entering this series with a proper frame of mind.

“There’s no concern,’’ Cuddyer said. “We played well [in Miami]. When you play 162 games, that’s going to happen. No, no, there’s no concern.’’

Maybe concern isn’t the right word, but I am willing to bet inwardly the Mets are a little more jacked up than if they were playing say, the Milwaukee Brewers this weekend. At least, I sure hope they are.

In looking at the big picture, where the Mets have been since moving to Citi Field and where they are now, this might be their most important series in this ballpark.

Here’s hoping they can really make it a home.

Apr 30

An Open Letter To A Reader

This is in response to a reader’s comment. I wanted to take it a step further because he made several well-written comment.

An Open Letter to Bill:

My obligation is not to cheer for the Mets. It is to give my interpretation of the news and what I see. Under no circumstances do I dislike the Mets or Matt Harvey. I covered the team full time as a reporter for a main stream newspaper for several years.

I am disabled and the Mets, from ownership on down, have been very good to me in terms of still giving me information, access and keeping me in the loop. I go to the games when I can and will go more year. For that I am grateful and wish them well.

The players, coaches, manager and management have been respectful and I try to respond in similar fashion and they understand I will be critical at times.

Given that, I have no animosity or agenda regarding Harvey. My obligation is that if I see something I will respond with my honest opinion.

I’ve covered this game for a long time and have seen many pitchers not be able to come back from an injury. I don’t want to see that with Harvey, which is why  I have been hard on the innings issue. I love good pitching and want to see Harvey do well and am excited in his potential.

Thank you for for reading and the times you have commented. I hope you reconsider and keep reading and posting your comments as they are valuable to me. I welcome opinions different than mine.

That is what sports is all about. I am sorry you misinterpreted my writing as disliking the Mets and Harvey as that is not the case.

Best to you.-JD

 

Apr 29

Mets Game Thread: Colon Back On Stride

Bartolo Colon seems to have corrected what bothered him in the first and is keeping the ball down.  He pitched around the muff by Wilmer Flores, who clearly tried to rush the play on Ichiro Suzuki’s grounder.

Thanks to a RBI hit from Lucas Duda, he has tamed the Marlins.

By the way, Curtis Granderson is heating up and doing more than drawing walks.

Mets 3, Marlins 2 (6th)

Apr 29

Mets Game Thread: Cuddyer Homers; Colon Struggles

It hasn’t been a good start for Bartolo Colon, who gave up a two-run homer to Giancarlo Stanton. Quite simply, the ball was crushed.

Colon struggled with his control and was getting his pitches up. The pitch to Colon was belt high and out over the plate.

Michael Cuddyer, who is back in the line-up, hit a two-run homer for the Mets in the first.

Mets 2, Marlins 2 (2nd)