After a successful home stand that ended on a down note, the Mets are in San Francisco tonight for the start of a four-game series, then three in Los Angeles and three in Fenway.
If they play the way they did at the start of their homes stand, they’ll be in good shape. If they play as they did against the Braves then the miles will wear on them.
What’s your confidence level for this trip?
Did losing two of three from the Braves take the shine off of winning seven straight? It appears so, but not because they lost but by how they lost. Same old stuff. Sloppy baserunning and not hitting with runners in scoring position.
A lot of the running mistakes were by Jose Reyes, who, because of his speed, is blasted one way or another. Reyes can’t win. He either is blasted for being thrown out at third with the play ahead of him or for not trying for third as in yesterday’s game.
By his own admission, Reyes ran with his head down on the first play and promised he wouldn’t do it again. He didn’t have a chance to be thrown out yesterday because he glided into second after styling out of the batter’s box. Maybe Reyes could have made it, but for sure if he learned from his previous mistake and was running hard with his head up he would have seen the play in front of him and known if he had a chance.
The crime is in loafing out of the box because you never know. With Reyes’ speed, sometimes he can force a bad throw. That’s also part of the equation. Rightly or wrongly, Reyes is as fault because of the perception of not hustling.
On running to third on the ball hit to shortstop, well, that was just a dumb play.
The problem with Reyes is because of his talent and physical gifts there are lofty expectations. Some of these expectations are unfair, but Reyes can take the heat off by hustling at all times.
Speaking of hustling at all times, I’ve noticed what a few of you have commented on concerning David Wright. He’s been known to take a routine play off and not run hard, and eventually it will come back to bite him.
Johan Santana is pitching tonight for the Mets against Atlanta, and if the trend continues he’ll get two runs and win. The Mets, going for their eighth straight victory, just can’t score for Santana, giving him a dozen runs in his six starts.
Why can’t the Mets score for Santana? It’s as if they think “all we need is a couple because they won’t score against him.” Not a good mindset to have.
The Mets are on a good roll, but they have to maintain. They can’t afford to let up, especially against the Braves, who have a way of putting the Mets in their place.
We’ve seen it all too often, the Mets rise up in a big series and then stumble against teams they should beat. Hey, that is the essence of the collapses of the last two years.
The Mets have won four straight, beating the sweeping a pair of two-game series against the Braves and Phillies. The Pirates are in for three this weekend before Atlanta comes to town next week.
The Pirates are team the Mets should beat, but they can be a pesky team especially since their pitching has been decent this spring.
Even with their modest four-game winning streak, there are still holes in the Mets’ game, beginning with the offense. Last night they scored a bunch early, but their bats went to sleep and they had to hold on to win.
K-Rod has been lights out, and Bobby Parnell has risen above Sean Green in the pecking order. Green has not pitched well, and Pedro Feliciano has also taken his lumps.
The room is open, but I have to take care of some things and I’ll join you later.
Two victories over the struggling Braves (and it could have been two the other way) does not a season make.
Said David Wright: “When you win, you have energy and passion. When things aren’t going so well, it’s easy to pick apart things like that. We’ve got a good team. We’ve got good guys on this team. We’re well-prepared. We’re intense. When you win, that’s a plus – and when you lose, you start looking for reasons why.”
There have been some encouraging things the past two days, but enough of the other stuff to believe the Mets aren’t out of the woods. For one thing, they were dreadful hitting with runners in scoring position. They could have routed the Braves had they been more consistent.
And, if you’re going to squander opportunities, you can’t afford to give the opposition extra outs, which was was last night’s ninth inning was all about.
All they’ve done was win two straight games. They are home now with series against the Phillies and Braves, and don’t underestimate the Pirates, who have been getting good pitching.
Let’s see where they are after this homestand. I’m cautiously optimistic.