Apr 18

Mets Aim To Continue Streak Behind DeGrom

It is no secret I am not a fan of the New York Mets’ batting order, but as a baseball traditionalist I know this much, you don’t screw around with a hot streak and the Mets are going after their seventh straight win tonight against Miami.

That means Curtis Granderson leading off, Travis d’Arnaud batting second and Juan Lagares seventh.

The Mets have to feel good about number seven because they’ll be giving the ball to Jacob deGrom, who is a lifetime 2-0 with a 1.67 ERA in four starts against Miami. He’s struck out 34 in 27 innings in those four games.

In his last start, deGrom threw 6.1 scoreless innings in a 2-0 victory over Philadelphia on Opening Day.

Said d’Arnaud: “He’s a special, special pitcher. He’s got great stuff, and most of all he’s got heart. He showed it (Monday), when he went out there and battled.’’

Here’s tonight’s batting order:

Curtis Granderson, RF

Travis d’Arnaud

Lucas Duda, 1B

Michael Cuddyer, LF

Daniel Murphy, 2B

Eric Campbell, 3B

Juan Lagares, CF

Wilmer Flores, SS

Jacob deGrom, RHP

Apr 15

Mets Game Wrap: Sweeping The Phils

Powered by home runs from Lucas Duda and Travis d’Arnaud, the Mets completed a three-game sweep over Philadelphia with a 6-1 victory Wednesday night at Citi Field. The victory was the fourth straight for the Mets.

PITCHING:  Jon Niese was in, but most importantly pitched out of trouble all night, scattering nine hits in 6.1 innings. Niese also walked two and struck out four. However, as has been the case early this season, the bullpen pitched well with Carlos Torres going .2 of an inning and Alex Torres two innings. Neither reliever gave up a hit.

HITTING: Duda and d’Arnaud each popped their first homer of the young season. … Duda has five RBI in the last two games. … Curtis Granderson who had averaged two walks a game, collected two hits. … Juan Lagares also had two hits. … D’Arnaud is off to a strong start, hitting .333 with eight RBI in nine games. He hit second tonight. … Duda is hitting .353. … Eric Campbell, playing in place of David Wright, singled in his first at-bat.

UP NEXT: Florida comes into Citi Field tomorrow for the start of a four-game series. Dillion Gee (0-1, 9.00 ERA) starts for the Mets. Jarred Cosart (0-1, 1.50) will start for the Marlins.


Apr 13

Mets Game Wrap: DeGrom Stuffs Phillies

The day couldn’t have been any brighter for the Mets, who used strong pitching from Jacob deGrom and manufactured a pair of runs to beat the Phillies, 2-0, this afternoon at sun-drenched Citi Field.

imagesPITCHING: DeGrom pitched another solid game, working 6.1 scoreless innings, giving up seven hits and one walk with only three strikeouts. … Carlos Torres relieved deGrom and got the Mets out of the seventh. … Jerry Blevins worked the eighth and Jeurys Familia the ninth for the save.

HITTING: Juan Lagares drove in the Mets’ first run with a line single off the glove of starter Aaron Harang in the fourth. The ball squirted from Harang giving Lagares time to beat out the hit. … The Mets increased their lead to 2-0 in the eighth when Michael Cuddyer singled, took third on Chase Utley‘s error when Daniel Murphy‘s hard-hit ball through his legs and scored on Travis d’Arnaud‘s sacrifice fly. … The Mets mustered only six hits, including a single by Wilmer Flores.

EXTRA INNINGS: The Mets are 34-20 in home openers, including 4-3 at Citi Field. … The Mets are 2-1 in one-run games this year. … With a single, David Wright has at least one hit in every home opener since 2005. … Curtis Granderson now has eight walks to lead the majors. … Today was the start of a 10-game home stand.

TOMORROW: Matt Harvey goes after his second straight victory in a start against David Buchanan.

Apr 13

Lagares Out Of Leadoff Spot

That was fast. The Mets’ Opening Day lineup features Curtis Granderson back in the leadoff spot and Juan Lagares dropped down to seventh. The move comes on the heels of Lagares going 0-for-5 Sunday in Atlanta.

LAGARES: Batting seventh. (AP)

LAGARES: Batting seventh. (AP)

Manager Terry Collins said he still has confidence in Lagares, who hit .359 in spring training.

“If he continues to swing the bat like he can, he’ll be in the leadoff spot,” Collins said of Lagares. “Right now, he’s struggling a little bit. So we kind of like where he’s at. We’ve got all the confidence in the world. When that confidence fades, we’ll find somebody else. But, right now, this guy is one of the real, real good players and an up-and-coming star in this game.”

After a strong spring training in which he worked on working the count and other aspects of leading off, Lagares began the season in the sixth spot in the order. The Mets insist they’ve considered the switch early in spring training, but puzzlingly didn’t act on it.

Lagares is admittedly struggling, batting .160, but then again Granderson is hitting .063.

While I understand the nuances of the leadoff hitter is assured of leading off an inning just once, and that when he’s batting it really doesn’t matter because he’s at the plate by himself. However, going into the season’s seventh game, Lagares is hitting in his third different spot in the order.

That indicates indecision.

Here’s today’s order for the Mets:

Curtis Granderson, rf

David Wright, 3b

Lucas Duda, 1b

Michael Cuddyer, lf

Daniel Murphy, 2b

Travis d’Arnaud, c

Juan Lagares, cf

Wilmer Flores, ss

Jacob deGrom, rhp




Apr 10

Whose Lineup Is It Really?

GM Sandy Alderson took a not-so subtle poke at Mets manager Terry Collins the other day when he interrupted the latter’s pregame press conference and said, “Hey, Terry, here’s your lineup for tomorrow.”

Now, I’m not saying Alderson handed Collins a lineup and said, “use this,” but I do believe he’s had a lot of influence in what is put on the field.

Curtis Granderson hitting first, David Wright second, projected leadoff hitter Juan Lagares sixth and the pitcher eighth is not what was practiced during spring training, and, of course, there are questions why?

The front office routinely talks with the manager about lineups, but I doubt a manager with far more job security would accept this influence, and definitely not the ribbing Alderson gave. Bruce Bochy wouldn’t have. Neither would have Joe Torre or Tony La Russa or Sparky Anderson.

All this seems to be a jab at Collins, whom Alderson said he wasn’t supportive of in his book. How can anybody not see that? Surely, it had to make Collins uncomfortable, although he wouldn’t say anything. How could he?

The Mets’ unconventional lineup has drawn attention throughout baseball, to which Alderson told reporters: “I think what happened is people were surprised by the lineup. People don’t like surprises, whether it’s the media or fans or other people in baseball who’ve got everything figured out. So when there’s a surprise like that, people are scrambling around for some sort of rationale or explanation. Sometimes it gets a little crazy. That’s what I chalk it up to — mostly.”

That’s one or the reasons why there is spring training as teams work to avoid surprises. Why practice something and then deviate?

It makes no sense.