Apr 17

Looking At The Mets’ Fast Start

No, I can’t do it when it comes to the New York Mets. I can’t look at 7-3 and just say, “hey, that’s great.” I certainly can’t say they’ll keep this pace, because playing .700 ball would be incredible. Nobody plays .700 ball. Now that the Mets are playing at that clip, I am thinking a lot better than .500.

Isn’t everybody?

But, I’m like the man grilling over coals. I can’t resist poking at them. It’s part of my nature, and also why I became a journalist. I am wonder why. That’s what I do.

So here are my thoughts on this terrific start, and yes, I do hope they’ll prove me wrong and keep it up. I want to see them play in October. I’ve covered a lot of playoff and World Series games, but the Mets in 2006 were positively electric. I’d love to see that again.

Here’s to the fast start and some of the reasons why:

* Matt Harvey: He’s had two starts, one great and the other not so much. He’s still throwing too many pitches for six innings, but it is easy to see the Mets have something special when he goes to the mound and the team has an aura when he pitches. That might be the best thing he brings to the table.

* Bartolo Colon: He’s had two outings and proven he still has something to give. When it comes to counting pitches, I hope they’d do with Colon the way they do Harvey. If they can keep him strong for the season it could bear fruit in September.

* Jacob deGrom: One of my favorites. He has great stuff and has also shown an ability to pitch out of trouble. Rookie of the Year last season. What’s his ceiling this year?

* Jon Niese and Dillon Gee: Neither has been stellar, but they did work into the fifth which minimizes the use of the bullpen. That can’t be underestimated.

* The bullpen: Forget Jenrry Mejia and I think the Mets will when his suspension is lifted. But, Jeurys Familia has been terrific as has the lefty relievers we all thought would be a problem. I’ve been critical of GM Sandy Alderson, but kudos for fixing the left bullpen hole at the end of spring training. They won’t get back Josh Edgin, but things could be better when Bobby Parnell and Vic Black return.

* Travis d’Arnaud: Is doing it at both sides of the plate. And, he’s showing some pop. Defensively, the pitchers like him, he’s blocking the plate better and shows a strong arm.

* David Wright: His fast start before hurting his hamstring had a calming influence. They haven’t lost since he’s been out, but that’s coincidence. Another positive is Eric Campbell has played well since replacing Wright.

* Lucas Duda: No, this wasn’t written by order of importance. For some reason I always lead with pitching. However, Duda is having a terrific start and is shows the ability to hit lefties. His stroke is short and compact, and he’s showing plate presence and patience. If he continues like this there’s no telling what he can do.

Wilmer Flores: Yes, Flores. He didn’t have a good start, but he’s not letting it bother him. They don’t win last night without his homer. And, kudos to Terry Collins here. It could have been easy to panic and pull Flores, but he stayed the course. Good job by Collins.

Juan Lagares: He’s not hitting leadoff, and perhaps the early confusion lead to his slow start at the plate. But, it hasn’t affected his defense and he’s starting to improve at the plate. A less tougher player might have let the lineup change bother him. That doesn’t seem to be the case with Lagares.

Curtis Granderson: He’s not hitting, but has a high on-base percentage with all his walks. If Granderson weren’t getting on base there would be a problem.

Michael Cuddyer: Has been a steady and consistent presence in the middle of the order. So far, a good signing. And, a lot of people other than Wright like him.

Other good signs: They are winning close games and won two of three in Washington. Winning in the division is a great indicator and they’ll continue to get those opportunities the rest of the month. … Atlanta has cooled and Washington has sputtered and has significant bullpen problems. April is a great opportunity to make a strong, early statement and that’s what they are doing.

Of course, I could ask for more. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t. But, I couldn’t ask for a better start.

 

 

 

Apr 16

Mets Game Wrap: Offense Sparks Mets

All season we’ve heard about the Mets’ weak offense, especially with them not having David Wright.

Dillon Gee, who worked through the fifth inning for a major league leading 48 straight starts, wasn’t effective, but was picked up the heretofore struggling Mets’ offense, lead by Wilmer Flores, who clubbed a three-run homer; Lucas Duda, who had three hits including two doubles; and Michael Cuddyer, who drove in two runs with a pair of hits.

The results haven’t continually been there despite the Mets (7-3) winning their fifth straight game, something they haven’t done since 2013. They’ve also scored at least six runs in three straight games.

The Mets utilized the combination of patience and aggressiveness at the plate, notably Duda, who is 4-for-8 against lefties and tonight had his third straight multi-extra base hit game.

At 7-3, the Mets moved into first place in the NL East. It’s early, but it’s sweet nonetheless.

 

Apr 16

Mets Game Thread: Looking Flat So Far

The Mets appear a little flat tonight, and that probably has a lot to do in that they’re not doing anything against the Marlins’ Jarred Cosart. Dillon Gee left one over the plate to Giancarlo Stanton and he crushed it.

He does that to a lot of people.

The Mets are going after their fifth straight win, something they haven’t done in almost two seasons.

By the way, Gee just retired the Marlins in the fifth inning, something he has done in a major-league high 48 straight starts.

Miami 3, Mets 0 (5th)

Apr 16

April 16, Mets Batting Order Vs. Marlins

The Mets will be going after their fifth straight victory tonight against the Miami Marlins. Not once last season did the Mets win five in a row, and only three times did they win as many as four straight games. Their last five-game winning streak was May 26-30, 2013.

The Mets were 11-8 against the Marlins last season, including 6-3 at Citi Field.

Here is the Mets’ batting order tonight:

Curtis Granderson, RF

Travis d’Arnaud, C

Lucas Duda, 1B

Michael Cuddyer, LF

Daniel Murphy, 2B

Eric Campbell, 3B

Juan Lagares, CF

Wilmer Flores, SS

Dillon Gee, RHP

Gee is coming off a 5-3 loss in last Saturday’s 5-3 loss at Atlanta. He has worked at least five innings in his last six starts against Miami, going 3-1 with a 2.84 ERA.

ON DECK: Why I like Dillon Gee.

Apr 16

Mets-Marlins Rotation

The following are the starting pitchers for the Mets-Miami series, starting tonight at Cit Field:

Tonight: RHP Dillon Gee (0-1, 9.00) vs. RHP Jarred Cosart (0-1, 1.50), 7:10 p.m. ET

Friday: RHP Bartolo Colon (2-0, 2.77) vs. RHP David Phelps (0-0, 36.00), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Jacob deGrom (1-1, 1.46) vs. RHP Mat Latos (0-2, 17.36), 7:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Matt Harvey (2-0, 2.25) vs. RHP Tom Koehler (1-1, 3.18), 1:10 p.m. ET