Jul 19

Mets Halt Fall; R.A. Dickey And David Wright Come Up Big

You figured the losing streak might end with a bang.

DICKEY: Was Dickey again. (AP)

It looked that way at first when the Mets took a 9-1 lead with R.A. Dickey cruising again and David Wright clubbing two homers. At the time I was thinking this was a lead even the Mets’ bullpen couldn’t blow. However, it sure looked as if they were trying.

This isn’t about the bullpen. It is  about the Mets getting up from the mat. Look, I don’t know if this will jump start them and they’ll make up the ground they’ve recently lost.

The most important thing I took from today’s game is what Ike Davis said when it was over. When asked if it was important the Mets go into their upcoming homestand with a win, he said the losing streak was behind them and the thing to do is focus on the future and he only spoke of the Dodgers.

There is a lot of season remaining, and as the Mets showed us in 2007 leads can disappear quickly. Maybe it can again.

 

Jul 17

Matt Harvey Effectively Wild In Audition

A no-hitter would have been too much to ask for, but Matt Harvey took one into the sixth. Harvey walked four, hit a batter and gave up three hits, but pitched with poise as he passed his audition Monday night in Buffalo.

HARVEY: Kept his head (Mets)

Expect him to pitch this weekend against the Dodgers. Does he believe he’s ready?

“I do,” he told reporters. “Today I obviously wasn’t happy with as many walks. I feel like my last couple of starts have been pretty good. And I’m feeling confident with all of my pitches.”

Of course, what else is he going to say?

As I watched, I didn’t care too much about the walks – he’ll have to do better Saturday – but instead paid attention to how he kept his composure in pitching out of trouble. He did an admirable job.

The Mets made no announcement after the game, but I’d bet on seeing him at Citi Field this weekend.

Jul 07

Mets Frustrating Again; Johan Santana Rocked

Didn’t we just see this movie?

Yeah, I remember. They beat the Dodgers three of four, then lose two of three at Chicago. If the Mets are as good as they claim they want to be, they can’t lose to teams like the Cubs. Championship caliber teams must beat up on teams with losing records.

This is something they must improve upon in the second half.

I am wondering a bit about Johan Santana, who was rocked with another big inning. Santana had been keeping trouble to a minimum, and that’s what he must do.

Jul 04

Fourth Of July Good Omen For Mets

History dictates that whoever is leading on July 4th will make the playoffs. That’s a good omen for the Mets, who lead in the wild-card chase. By the end of the month, if there are trades, then the Mets will be buyers.

Their top priority is the bullpen as they have enough offense, despite limited power, to get the job done.

Let’s look at the other playoff contenders.

Washington has the best record in the National League and with its pitching could sustain it into the playoffs. The question here is what will happen if, and when, they shut down Stephen Strasburg.

Atlanta could make a run, but the Marlins and Phillies have too many issues.

In the Central, it would be nice to see Pittsburgh hold on, but the Reds, Cardinals and Brewers are still close. This division should be a scramble until the end.

In the West, it is the Dodgers and Giants, with Arizona 5.5 games out.

Things seem more definitive in the American League. I expect the current leaders to hold on, with Tampa Bay, Detroit and the Angels the prime wild card contenders.

Jul 03

Fake Rivalry With Phillies Renews Tonight

The Mets and Phillies have had a fake rivalry, and it has been rare when both teams were good at the same time. That’s when the competitive edge of the rivalry comes into play. They are division rivals and geographic rivals, but there’s little tenseness.

An element of hate was removed when Jose Reyes left in the offseason. The Phillies despised him and his style of play and gloated whenever they could. Reyes is gone and took that spice with him.

This year the Mets are playing well and chasing Washington for the NL East. Meanwhile, the Phillies are down and have made it known they will listen to offers for Shane Victorino and Cole Hamels. Both would look nice in Mets pinstripes, but forget it.

The Phillies have been in the playoffs since 2007. This year they’ve been beset with injuries and sluggish play. This is the time for the Mets to put them away, to put three games worth of distance between them before the All-Star break.

If the Mets are as good as they claim to be, they need to continue their momentum from the Dodgers series – including overcoming the disappointment of not getting a sweep – and laying the wood on a wounded opponent.

In that sense, there’s an element to the rivalry that has been missing.