After RA Dickey’s strong effort Friday night, the Mets are seeking their first road series win of the season tonight at Baltimore.
Game #62 at Orioles
It would be their first since taking two of three at Florida, Sept. 25-27. They haven’t won two straight on the road since July 25-26, at Houston.
The Mets are a dismal 9-18 away from home.
The Mets have six of their last seven after Dickey’s outing, another in a string of strong pitching performances. In that span the Mets’ ERA is 2.22 ERA and giving up just two homers.
The lone poor start was by tonight’s starter, Hisanori Takahashi, who is 0-1 with a 10.61 ERA in his last two starts. This after going six scoreless innings in each of his first two starts, against Philadelphia and the Yankees.
The Mets are a flawed team, but one of them isn’t attitude.
Game #61 at Orioles
When asked what he liked best about his team he said “character,’’ that he has 25 players who mostly hustle and not give up on the play.
It has created a sense of chemistry. These Mets, unlike previous teams in recent years, really like each other and it goes beyond a whipped cream pie to the face during a TV interview.
These Mets genuinely like each other and it shows. Catch glimpses in the dugout during a game and you might see Johan Santana showing the grip of his change-up to another pitcher, or Jason Bay demonstrating hitting mechanics, in particular, how his shoulders are dropping.
The Mets have struggled at times, but they’ve never quit on Jerry Manuel and his message. Manuel has the clubhouse.
All too often this season, the Mets gave up the ground, confidence and groove they’ve had at home once they hit the road.
Only this time, the Mets aren’t going to San Diego or Philadelphia, but Baltimore to face the horrible Orioles and then on to Cleveland.
The talk-shows have already given the Mets a 4-2 or 5-1 trip before heading into Yankee Stadium a week from today.
It doesn’t work that way. You have to play the games first and the Orioles have beaten the Yankees twice and beat up the Red Sox in a series.
If what Jerry Manuel said is correct, that the Mets alter their offensive approach on the road because of some of the smaller stadiums, they have to be doubly careful this weekend, beginning tonight, at cozy Camden Yards.
In Mets history, in 1996, the Mets acquired first baseman John Olerud from Toronto for pitcher Robert Person. The Blue Jays were forced to make the deal because they needed a spot for Joe Carter.
I saw Olerud play a lot when I covered the Orioles and Yankees. He was one of the more soft-spoken players I’ve dealt with, but he sure did have a sweet swing. And, with him at first, the Mets had one of the finest fielding infields in the game.
At 26, and showing solid production and no injury history, the interest has been hot for reliever Matt Capps. Reportedly, a dozen teams have contacted Capps’ agent, but surprisingly not one of them has been the Mets. He’s a free agent because Pittsburgh did not offer arbitration.
With the bullpen in need of repair, one would think the Mets would be all over this. They are not.
Agent Paul Kinzer called the interest in Capps as “enormous.” Capps has said he’d like to pitch for the Cubs, but the field includes the Yankees, Orioles, Nationals, Marlins and Rangers. The reported asking price is at least $3 million a season. He has closer experience and would be ideal for the Mets’ set-up role.