The Mets are 5.5 games behind the Nationals in the standings, and four behind in the loss column. Yes, it sounds odd, perhaps premature to think, but a sweep could change the complexion of the NL East standings and maybe the Mets’ season.
A strong close to the first half could get them inside ten games below .500, which could bring some fun to Citi Field after the All-Star break. Too early to say playing meaningful baseball in September, but better than we thought a month ago.
Harvey, at 7-1, is an integral part of what the Mets are trying to do, and from his personal objective, a win tonight could go toward his being named a starter in the July 16 All-Star Game.
Harvey leads the NL with 112 strikeouts and MLB with opponent’s batting average (.188) and WHIP (0.88). If not for a lack of run support that has him with eight no-decisions, he might already have double-digit victories and his position as All-Star starter would be secure.
With Harvey going Friday and Zack Wheeler on Sunday, it could be and early version of the “Futures Game,’’ this weekend.
Incidentally, Wheeler is working with pitching coach Dan Warthen on not tipping his pitches. Just wondering why the Mets in his debut or at Triple-A Las Vegas didn’t pick this up earlier.
METS MATTERS: Doc Gooden will be at Citi Field tonight for a book signing. … Ruben Tejada begins a rehab assignment this weekend. Terry Collins said Tejada isn’t assured his job when he returns, claiming he has to beat out Omar Quintanilla, who has done nothing to warrant losing the starting position.
Here’s tonight’s Mets’ batting order:
Eric Young, LF: Hitting .556 (5-for-9) with RISP since joining the Mets.
Daniel Murphy, 2B: Hitting .276 (16-for-58) with RISP.
David Wright, 3B: Hit .326 (14-for-43) on the trip.
Marlon Byrd, RF: Has six homers in June, a career-high for him in any month.
Josh Satin, 1B: Hitting .273 while playing good defense. Is he a keeper?
John Buck, C: Is on a 2-for-24 slide.
Juan Lagares, CF: Looks as if center field job is his to lose. With his speed, I wouldn’t mind seeing him getting a chance at hitting second and dropping Murphy into a RBI position.
Omar Quintanilla, SS: Takes a 0-for-13 slide into game.
Matt Harvey, RHP: Has reached the sixth inning or longer in 14 of 16 starts.
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