Friday, July 01, 2011

SUBWAY SERIES II ~ Citi Field Showdown

From the desks of: 

The Battle For Bragging Rites

Fourth of July Weekend

Bronx vs. Queens

New York Mets:  Stand Or Fall..

It's time for the Mets to play better at home.  The Flushing Fighters are back from a good road trip; an outstanding road trip.  And it's time for them to control their House.  This series has aligned itself nicely for the Mets to start tonight against the Yankees of all teams. 

July is upon us.  That means hard, cold decisions will have to be made before the month expires.  The Mets have avoided being broken up for at least two weeks now.  The clock is still ticking though.  In the mean time, they've seemingly done everything they can to convince the minds of those in the Front Office that this team is worth keeping together; if only for another three months.

So, Here's To Living In The Moment:

OK; - So we lost the last game to Detroit...  I promise you, this isn't me speaking in hind-sight; but Mike Pelfrey's style versus the Tiger line-up is a really bad match-up for the Mets.  I believe his start could have been worse. 

But the Mets have done well to get to this point.  After a loss, now we have to start the next two to three game burst of wins.  That's the way it needs to be done.  It's the way they've been getting it done.  They may have lost Thursday, but it was the Mets' third series win in a row against good teams.  Win two; lose one - that's manageable in the short term.  When you project that, it's fun to think of the possibilities.

From a Met point of view, the starting rotation couldn't have been set-up any better for this weekend's Subway Series against the Yankees.  Mike Pelfrey won't be facing the Yankees, which, for Met Fans, is a good thing.  And C.C. Sabathia will also miss the series as both pitchers threw on Thursday.  For Met Fans, not facing C.C. is also a good thing.

The Mets will have their three most consistent pitchers throwing against the Yankees.  Jon Niese; Dillon Gee; and R.A. Dickey will all take their turns at the visiting cross town rivals.  Those three must carry the Mets if they are to be carried at all.

I do think the Mets will rough up the Yankee pitchers they'll be starting against us this series.   Nova; Garcia; and Colon?   Bring it!   I'll take my chances against them any day. But it all goes back to the pitching.   The Mets starters, helped along the way with some timely hitting, must carry the club.

And Subway Series specific, it would be nice to jump out early against the Yankees' starters.   It's their bullpen I'm more concerned with.   I don't want to have to play catch-up against their reliever corps.  And YES! - I do have a realistic expectation for the Mets winning this series.

At the mid-point of the 2011 season, I think there's a distinct possibility the Mets recent surge in hitting is more indicative of the Mets being a well-adjusted bunch that has finally meshed, than just being a freakish and transient phenomenon and a team that will not be able to over-come the loss of Wright; Ike; (and Johan).  I stated the other day, there is something to be said for entering mid-season form.  Maybe the Mets are hitting their own personal stride, with the line-up they are working with.  This line-up has now been a relative constant for much of May and June.  That's a huge positive and maybe that's why they are hitting so well together lately.  Additionally, Terry Collins should be commended for his juggling act in handling catcher; third base; and first base.

Last season, the return of Carlos Beltran turned out to be more disruptive than the Mets bargained for.  Many of the call-ups and some of the remaining regulars found a zone together and rose as high as eleven games over .500 in July.  But I still believe as I did when he returned to the line-up last season, Carlos Beltran did more harm to the offensive chemistry than good.  In truth, it had nothing to do with Beltran.  The matter rested more as to what the line-up became in his absence and how they played once they were left for a time to gel.

With respect to Carlos Beltran this year, he's been busting it since Opening Day.  There is no issue with him today.  He's a 2011 constant.  My point merely was to point out, with the lengthy absence of Ike and Wright this season, the line-up has grown on one-another over that time.  They've adapted and have over-come the setbacks and the results are being displayed on the field and with their bats.  That's my feel.

The fact is the Mets have proven their ability to string together hits, and manufacture runs in the absence of the long ball.  They still had ten hits in their last loss to Detroit; seven against Verlander.  Detroit aside, they aren't dinking and dunking their way towards wins.  They're hitting the ball solidly and running the bases smartly.  They also have shown they can score late in games and mount comebacks.

This is shaping up to be one hell of series.  Both teams have an awful lot to play for.  For the Mets, they need to stay above .500; - not at, or falling below that level.  The Yankees are not without their problems, and no matter what they do, they'll never be able to shake the Red Sox.  Therefore, look forward to a tightly contested series.

I'm breaking out for the weekend, and this was my post for the series.

Let's Go Mets!!!



"Old School"

The Bronx Bombers
New York Yankees
The Flushing Fighters
From the Willets Point Stop on the 7 Train


Have a safe and happy holiday everyone!


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