Friday, April 17, 2015

N.Y. Mets: Beasts of the East

From the desk of:  HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET

NEW YORK METS: Overcome injuries, suspensions, and comedy of errors, to post 7-3 record in first 10 games.

Despite several key injuries, the Mets have posted a 7-3 record over their first 10 games of the season.  The last five of those victories came consecutively over the Braves, a sweep of the Phillies, and by taking the series opener Thursday night over the Marlins.

And, of course, they took the opening series of the season from the Nationals.

All that has the Mets in first place of the N.L. East.

The atmosphere was electric as Matt Harvey returned to the mound at Citi Field for the first time since 2013, then earned his second victory of the season over the Phillies.  In 6 innings of work he fanned 8 batters, and exacted a measure  of revenge against the Phillies after two Mets batters were hit by pitches, when he plunked Chase Utley and glared at him on his way to first.  Just for the record, Utley homered twice in the game, once against Harvey in the opening frame.

Bartolo Colon, who makes his third start of the season Friday night, is so far 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA.  In 13 innings pitched, he has 13 strikeouts, and a 0.77 WHiP.

In the early going, Jacob deGrom has also demonstrated the effectiveness that earned him Rookie of the Year last season.

My eyes will be focused on Jon Niese this season, as to whether he is indeed recovered from shoulder issues that hindered his performance over the previous two seasons.  He has so far allowed 16 hits and 4 walks in 11.1 innings pitched.

With Bobby Parnell and Vic Black yet to return to duty, and Jenrry Mejia incurring an 80-game suspension for his recent positive PED/steriod test result, the Mets bullpen has nevertheless remained solid.

A late Spring Training trade acquisition, Jerry Blevins has performed very well in 5 appearances.  In 3.1 innings he fanned 4 batters, walked none, and has earned a victory and 3 holds thus far.

Jeurys Familia has earned 4 saves as the team's de facto closer.

At the plate, Lucas Duda is out to prove last year's break-out season was no fluke.  He leads the team with 38 at-bats, and is slashing .395/.439/.632, with 6 doubles, 6 runs scored, and 8 RBI, which accounts for a full 1/3 of all the Mets runs (41) scored so far.

Travis d'Arnaud is batting .297, and is tied with Duda with a team leading 8 RBI.

With 11 walks, a .390 OBP, and a team leading 7 runs scored in 30 at-bats, it can be argued Curtis Granderson is serving the lead-off spot well.  However, he is batting a mere .167 with no extra base hits.

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What's old is new...  Jenrry Mejia went old-school in his choice of steroid.  

!Que Bruto!

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Injuries continue to test the Mets' mettle:  Zack Wheeler; Josh Edgin; Bobby Parnell; Vic Black; and now David Wright.

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Red Alert!  All 7 of the Mets errors this season have come up the middle - Wilmer Flores 3; Daniel Murphy 2; Ruben Tejada and Travis d'Arnaud one each.


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