National League East
t-1) Mets 55-50
t-1) Nats 54-49
NEW YORK METS: Mets punctuate their best week in last seven years with sweep over Washington Nationals.
That's how you seize the day!
....with help from the front office, executing big trades at the deadline, with young overwhelming pitching, power at the plate, sweeping 3 games from the Washington Nationals at Citi Field, and gaining a share of 1st place of the National League East!
The 2015 season marked the first time ownership added real payroll. Prior to signing Michael Cuddyer, the Mets merely shuffled the same money to a revolving group of players. Cuddyer's signing, and not trading Dillon Gee represented a calculable increase in payroll. The recent acquisitions of Juan Uribe, Kelly Johnson, Tyler Clippard, and Yoenis Cespedes, required the Wilpons to take on, roughly, another $8.5 million dollars.
That was good business on ownership's part. Perhaps they finally learned their lesson. Fans packed Sunday night's game against the Nationals, which perhaps proved that if you put forth the effort, fans will come. For too long, ownership's mantra was come to the park and spend your money first, then we'll see about making upgrades, eventually.
II. Sandy Alderson
Sandy Alderson just had his best week as general manager of the Mets. And why not? Fans are excited again, Citi Field is rocking, and the team tied for 1st place.
In hindsight, Alderson's acquisition of Tyler Clippard was a work of genius, as Jenrry Mejia was suspended 162 games for his 2nd failed PED test.
The trade to acquire Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson provided Terry Collins with maneuverability, competent major league hitters, and depth off the bench.
Last, but certainly not least, Yoenis Cespedes is the genuine slugger the Mets have lacked.
All these additions help lengthen the line-up, and lighten each other's load. Moving forward, the Mets now have some professional hitters, a premiere slugger, a few power bats, and complimentary help towards the bottom of the order.
III. Power Pitching
In order to secure the aforementioned players, the Mets parted with five very good minor league pitchers: Michael Fulmer, Luis Cessa, Casey Meisner, John Gant, and Rob Whalen.
Michael Fulmer was perhaps the most difficult to part with. Some might even argue the Mets paid a stiff price. I disagree. I think what the Mets did was risky, but I think they did well. In order to get quality, you must give quality.
Moreover, the trade deadline elapsed last Friday at 4pm, and last check Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, and Zack Wheeler were all still Mets.
Harvey, deGrom and Syndergaard all pitched against the Nationals this weekend.
Thor was particularly impressive Sunday night, in the game that ultimately tied the Mets with Washington for 1st place. He threw 8 innings, allowed 2 earned runs on 7 hits, walked none, and fanned 9 batters. He was still popping the gun at 99mph in the 8th inning. Thor improved his record to 6-5, and lowered his ERA to an impressive 2.66 mark.
IV. Power at the Plate
The Mets hit 6 home runs against the Nationals. Wilmer Flores, Curtis Granderson and Daniel Murphy all connected, while Lucas Duda hit 3 more!
Duda is swinging an insanely hot back, and losing baseballs at an absurd rate. He now has hit 9 home runs in his last 8 games (but with only 12 RBI. Some things never change).
The Mets and Nationals are now tied for first place of the National League East. While the Nats are getting healthier, the Mets have undergone a major transformation, we think, for the better.
The Mets and Nats face each other 6 more times this season. The Mets will host the Nationals in the final series of the season!
That's how August begins.
Beware of more compelling Mets baseball coming to a ball park near you.
Let's Go Mets!