For the last nine games the New York Mets have alternated wins and losses. The back and forth nature of the team is something every fan should probably get used to. The Mets have enough talent on the mound to keep them in games, but lack the roster to go on big runs. New York’s season could end up feeling a lot like riding the Cyclone, the roller-coaster their minor league affiliate bears the name of.
It seems like every week the number one player Mets fans will be murmuring about is Zack Wheeler. The 23-year-old righty got his first victory of the season this past week, throwing 6.1 innings and allowing only a pair of runs in a win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Wheeler has been gradually improving his pitch counts through three games, though it would still be good to see him improve his walk rate and allow himself to pitch deeper.
First base remains a question mark for the Mets, with starts being scattered among Ike Davis, Lucas Duda and Josh Satin. Duda, who was declared the starter at first base, has only actually started four of the Mets’ last eight games, one of which was as DH. With a .915 OPS, Duda is actually the most successful hitter on the team thus far this year, although with his limited at bats and minimal appearances against left handed pitching it is really hard to take his numbers very seriously. The team will probably continue to scatter starts among the three players.
Something to watch out for is the status of Curtis Granderson and Juan Lagares going forward. Granderson got a bit beat up after a rough collision with one of the posts on the outfield wall in Arizona. Lagares pulled his hamstring running the bases, and could end up on the disabled list. The Mets will get some relief by the end of the week when Chris Young returns. After starting his Triple-A rehab assignment on Saturday, Young has gone 7/8 with two homers. He will hopefully carry his hot bat to meet the team in New York for another bout with the Atlanta Braves.
The Mets and Los Angeles Angels played an exciting series which included two extra inning games. The wildest ending of the week came on Friday night, in which the Mets’ bullpen through 4.2 shutout innings before blowing the game on a walk-off hit-by-pitch. The walk-off came after the Mets intentionally loaded the bases with two straight walks with a man on third. The move was justifiable, with manager Terry Collins looking to set up either a force at home or a double play to escape the inning, but the loading the bases can be dangerous for just that reason.
The team is already a bit beat up physically early in the year. Hanging around .500 is a positive for the team, all things considered. The roller-coaster ride continues with another pair against Arizona before the Mets return home to Citi Field to face Atlanta and the St. Louis Cardinals.
Commentary by Brian Moore
Guardian Liberty Voice Sports Writer covering New York Sports