Good Weekend Falls Short of Great, Late

 

Going into the seventh inning yesterday afternoon the Mets had put themselves into a fairly unfamiliar (and some would say unexpected) situation, 9 outs away from sweeping a three game set from the Phillies in Philly.  But in the end the Philly offense broke through against what had been a very stingy Mets’ bullpen, preserving the final game of the series for Philly and dropping the Mets to 6-3 in this early season.  As disappointed as I was to see the Mets lose the sweep in such a predictably “Met” way, I didn’t mind as much as I have in the past.  Why?  Because this really does SEEM like a different Mets team.

This Mets team has been impressive thus far, and has shown an unwavering dedication to putting their hearts into every inning of every game.  It’s because of this that I feel Mets’ fans have learned a lot about their team so far this season, especially over the past weekend where wins were team efforts, and their lone loss was the same.  This is a hard-working team that will continue to leave their all on the field all season long, and as a fan who entered this season with modest expectations, that’s way more than I could have ever expected, or hoped for.  And it’s for that reason that I credit the leadership in the dugout, in the front office and on the field for that.  Sandy Alderson has made it clear that despite the Mets cutting costs, they are expecting to win and be competitive.  I think most fans figured Sandy was just being positive, and blowing smoke up the collective asses of the fans to sell tickets.  That is starting to seem like less and less of the case, as it seems he really did create a team to win within the parameters set forth for him, and that’s nice to see.  I know, personally, I felt the least excited I have in years going into a Mets season as I have in years.  Now, predictably, after a little bit of success I am now a believer in the system the front office has implemented, Terry Collins has carried out, and that the team seems to buy into/respond to.  That’s the most exciting part of what I’ve seen so far, a united front from the team and management.  Please note that I have made a point of leaving ownership out of this conversation, as I feel any success this team has had, and will have, will have occurred in spite of ownership.

As great as it’s been to watch this team over the first week-plus of the season, this effort needs to remain consistent, especially throughout the upcoming week.  The truth of the matter is that this team IStalented, but not talented enough to take days off and still win.  This Mets team needs to put forth a maximum effort in all of their games and needs to execute at a high level because at the end of the day, they were not built to overcome large deficiencies in their game.

Photo by Michael G. Baron

They were built to play together, play hard, and play in the mold of their star leader David Wright.  Hopefully, they will continue to do this moving forward, as their schedule doesn’t exactly get easier anytime soon…

This next week-plus for the Mets won’t be easy, as they continue to play mostly divisional opponents when they visit the red-hot Braves in Atlanta, before traveling home to host the San Francisco Giants and the Miami Marlins.  After losing the first 4 games of the season the Braves have rebounded to win 5 in a row, which seems to have directly coincided with the return of Chipper Jones from the DL.  Chipper is hitting .417 with two homers and 5 RBI in the three games he’s played in this season, and his team has gone 5-0 since his return from the DL.  Although the Giants are now missing their dark-bearded closer for an extended period of time, their pitching staff is still more than enough of a challenge for any team to score runs on, and thus-far the Mets haven’t exactly proven to be a run scoring machine this season averaging just over 3 runs/game.  That won’t exactly be an easy series for the Metropolitans either.  Then finally, before hitting the road and heading to Colorado, the Mets will play a three game set against Jose Reyes and the Marlins, which should be very interesting.  Between Heath Bell imploding for Miami, Jose Reyes’ return to NY and Ozzie Guillen’s fat mouth I don’t know what will be the most enticing headline of that series.  You never know, maybe the Mets will continue to play hard-nosed baseball and the headlines leading into the Marlins seres will be their quality play.  We can only hope…

Either way, it’s been fun so-far.  The team’s effort has been great, and as a fan, I couldn’t be happier right now…

 

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