I recently answered some questions for The Nats Blog in anticipation of the upcoming weekend series with the Washington Nationals.
The Mets are off to a 6-8 start, are you disappointed with how things are going right now?
Definitely. Although I wouldn’t say I’m surprised by their early performance, it’s still disappointing to experience. The sad part is I don’t see an easy way out right now given the current makeup of the rotation after Johan Santana.
What do you think of the new ballpark? Better than the new Yankee Stadium?
Citi Field is a wonderful throwback to the old parks of baseball’s golden era. It’s unique in many ways and has plenty of character and charm. I’m not sure what to make of the new Yankee Stadium yet. It seems to be more of a temple than a ballpark and for the $500 million dollars more that it cost to build, I still prefer Citi Field for my money. If they were going to have it look so similar to previous versions of Yankee Stadium, why didn’t they just renovate and modernize instead of spending all that money?
Six Mets starters are hitting above .300 coming into this series, what are your thoughts on how the line up is working right now?
It’s not working at all right now, but if those averages hold, it will eventually get better simply because it has to. Manuel just decided to change things up a little with the batting order, and that might finally get things moving in the right direction.
John Maine, Oliver Perez, and Mike Pelfrey have struggled; do you see them turning it around this year?
Here’s the thing, predicting performance is so hard to figure out because there’s so much stuff you have to consider. But the Mets knew Maine was coming back from shoulder surgery, and they certainly understood they were playing with fire when they increased Pelfrey’s workload last season and he has already missed a start. They knew how wildly inconsistent Oliver Perez was when they resigned him. You can gamble on one of those situations, but the Mets gambled on all three. Maybe Maine can turn it around, maybe Pelfrey will too, but all three?
What do you think the Mets will have to do to be successful against Nats in the coming series?
Hit with runners in scoring position, get to the Nationals bullpen early, and make sure that their starters all throw strikes.
How do you see the Mets finishing this season?
It’s too early to hit the panic button, so I have to believe they will win the division. But, I’m making an assumption that the Mets will come to their senses and make a deal for Jake Peavy, Roy Halladay or another top of the rotation pitcher.
What moves do they need to make?
I answered that question above, but if I was to pick another area I would say they need a masher like Carlos Lee or Jermaine Dye in leftfield. There’s a lot to like about Daniel Murphy, but he has no power and the Mets are having trouble driving in runs. Plenty of guys getting on base, but nobody is driving them in.
If they are in the same position they have been in the last two years, on top of the NL East at the beginning of September, do you think they have the make up to keep it together this time?
If the Mets go into September with a lead of 7 or more games, they will win the division. The only significant move Omar Minaya made this off season was to ensure that a bullpen collapse will not happen again. He ignored a few other important things, but he did get that one thing right by acquiring K-Rod and Putz.