Prior to returning home for the 50th Opening Day in team history, our guys were down in Philadelphia for the first head to competition of the season against Eastern Division rivals, the Phillies. The Phillies won two of the three games, and the Mets return to Citifield 3-3 (did anyone really expect anything better). He are my 3 Ups and 3 Downs from this series.
1. Chris Young: Young pitched the series opener Tuesday night, and was pretty darn good. He pitched 5.1 innings giving up one run while striking out 7. He was also an offensive dynamo going 3 for 3 at the plate. Let’s hope we see more outings of this type from Young as the season progresses. Simply put if Young, and Chris Capuano can pitch the way they did prior to their injuries, the Mets pitching is going to be tough.
2. Battling Back: In game two of the series, Wednesday night, the Mets fell behind 7-0 early on. In past years we’ve seen the Mets just give up at this point and battle another night. But not Terry’s Mets. They scored two runs in the fourth inning, the five runs in the 5th to tie the game! Sadly they lost lead, and the game. But give the Mets props, they battled back.
3. Roy Halliday: Nothing pains me more than putting an opposing player in the “3 Up” category, but Halliday pitched a gem Thursday afternoon going 7 scoreless innings and striking out 7. The Mets had the leadoff batter on base early in the game, but Halliday “muscled up” and got out of some early jams. On Thursday, Halliday totally looked like an ace, fortunately we can’t say the same thing about Cole Hamels.
1. Mike Pelfrey: The concerns I had about Pelfrey during spring training manifested themselves in his first two outings this year. Pelfrey has in a word has been “horrible”. In two starts Pelf is 0-1, with a 15.83 ERA giving up a whopping 12 earned runs in 6.1 innings. The Mets need Pelfrey to start pitching the way he did last year ASAP.
2. Lack of Clutching Hitting on Thursday: The Mets of Wednesday and the Mets of Thursday looked like two entirely different teams. Early in the game on Thursday, the Mets let several scoring chances go by boards. As the game went on Halliday just got stronger and stronger, eventually shutting the Mets out. With a young team like this, there’s no doubt we’ll see some fluctuations from time to time, but you have to wonder what would have happened if they broke through early against Halliday.
3. Starting Pitching, Both Teams: Joe Blanton, Cole Hamels, Mike Pelfrey and Jon Niese, all had horrible outings this week. It’s very early in the season, and the weather was cold in Philly, but all four of those guys need to step it up. Of course if Blanton and Hamels don’t step it up, it will be no great loss for the Mets.