2011: Season and Future depend on West Coast
I posted this prior to the Yankees series, and I wanted to re-iterate it. This road trip, the entire season hangs in the balance in my view. This is the type of trip a team like the Mets can either prove to Sandy Alderson they are worth keeping or the type of trip that can just kill a season and start the trade wheels in motion.
To me, for those of you out there who are clinging to a belief that the 2011 Mets are a playoff team, you should be looking past this Yankees series and looking towards the next 2 teams they play.
Hasn’t it seemed lately that whenever the Mets fly out West something bad happens?
In 2009 on a trip to San Francisco and Los Angeles, the Mets saw Pelfrey balk 3 times in 1 game, Ryan Church missing 3rd base, Jeremy Reed throwing past Castro as the winning run scored, 5 errors in 1 game, and then of course Delgado’s injury took a turn for the worst in 2009 as he needed hip surgery and Alex Cora tore a ligament in his thumb.
Granted it was mid-May when they flew out West, but the damage was done. Prior to the series in San Francisco, the Mets were 1 game AHEAD of Philadelphia in the NL East. After the Dodgers series, the Mets found themselves a game back in the NL East, and the bad luck of injury after injury would ensue leaving us all with a terrible taste in our mouth.
In 2010, the Mets flew into San Francisco after the All-Star break 7 games over .500. When they would leave Los Angeles, they’d find themselves just 1 game over .500 after a 2-9 road trip. Before that first game, the Mets were just 1 game out of the wildcard race. When the road trip ended they found themselves 6 games out.
It was clear after the Dodgers series that the 2010 season was over. Prior to the Giants, we were all wondering who can the Mets get in the trade market. After the Dodgers series, we were all wondering who will take some of our players off our hands?
This year, the Mets are faced with questions on the future of Beltran, K-Rod and of course Jose Reyes. While dealing with the never ending questions about their place with this franchise, the Mets are clinging to playoff contention.
If this Yankees series is important, its because the Mets need to gain some sort of momentum before flying out west.
This road trip in my view will dictate so much in terms of not only the 2011 season, but also the future. A successful road trip could mean Alderson attempts to find some bullpen help or make small deals to continue to push towards an exciting summer of Citi Field baseball.
A failed road trip could see players like Beltran and K-Rod packing their bags soon, and maybe just maybe Jose Reyes.
The Mets are scheduled to see Ted Lilly, Hiroki Kuroda, Clayton Kershaw, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain on this upcoming road trip. Needless to say it won’t be easy!
About the Author: Michael J. Branda
My time with MMO began in July of 2009 when I wrote a Fan Post defending Omar Minaya (before it was cool to do that.) I grew up a Mets fan with the mid 1980's teams. My favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, I like to think I meet in the middle. I believe thinking of new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the same way has not produced results. However, I think over-thinking certain situations can get you into trouble. I'm excited for the new regime, because I believe they have pieces in place to focus on several aspects of the Mets organization. I've waited this long for a World Series, waiting a few more years for another chance isn't going to kill me.
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