Series Preview: Nationals v. Mets

An article by posted on April 9, 2012

It’s April 9, 2012 and the New York Mets are 3-0. The last 3 NL teams to go 3-0 were Philadelphia (2011, lost 4th game), Cincinnati (2011, won 5 straight), and San Francisco (2010, won 4 straight).

You have to like the way you feel waking up today with a 3-0 Mets team right? My only hope that is if they continue to play tough baseball, fans buy-in and realize they are paying for a ticket to see the NY Mets and not the NY Wilpons or the NY Sandys.

I’ve grown tired of hearing about Omar Minaya or Sandy Alderson after every Mets game. Omar is gone, Sandy is the GM, let’s get over it and focus on the players in uniform.

David Wright is looking like the Wright of old, and even his toughest critics have to love the fact he went 6 for 9 in his first 3 games.

Tonight, the Washington Nationals come into Citi Field. For Washington, there is some hype surrounding this team, especially with the new wild card added to the mix. While some of us may have circled Wednesday as a must-see game, tonight in my view is so much more important.

Monday, 7:10 p.m. Edwin Jackson v. Mike Pelfrey

Pelfrey is the pitching version of Jason Bay, with less money. One wrong step and he could get booed off the field. Fans, and management are clearly frustrated with Pelf, but it’s a new day for me. Time to show me something Pelfrey.

Pelfrey is the #4 pitcher in this rotation, which is a very fair spot. A lot more fair than calling a guy an “ace” because Santana is out.

Edwin Jackson can hurl. He’s a guy who can and will likely put base runners on, which is something this offense needs to capitalize on. Pelfrey needs the offense to come out swinging early.

For Pelfrey, Adam LaRoche is a guy he will want to circle and be careful around. In 13 appearances, LaRoche is hitting .636 against Pelfrey.

For Edwin Jackson, we see another favorable matchup for Jason Bay. This weekend Bay did not cash in on the matchups that favored him, so yet another opportunity to turn it around!

Tuesday, 7:10 p.m. Ross Detwiler v. Dillon Gee

This is a big start for Detwiler. He beat out John Lannan for the final rotation spot, and now he has to prove that the more expensive Lannan really should be traded.

For Gee, it’s all about seeing how much he learned after his 2011 season. He’s now seen enough to figure out how to pitch to certain hitters. He has to come out and show everybody that last year wasn’t a fluke. He’s beaten the Nats 3 times, so you know he feels comfortable against this lineup.

Wednesday, 1:10 p.m. Stephen Strasburg v. Johan Santana

If this was a 7pm start there probably would be more juice to it. However, Strasburg brings excitement to every game he starts and after Johan’s Opening Day, that excitement will be multiplied by those in attendance.

I am still dumbfounded by the fact the Nats refuse to bend on an innings limit for Strasburg if they found themselves in a playoff race. I understand and appreciate their view of rehab after Tommy John surgery, but I also believe if that franchise is close to a playoff spot, they need to do whatever they can to grab it.

With Strasburg, you need to have a patient approach and make him work. You know without a doubt that there will be a pitch limit on the kid for every start he makes, so the key is making him work deep into counts.

Series Summary:

I love the fact the Mets are playing what I consider the 2 teams they most evenly match up against in the division to start their year. It’s a nice way to gain momentum, shake off the cobwebs, and show some naysayers that games are won on the field and not in the newspaper.

I’m excited to see what Pelfrey has to offer. He’s been a guy who bounces back from bad years, and I’m hoping the trend continues.

I am loving the Mets bullpen right now for the most part. It’s always nice to not fear what is coming after your starter gets the hook. Washington’s pen is not too shabby either. Tyler Clippard seems to always bring it against the Mets, and Henry Rodriguez throws gas.

I’m hoping to see a blown save by Brad Lidge myself. I was never a fan of his, and with Storen on the DL, Lidge will get the chances if they find themselves with a late lead.

The Mets hit the road for Philadelphia after this series, so a series victory would add a little fuel to the early series for the 2 rivals.

OVER/UNDER RUNS: We missed by .5 runs in the first series, what a bummer. This series over/under will be set at 18.5, and I will take the Over. (Season Record 0-1)

METS POTS: Ike Davis will break his 0-fer and have a nice series.

KEEP YOUR EYES ON: Ian Desmond, because I believe he is going to break through the NL this year and be declared one of the game’s best SS.

I’LL BE DRINKING A: Water tonight, because this weekend was a rough one! For Tuesday and Wednesday’s DVR Special, I’m thinking I will stick with the IPA and move to Harpoon IPA.

Enjoy the series, and Let’s Go Mets!

About the Author ()

Michael Branda grew up a Mets fan watching the mid 1980's teams and his favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, he's in the middle and believes adopting new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the old way has not produced results.

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