What We Learned from the Mets’ Sweep of the Atlanta Braves

An article by posted on April 9, 2012

With the first weekend of the New York Mets’ season now in the books, there are certainly a number of things to be excited about. The team got off to a great start and they were able to sweep the division rival Atlanta Braves. Obviously, this was only three games and there is still a long season ahead, but there were a couple things that we learned from this series victory.

Ruben Tejada’s glove is the reason that he is the Mets starting shortstop and it was known by all that he would not be able to replace what Jose Reyes could do offensively. However, what Tejada was able to do in his first 11 at-bats of the year was somewhat telling. There were concerns about Tejada’s offense, but it looks he may turn into a pretty decent offensive player.

Tejada had a nice stroke on each of the doubles that he hit in the final game of the series. It looks like Tejada may have bulked up a bit and he could continue to get bigger. This does not mean that Tejada will become a home run hitter, but he could pick up a lot of doubles if he is able to continue to drive the ball.

Moving the fences at Citi Field in was one of the most talked about things that happened with the Mets this offseason and it looks like its impact was felt early. The Mets hit three home runs during the series, two of which would have cleared the old fences. It seems as the biggest impact that the fences will have is on the confidence of the New York Mets hitters. Seeing the shorter fences at Citi is definitely something that will help the hitters mentally and it should lead to a better performance.

One of Terry Collins’ strategies became very clear this series. If the Mets are winning a close game Collins is going to pull Daniel Murphy and go with Ronny Cedeno at second base late in the game. This defensive upgrade was made by Collins in every game this series. If Murphy begins to look more and more comfortable at second base later in the year, then this change likely will not be made as often.

Another great takeaway from the games this weekend was that Johan Santana is back. It may have only been five innings, but they were scoreless innings and on Opening Day Johan Santana gave us a glimpse of the pitcher that the Mets traded for. That is a huge positive for the team.

There is reason to be excited after the good start to the year, but there is still a lot more baseball ahead of us. The Mets looked much better this weekend than most people thought they would look. There seems to be an energy there that the team did not have for a large portion of last season and this past weekend the Mets were once again a fun team to watch.

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