Guess who’s jazzed about the Mets so far? This guy is.
The Mets won the first two series of the season 2-1 against the Padres and the Marlins—including a furious 9th-inning rally yesterday. Maybe not the most stellar competition, but the team has shown the range of its capabilities.
In the first couple games, the Mets’ offense exerted its dominance as well as its starting pitching. In the latest win, the bullpen was solid and the team rallied back from two down in the 9th to win the game 4-3.
Here are some specifics I’ve taken away this week:
- Before the season, I mentioned that John Buck was an interim catcher at best. He was a stopgap until Travis d’Arnaud was ready to be called up. Man, is Buck shoving my foot into my mouth now. Buck took yesterday’s game off and is still leading the NL in RBIs in the early going with nine. More importantly, he looks like a different player. His approach at the plate has improved and his bat speed has increased. He knows how to call a game, something the Mets lacked at the catching position last year. He seems to have embraced his role as the experienced journeyman. D’Arnaud will get called up at some point. Him and Buck look like a good one-two punch.
- Matt Harvey deals. Period. What more can you ask for in a season debut than seven innings of one-hit ball and 10 strikeouts? Even though it’s early in his career, this could be the season where people outside the Mets bubble ask, “Have you seen that guy Harvey who pitches for the Mets?” Harvey is turning into one of those dependable-every-fifth-day arms. Whenever he’s on the mound, you anticipate a win.
- The bullpen looked sharp yesterday, but Bobby Parnell, Scott Atchison and Brandon Lyon have looked the best. It’ll be interesting to see what the Mets do with Frank Francisco when he comes off the DL. Parnell looks like he has the 9th sewn up. I usually judge closers by how grizzly their beards are. Parnell is turning into a legitimate closer in that respect. His pitch location has also improved since last season so far. Atchison and Lyon look like they’ll be the setup men—Lyon in the 7th, Atchison in the 8th and Parnell in the 9th.
- Lucas Duda looks lost in left field. He’s taking bad routes to balls. Even when he takes a good route, he’s just too slow to get there. If he doesn’t make up for it at the plate, I fear he’ll lose his job.
- I couldn’t write something without mentioning Ego Grande himself, Jordany Valdespin. ‘Spin had a solid game in Friday’s loss. He got on base four times with two hits, a walk and a hit-by-pitch. He played sound defense in center field too. Keith Hernandez even complemented him on his “fundies” after he helped gun down Placido Polanco at home plate. With a few more quality offensive and defensive games, he could muscle someone out of a starting job. I’d like to see an outfield where Valdespin and Collin Cowgill are starting every day.
What are your thoughts on the Mets start?