Good morning, Mets fans… I’m excited to announce that I have been tasked with bringing the “MMO Morning Grind”— which Joe D used to run a couple years ago— back from the dead.
The Morning Grind is a daily feature where I’ll talk about something that stood out to me in the previous night’s game, the latest hot-button issue in the Mets community, or whatever pressing Mets thought is on my mind that morning. Then it’s up to you, the readers, to get the day started off right with some lively, heated debate! Just remember the one, very important ground rule.
So anyway, our Mets got the win last night, beating the Braves 4-0 behind a great game from Bartolo Colon. One thing that stood out to me is that the Mets got nearly all of their offensive production from the bottom of their order (and from slumping leadoff man Eric Young).
For the second game in a row, the Mets got nothing from Daniel Murphy, David Wright, and Curtis Granderson (Grandy did walk twice, which is nice, but he’s not here to walk). But the Mets still managed 4 runs behind the offensive heroics of Ruben Tejada (not a typo), Travis d’Arnaud (who broke out of his 0-for-2014 with a pair of hits), and Eric Young (who had only beaten Travis to the hit column by a couple of days).
Lineup balance has been a big issue for the Mets in recent years. In the past few seasons, we all became familiar with the sinking, “there goes our only chance to score” feeling that came whenever David Wright failed to reach base. The Mets don’t have the budget or the absurd Designated Hitter rule needed to stuff a lineup from top to bottom with dangerous hitters like the Yankees have always been able to do. But in the past, we have sent out lineups with 5 or 6 easy outs slotted in there game after game after game. If d’Arnaud can start hitting, Tejada can hit at an acceptable level (I’m thinking .250, .260…), and Bartolo Colon can learn how to get a damn bunt down (he actually managed to finally move a runner over last night, but that was probably just to spite Gary Cohen, who had just said the big guy would never figure out how to bunt), the Mets could finally have what all good teams have: a reasonable chance to score in any given inning.
So, on the positive side, last night we got some production from places where we haven’t been getting it, and it led us to a victory. However, Ruben Tejada won’t be racking up RBIs every night, and we can’t fall in love with unsustainable production. Having a decently productive bottom of the order, and getting the occasional hit from your speed-and-defense guys, is important. But to have any consistency, the Mets need to get production and health from Juan Lagares, Daniel Murphy, David Wright, Curtis Granderson, Chris Young, and whoever our first baseman is by the time you read this article (my money is on Josh Satin. Terry probably wants to keep us on our toes).
Let’s enjoy the unexpected sources of offense that helped us to victory last night. We need lineup balance. But let’s not forget that, in the long term, the Mets will only go as far as their bigger hitters take them.
Enjoy your day, Mets fans. It’s Wheeler Day!