3 Up 3 Down: Playoffs? Nat Happening.

bartolo colon terry collins

Yesterday, the Mets wrapped up a 4 game series against their division rival, the Washington Nationals.  Prior to the start of Thursday’s series opener at Citi Field, the Mets were 7-2 in the month of September and on the back end discussions of the wild card race.  This matchup confirmed two things, the Mets are not able to compete with the best team in their division and they are not headed to the playoffs.  The Amazins’ ended up losing 3 of 4 at home, below are the best and worst takeaways in this edition of 3 and 3.

3 Up

1.  Juan Lagares is no stranger to the “Up” list.  All year, he has shown measured growth and improvement in all facets of his game, offense in particular.  In this series, Juan went 6-16 (.375) with 2 doubles, batting out of the 2 hole in all four games.  The #2 spot in the lineup card is where the young center fielder thrives best.  His numbers out of the 2 hole are fantastic this year, owning a triple slash line of .375/.531/.943 in 32 at bats (ESPN.com).  2014 has been an incredible year for Lagares, he is on a short list of players that has salvaged what little bragging rights Mets fans have left.

2.  Lucas Duda had a decent series, getting on base at a .375 clip, but also passed a big test against one of the game’s elite left handed pitchers on Friday night.  With Gio Gonzalez on the mound,  Lucas went 1-3 with a walk and a run scored in the Mets 4-3 win.  While one game is not enough to declare him capable against southpaws, Lucas has improved slightly against lefties over the last couple months and turned in a few big hits in situations where he is facing one.  The learning curve for left handed power hitters can be much steeper, but I believe Duda has turned in a valuable 2014 campaign with marked improvement in a lot of areas.

3. Curtis Granderson has come alive since being moved to the #6 hole.  He remained in that slot this series and produced a triple slash line of .308/.400/.862 in the four game set.  If this is where Granderson finds a home everything else should be irrelevant.  At this point, all that matters is that he is as productive as his salary would suggest.  In 80 at bats from the #5 or #6 spot this year, Granderson is batting .362, slugging .650 and producing an OPS of 1.091.  He also has 6 doubles, a triple and 5 home runs to go along with 20 RBI’s when hitting in the middle of the order.

3 Down

1. The Mets have to do a better job against the top team in the division. The Nationals are now 9-1 at Citi Field this year, 13-3 overall, and have completely dominated with their pitching and hitting.  Washington’s pitching staff owns a 2.31 ERA against the Mets and their hitters are batting .280, with 25 home runs and an .815 OPS.

2. Getting on base does not appear to be an issue for the Mets, but getting across home plate certainly has been all year.  New York left 27 men on base this series and batted .176 with runners in scoring position.

3. Bartolo Colon’s ejection was a rare display of emotion from a Mets player, which was probably the only part of the whole fiasco that I appreciated.  In the end, Bartolo had no one to be frustrated with but himself for allowing home runs to Adam LaRoche and Anthony Rendon.  Over the years, I’ve come to understand the unwritten rules of baseball more and more, but hitting an opposing batter simply because the guy in front of him took you yard is an utterly selfish thing to do.  Colon only put in 3 innings of work, gave up 7 hits and 5 earned runs while leaving his team to try and battle back from the results of his poor outing.