I’m… not quite sure what to make of this yet. Six games have been played and the Mets stand even at 3-3. As the way it seems to be happening in the NL East, good teams are playing poorly and bad teams are playing unexpectedly average. The World Series shoe-in Nationals, who are 2-4, almost got swept by the MLB-worst Phillies, who stand at 3-3. The Marlins dream team is currently 1-5 and the depleted Braves are 5-1. It was surprising yet refreshing to see the Mets take 2/3 from the Nats, and it was expected but nonetheless frustrating to see the Mets barely avoid getting swept in Atlanta. The positive is obviously the pitching. The most glaring negative, in addition to the offense, is the excruciatingly weak middle infield. But overall, I can’t complain (well I can, but I will refrain from doing so) that the Mets are heading into the homestand at 3-3. So let’s dive right into it, shall we: the first MMO Players of the Week for 2015!
PITCHER OF THE WEEK: BARTOLO COLON
Also in contention for hitter of the week, Bartolo Colon joins Cy Young and Nolan Ryan as the only pitcher older than 40 to record 8 strikeouts on Opening Day. Not a bad duo to be in company with! I am still fascinated that a man as old (in baseball years) and as… unathletic as Colon can toss the same darn pitch over and over with such pinpoint accuracy. Since he is the only pitcher to have pitched twice this week, it was easy to give him a nod for this week’s honor, but he certainly earned it either way: 6.0 innings, 8 strikeouts, 1 walk on Monday and 7.0 innings, 5 punchouts and 0 walks on Sunday. Colon has thrown an overwhelming amount of fastballs, yet each one is different in the sense that he can either throw a flat one to paint the corners or jam a hitter, or he can add a bit of late movement to fool the hitter without losing control over the target. He has also been the most efficient, throwing the fewest pitches per inning so far. Not to mention that the man hit his first RBI in 10 years on Sunday. Number 40 on his jersey, number one in our hearts.
HITTER OF THE WEEK: TRAVIS D’ARNAUD
Easily the best hitter on the Mets to date, Travis is showing us that he is the hitter he was hyped up to be. Through 18 AB, five out of his six hits went for RBIs, he has one triple (!!!), a slugging percentage of .444 and an OBP of .368. While we wait for the power to come, we can expect to see some timely hitting from the young d’Arnaud. As of right now, he is the hitter I feel most comfortable with when men are on base or in scoring position. He has been smart with his swings and really aiming to make solid contact with the ball. Instead of trying to do too much, he is relaxing and swinging his bat straight; notice how he’s been getting clean base hits and line drives into the gap instead of popping the ball up. Many Mets hitters are getting too under or too on top of the ball, so it is great to see that Travis has found something that is working very well so far. Hopefully he keeps this up throughout the season, not only because his team needs him but because I predicted him as this year’s breakout hitter and I really don’t want to be wrong.
DEFENDER OF THE WEEK: WILMER FLORES
Flores’ defense this week has been incredible. He’s turned every single play with such accuracy, I don’t know how he does it! I’ve never seen anything like it. He’s just like Andrelton Simmons, maybe even better! He’s– okay, I’ll stop now, I’m laughing too hard to type coherently. Here’s your actual defender of the week.
THE REAL DEFENDER OF THE WEEK: LUCAS DUDA
All joking aside, the Mets’ defense has been pretty bad. From the middle infield to Lagares not making his regular spectacular plays (like seriously, I was shocked when he didn’t make that diving catch on Sunday), there hasn’t been a whole lot to marvel at. That is, until you look at Lucas Duda. Aside from those really irritating doubles the Braves got off of Dillon Gee down the line, Lucas’s ability to scoop up short throws and stay on the bag during wild ones is, in my opinion, incredibly underrated and rarely talked about. Of course it’s an essential skill for a first baseman to be able to scoop a ball and keep a foot on the bag, but the fact that Duda has to deal with an inconsistent Murphy, a simply bad Flores and a sidearm slinging Wright on a daily basis, he fields his position incredibly well. He did this very well last year, and it’s nice to see that he’ll probably be doing it very well all of this year. Keep it up, Luke.
David Wright continues to kill lefties. He also hit his first home run of the year (and also in what seems to be forever) on a golf swing; he’s one shy of being the all time HR leader for a visiting team at Turner Field. I hope he names his first child Ted.
Is it just me or has Jacob deGrom‘s hair gotten bigger? (He pitched a pretty mean game, too; one he certaintly didn’t deserve to lose.)
Bartolo Colon got an RBI. He swung the bat and put the ball in play. He even got to be a baserunner for, like, five seconds. That is worthy of a second mention.