It’s been one of those classic up and down weeks for the Metsies: losing a series on the road, sweeping a four game series, then getting swept at home. It’s clear to most that the Mets are the new favorites to win the division, but there is some major work to be done before they can truly call themselves “playoff ready”.
On the plus side, the pitching is phenomenal and the team has some real fight in them. On the bad side, the bullpen is shaky, Terry Collins is still questionable at times, and the offense does not produce very many runs consistently. However, even if the Mets struggle against the better teams (Pirates, etc.), the healthy mix of veterans and eager rookies will be able to fix their woes quickly. Albeit even during the struggles, there are still players who continue to shine. Here are your MMO Players of the Week!
PITCHER OF THE WEEK: BOBBY PARNELL
This guy just really knows how to win! He’s always getting the big time outs! I certainly want him on my postseason roster– wait, are you telling me he’s terrible? Can’t be trusted in a late inning, tie game situation? Okay, fine then, I’ll choose somebody else. Yeesh.
ACTUAL PITCHER OF THE WEEK: JACOB DEGROM
It’s hard to choose the best pitcher when your starters give up less than five runs on a daily basis, but when you have a guy who gives up only two hits, strikes out ten, goes seven innings and gets out of multiple jams unscathed, he’s the clear cut choice; he’s Jacob deGrom.
DeGrom helped the Mets complete back to back shutouts and boost their home record to a franchise best 41-18 (at the time). His first five stirkeouts all came on 96+ MPH fastballs. His next one was on a curveball in the dirt, but his seventh and eight– perhaps his most important ones of the night, coming with two men on and no outs and then two on with two outs– were also on fastballs. In the sixth, he once again stranded two runners by getting another strikeout with two men on. His last strikeout, coming on a curveball in the dirt at the close of the seventh inning, was icing on the cake and his 10th of the night.
DeGrom had struggled through his last two starts, with little command of his fastball and almost no command on his offspeed and breaking pitches. This start, however, his fastball location was beautiful, he was able to generate the swing and miss on his offspeed stuff to get ahead in the count, and, most importantly, he was able to overmatch even the best Colorado hitters to get the strikeout when it mattered. If anybody was worried about deGrom, fear not; he’s just as deGrominant as ever.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: (ALMOST) EVERYBODY
The great thing about this category this week is that there really is no clear cut winner: every single guy is doing their job and contributing in their own way. That being said, there is no way to truly pick a single winner, because choosing one guy overall will discount what the rest of the lineup has done. So, I’m going to break it down (very simplistically) day by day.
SUNDAY: Daniel Murphy. His two hits and two RBIs proved to be the strongest offensive force the Mets could generate that day. They would drop the game and the series.
MONDAY: Once again, Daniel Murphy. His bases loaded, two out single completed the Mets’ three run 7th inning and put them ahead permanently, setting the tone for the eventual sweep of the Rockies. Who says clutch doesn’t exist?
TUESDAY: Ruben Tejada. He broke the 0-0 tie in the bottom of the 6th, and walked twice and scored a run to power the Mets to their first of two shutouts. Hakuna Tejada!
WEDNESDAY: Juan Uribe and Michael Cuddyer each recorded their 1,500th career hits and both contributed back to back RBIs in the 4th to seal the deal in the Mets’ second shutout victory in a row. Nobody told me it was old timer’s day at Citi!
THURSDAY: Kelly Johnson. After a rough first for Syndergaard, Johnson put the Mets back in from 3-2 with a double, then did the same again in the bottom of the 3rd to put the Mets back on top for good. His final line? 3-for-4 with 3 RBI, one run scored and one HR. Talk about lineup depth!
FRIDAY: Yoenis Cespedes went 3-for-5 with a game tying home run, but if I could, I would give the honor to nobody because the offense was absolutely abysmal that game. Too bad I have no choice.
SATURDAY: Michael Conforto hit a game tying, two-run home run in the bottom of the 7th to keep the Mets alive, but other than that, the offense was nonexistent once again. These are the kinds of series I would much rather forget ever happened.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: JUAN URIBE
Who knew the big guy could play so well? I certainly didn’t! Uribe has been a consistent positive force in the hot corner, making his fair share of spectacular plays to make outs, start double plays, keep the ball in the infield and, most importantly, using his veteran expertise to make the smart play to keep runners from scoring. As the Mets have shown us way too many times this season, defense is crucial and can make or break an entire game. Uribe knows this like the back of his hand and will make the clutch play just about every time you think he will. With David Wright‘s return imminent, he may be reduced to just a bench role, but if you ask me, having a guy that you can trust to make big and smart plays is just fine!
- Juan Lagares has been hot since Terry instilled his confidence in him. He’s still a free swinger, but he is making more contact with pitches in and out of the zone and has even added a home run! His contact is getting much better and he has been getting booming hits when the Mets need it– a perfect guy to have for a postseason run. (And of course, we can’t forget about his glove!)
- Matt Harvey was absolutely lights out on Tuesday, hurling eight stellar innings of four-hit ball. He may have only struck out four, but it pays to lower the strikeout count in order to go the distance. His start on Sunday was very respectable, giving up only one earned run over six innings while striking out six. I’d just like to leave it at that.
- Curtis Granderson has silently been one of the most productive Mets all season. While his .249/.341/.783 line may not be jaw dropping, Curtis consistently finds a way to get on base, to work the count, to get the big run or to simply just play the game hard. It is also worth noting that he has started every single game for the Mets this year; a key factor in their success. The Grandy man really can!