1. Mets Cannot Be Beat
For the first time in Mets history, they have won their first six games on the road. They are a franchise best 10-1 to start the season. Really, no matter what is thrown at the Mets, it’s not enough.
Land in Miami at 5 a.m. after playing on Sunday Night Baseball? Mets will jump out to a 3-0 lead.
Hit a two-run homer off Jacob Rhame? Asdrubal Cabrera and Wilmer Flores will each hit solo homers to tie the game in the ensuing inning, and a sick and struggling Yoenis Cespedes will muster all he can to hit a game winning double.
Jarlin Garcia no-hits the Mets for six innings? The Mets will have a game winning four-run rally in the eighth.
Really, there is no keeping this Mets team down. Consider this. The opposition has scored in 24 different innings against the Mets this year. In 12 of those times, the Mets immediately came back in their next at-bat and scored a run.
2. Wheeler Dealer
After he was sent down to Triple-A before the season, the Five Aces dream FINALLY became a reality when Zack Wheeler made his first start of the season against the Marlins. Wheeler responded to getting his chance by having the best start by a Mets starting pitcher this season.
Wheeler would become the first Mets starter to pitch into the seventh inning. His final line was 7.0 innings, two hits, one run, one earned, one walk, and seven strikeouts. With an eighth inning rally, the Mets gave him the well deserved victory. Really, Wheeler has never looked better in a Mets uniform.
Where Wheeler once made the Mets decision easy to send him down to Triple-A, with that start yesterday, he has made the decision to potentially remove him from the rotation or roster when Jason Vargas is ready to return extremely difficult.
3. Fountain of Youth
With the way the Mets roster was constructed, the team was relying heavily on an aging right side of the infield with Adrian Gonzalez and Cabrera. While both entered the season with some question marks, both have not only played exceedingly well, they have been two of the most important players on the team.
Cabrera is unconscious right now. In that back-and-forth game on Wednesday, it was Cabrera who delivered with a two home run game. On the season, he is hitting .333/.368/.600 with three homers and four RBI.
Gonzalez came off the bench yesterday to deliver the go-ahead two RBI single to help the Mets win a game many believed they were going to lose. On the season, he is hitting .296/.406/.444 with a homer and eight RBI.
When you are looking for reasons why the Mets are a surprising 10-1 to start the season, you need not look much further than the right side of their infield.
1. Catching Injuries
Prior to Thursday’s game, Travis d’Arnaud was placed on the disabled list with a torn UCL. This is a serious injury for a catcher whose throwing arm has been much maligned. Right now, it not known how long d’Arnaud has been playing with the injury or how the injury will be treated. It should be noted T.J. Rivera‘s own torn UCL required Tommy John surgery last September, and he has begun this season on the 60 day disabled list.
The injury to d’Arnaud created an opportunity for Kevin Plawecki to Wally Pipp him. Because the Mets have difficulty keeping catchers healthy, Plawecki got hit on the hand in the eighth inning. He would stay on to run the bases, but when the Mets batted around, he would be lifted for Tomas Nido.
Fortunately, the x-rays were negative for Plawecki, but with the injury being to his catching hand and lead hand on the bat, there is a legitimate concern about how this will affect his play.
2. Cespedes Cold Streak
Cespedes has been dealing with the flu. Where the flu typically forces us mere mortals to our beds for days on end, Cespedes has continued to force his way into the lineup. With him being as ill as he has been, it should be of no surprise he is currently in a 2-27 funk.
Of course, with Cespedes being the force he is, those two hits were both late inning game winning hits for the Mets.
3. Nimmo Demoted
Just about the last thing you ever expect to hear is how a team’s Opening Day leadoff hitter who has a .600 OBP is being sent down to the minors. That was the case with Brandon Nimmo.
With Mickey Callaway having to dip into his bullpen early in games and with him relying on the same guys in pressure spots, the bullpen needed an extra arm as the team arrived in Miami. The Mets would call up Corey Oswalt to help give them some bullpen insurance. Because it is a numbers game, and because the Mets still have not given up on the hitless Jose Reyes, this meant Nimmo was the guy to go down to Triple-A.
Unless there is another injury, Nimmo will be down in Triple-A for 10 days despite his proving he was one of the best 25 players in the Mets organization.