Wednesday, April 28, 2010

There’s No Place Like Home…


Incredible what a difference a week or so makes.

Now, do not get me wrong. I’m not suddenly calling the Mets “the team to beat”… but the way they have looked on this 8-1 homestand (and the series before it) has been nothing short of mind blowing.

Despite the struggles of John Maine and Oliver Perez, the team is getting lights out pitching… and thriving.

Does that mean all is perfect in MetLand though? No.

First off, I still feel Jerry Manuel is playing with fire by not letting his starters go a little further in games. The bullpen has been great, but overuse them and you’ll burn them out by July.

I also would really like to see him use the speed on the team more and run. With the speed on this team there should be three to five stolen base attempts and more hit and run situations every game.

Far be it from me to critize though. With this run the Mets are obviously in a good groove. The 20 inning win over the Cardinals was a plus. The promotion of Ike Davis has been a jolt of energy (one where I was wrong, since I was not sure Davis was ready for the Majors yet). The elevation of Mike Pelfrey’s game has been nothing short of miraculous. Hisanori Takahashi and Jonathan Niese have been a much needed shot in the arm for the pitching staff… looking just great in their appearances. Things are clicking all over.

But here come the Phillies.

This weekend will be disected as a huge weekend… but I don’t think it is. At least, not as much as it will be made out to be.

The Phillies are hurting right now. Losing seven out of their last ten, and seeing a number of their team hitting the DL… something they barely had to deal with last year. This is still a dangerous team that, frankly, is still better than the Mets right now… even if they are not playing like it. I think a series win is more important to the Mets than the Phillies at this point of the season. I don’t think either team should get too high or too low on what happens over the weekend series, since there is a lot of baseball to be played.

Winning this series would be great for the Mets though. I will say this… you cannot win a division championship in April… but you sure can lose one.

In any case, the Mets are playing like gamebusters. Here’s hoping it lasts. With a smart move here and there, and eventually getting Beltran back… I think it can. The Mets ARE a good team and CAN contend. They are not the best in the NL, but they are solid enough to play good baseball all summer. Let’s hope what we’re seeing now is closer to what the team is than the first 11 games or so of the season.

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