It is generally foolish this early in the season to say that the games that are played now are as vital as games that are played in the heat of a pennant race. But in the case of this seasons Mets, I feel that this series against the Phillies has a chance to either help build this teams psyche, or conversely tear it down.
Just hear me out before you call me a nervous fan. If the Mets take the next 2-3 games – or better yet sweep the Phils, it would be more than a self esteem builder – it could also inject the team with the swagger that has been sorely missing these last five seasons. The Mets would take the first step in proving that they are for real, and that they have not just come to play – but to dominate.
When you see how the pitching match ups : Chris Young vs Cole Hammels tonight. Mike Pelfrey vs Joe Blanton tomorrow, and Jonathan Niese vs Roy Halladay on Thursday, it would not be an impossibility to confidently think the Mets couldn’t take at the minimum two out of three from the Phillies. Joe Blanton has never impressed me – if anything he is the weak link of the Phillies rotation. The Mets have shown in the past that they own Hammels, and the hardest test will be against Roy Halladay – one of the premier pitchers in the sport.
The Phillies are marred by injury right now. Chase Utley is out for the time being with a knee injury, closer Brad lidge as well as their rookie outfield sensation, Dominic Brown are on the shelf with injuries, and lets face it they are a team whos median age is on the wrong side of 30.
Yes the Phillies just dispatched the Astros, sweeping them in three games, but I think the Mets are a different entity than them. This Mets team knows they are good, and they so far seem to have showed a resilience that has been rarely seen over the past two seasons.
Look I am not saying that at the end of the season when the dust settles the Mets will be ahead of the Phillies in the standings, but I do not believe the Mets will be perceived as laughing stocks ( at least with the team itself – not the financial matters).
There are 159 games left in this season, winning two of these next three may help determine what kind of team we have playing in Flushing.
And with that said…. HERE COMES THE INFAMY !!!!!
Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today are :
Reserve catcher from the ’65 season, Jimmie Schaffer is 75 (1936) .
One time can’t miss rookie phenom, outfielder Lastings Milledge is 26 (1985) . Lastings had all the tools to be a big league hitter, He had power, speed and energy. Too bad he lacked patience, plate discipline, and couldn’t hit a breaking pitch. His cockiness in the clubhouse alienated him with many of the other players, and was traded in the ’07 off season to the Washington Nationals fro Ryan Church and Brian Schneider.
Sadly on this date in ’02, Mets third base coach from the mid ’60′s, Sheriff Robinson passed away. He is credited for developing such players as Jerry Koosman, Tug McGraw and Nolan Ryan .
The New York Mets purchased the contracts of relief pitcher, Butch Metzger from the St. Louis Cardinals on April 5, 1978.
The New York Mets purchased the contract of middle reliever, Danny Boitano from the Milwaukee Brewers on April 5, 1981.
The New York Mets released reserve third baseman, Mike Cubbage on April 5, 1982.Unfortunately he would come back to the organization as a third base coach, and later on as an interim manager.
The New York Mets sold the contract of second baseman, Gary Rajsich to the St. Louis Cardinals on April 5, 1984.
The New York Mets signed free agent middle reliever, Julio Machado on April 5, 1989.
The New York Mets traded starting pitcher, Bruce Chen, reliever, Dicky Gonzalez and minor league shortstop, Luis Figueroa to the Montreal Expos for reliever, Scott Strickland, reserve outfielder, Matt Watson and minor league pitcher, Philip Seibel on April 5, 2002.
The New York Mets claimed utility infielder, Marco Scutaro on waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers on April 5, 2002.
The New York Mets signed free agent outfielder, Gary Sheffield of the Detroit Tigers on April 5, 2009. Omar took a gamble by signing Sheffield off of waivers. It was a gamble that nearly paid off. Sheffield was long removed from his prime years, but he still had some power left in his bat ( notching career home run number 500 in the process), and he was far from the clubhouse cancer many people thought he would be. He was on his best behavior until being released by the Mets, when he blasted them for not trading him to a contender.
And while you prepare yourself with tonight’s battle against the Phillies, just remember that there are just 3 more Days until the Mets Opening Day against the Washington Nationals !!
Mo Vaughn has bought up all the TastyKakes in the Philadelphia area !!!