The second series of the year is history, and it wasn’t nearly as encouraging as the first. The Washington Nationals took 2 of 3 from the Mets at Citi Field, and David Wright missed the last two games of the series with a broken pinky finger.
So, what did we learn from this series?
Is the expression this time of year, “Pitchers are ahead of hitters,” or “hitters are ahead of pitchers?” Well, it certainly seemed the Nationals pitchers were ahead of Mets batters. On Monday, the Mets scored 4 runs, the last of which scored on a walk-off single by Daniel Murphy.
Then, with Wright out of the lineup, they scraped up 2 runs late in game 2, after they were already down 6-0.
We learned this lineup certainly misses Wright, especially when Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, and Jason Bay are all hitting like the illegitimate children of Mario Mendoza and the Queen of England (I assume she’s not a good hitter). No return date has been set for David, and when he does return, who knows if he will still be able to comfortably grip a bat, or hit the way he did before he went down.
We learned the Mets pitchers continued to hold up their end of the bargain. Even Mike Pelfrey grinded his way through an 8 strikeout performance on Monday, en route to the team’s only win of the series. Johan Santana was outstanding once again on Wednesday, pitching 5+ innings striking out 8, and allowing only one run (on his wild pitch).
The defense lived up to its dubious reputation during the series, committing 2 errors officially, but looking shaky in general. In particular, the known weak spots – catcher, second base, and right field, showed their blemishes.
Daniel Murphy made an outstanding diving play to save a run in the top of the 9th on Monday, before he drove in the winning run in the bottom of the inning. However, he committed an error, and failed to turn a couple of double plays during the rest of the series.
Lucas Duda misplayed a fly ball on Tuesday that cost Dillon Gee a run, and kept him from getting out of the inning.
Josh Thole committed his first passed ball of the year on Wednesday, and looked as if he was using mattress for a catcher’s mitt all game long.
The Mets get a day off on Thursday, then head to Philadelphia to face the depleted lineup of the Phillies. But the struggling Mets lineup will have to face Cliff Lee, Vance Worley, and Cole Hamels – a difficult task, especially for the left handed-heavy lineup against Lee and Hamels. They may opt to sub in some right handed batters, as they did against Ross Detwiler on Tuesday, but we’ve learned that’s no bargain either. We’ll see what the Mets have learned heading into that series.