The Mets recently completed a 3-game series against Don Mattingly’s Los Angeles Dodgers. The Mets lost 2 of 3 at Citi Field, dropping their home record to 10-14. What did we learn during the series?
- Wilmer Flores started all 3 games of the series. He played effective defense, and went 5-11 at the plate. While Flores is not the long-term answer at shortstop, he has earned a shot to get the majority of the playing time until a more permanent solution can be found.
- Juan Lagares, who missed the first game of the series due to a death in his family, continues to play stellar defense in center field. He added the game-winning RBI Thursday night, and is solidifying his role as the everyday center fielder.
- Eric Campbell started in left field on Thursday night, and despite concerns that he was relatively unexperienced as an outfielder, made an outstanding play to keep the game tied in the eighth inning. He dove to spear a Hanley Ramirez line drive, and turned it into a double play. Campbell, in a very limited sample size, has shown that he may belong in the major leagues. He also drove in a run with a sacrifice fly on Thursday, along with belting a 2-run home run on Wednesday night. Terry Collins has indicated that Campbell may be a 6-position utility player.
- Daniel Murphy continues to be an enigma. He hits for a high average (.299), but has a relatively low OBP (.348). He doesn’t walk often (15 so far). He plays hard, but can run the Mets out of innings. On Thursday night, Murphy made two atrocious plays in the field (though a mis-played pop ended up in a double play), to go with another mis-play on Wednesday night. Murphy is a valuable piece. However, his defensive shortcomings, and inability to adjust to the Mets preferred hitting style of patience at the plate, makes him likely trade bait this season, in my opinion.
- Curtis Granderson is hitting over .300 in May. He is hitting for power (doubles and home runs) and playing solid defense. He is showing signs of being the player the Mets expected him to be.
- Jacob deGrom had another effective start on Wednesday, tossing 6 innings of 3-run ball. He surrendered 3 solo home runs. His early propensity to allow the long ball will have to be watched as his career progresses.
- Jon Niese played the role of stopper on Thursday night, giving the Mets 7 innings of 3-run ball. He struck out 5 and walked just 1. When the Mets signed Niese to a contract in 2012, this was the type of performance they hoped to see, at a time when the team desperately needed a win.
- The Mets had been very successful in using their replay challenges. On Thursday night, Terry Collins challenged a call that had no chance of being overturned (Murphy dropped a throw from David Wright on a possible double-play ball). Whoever told Collins to challenge the call perhaps is miscast in the role of video reviewer.
The Mets will now take on the lowly Diamonbacks for 3 games at Citi over Memorial Day weekend. Ideally, the Mets would sweep as they did in Arizona. Doing so would pull the Mets to within a game of .500. However, something tells me that 2 of 3 may be a more realistic expectation. Bartolo Colon, Zack Wheeler, and Rafael Montero will try to give the Mets positive momentum as the season enters its second quarter.