Jun 2, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Bartolo Colon (40) pitches during the seventh inning of a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Mets won 11-2. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Mets Series vs. Phillies: What Did We Learn?

The Mets recently completed a marathon 5-game series against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Mets won 4 of the 5 games, but that wasn’t even the main story. The two teams played a total of 57 innings, lasting 20 hours and 36 minutes. Other than getting a first-hand look at the Mets’ durability, what did we learn during the series?

  • The Mets bullpen has developed quite nicely. The relievers were worked hard during the series, and performed almost flawlessly. The game on May 30th was lost by the bullpen, but only after Chris Young dropped a fly ball in the 14th inning. On May 31st, the bullpen held the Phillies scoreless from innings 10 through 14, enabling the Mets to win. The pen allowed only one run in innings 9-11 on June 1st, securing a Mets’ victory. Over the last 13 games, (45.1 innings), the Mets’ bullpen has a 1.79 ERA with 39 strikeouts. The relief corps is now 11th in the majors with a 3.26 ERA.
  • Bartolo Colon has made it back-to-back strong starts, going 7 innings on June 2 to give the Mets their 4th win of the series. Early concerns are being allayed, as Colon seems to be pitching as he did in 2013 with Oakland of late.
  • Zack Wheeler, Jon Niese, and Jacob deGrom also contributed strong starting pitching performances. Rafael Montero did not (3.2 innings, 7 hits, 3 earned runs). Montero was sent to Triple-A during the series, and this has to be disappointing for the organization. Montero’s pinpoint control was not consistently with him during his time with the Mets. The hope is that he’ll regain his accuracy during his demotion.
  • Lucas Duda had the game-winning home run on June 2. He crushed the ball to left center in the 11th inning. This is exactly what Duda needs to do to be successful. Duda has the ability to hit the ball with authority to the opposite field, and has to guard against becoming pull happy and prone to the strikeout.
  • Wilmer Flores slugged a grand slam on June 2. His bat is the reason he was recalled from Triple-A. He has earned more playing time. It will be interesting to see what he is able to do with his opportunity.

The Mets enter their series with the Cubs one game under .500, after a disappointing May. Perhaps May was the test, the low point when very little seemed to go the Mets’ way. Some of the pieces (starting and relief pitching) seem to be in place for a fun summer. However, the team still struggles for offense at times. If the Mets can remain around .500 for the next 6 weeks, it will be worth watching to see how they approach the trading deadline. Will they aggressively look for a bat? Time will tell.


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Tags: Bartolo Colon Chris Young Jonathon Niese Lucas Duda

  • Victor Chu

    Rich — all excellent points. But, while the bullpen performed admirably during the series with the Phillies and in the last two games with the Pirates, yesterday’s performance against the Cubs was a reminder that the bullpen is still not quite top notch. With no room for error, they blinked — off course, David Wright’s non-error did not help. Also, Colon has performed better than his ERA indicates … he has 8 quality starts, among which are a few real gems — while the 3 games in which he got bombed have totally inflated his ERA.
    Did you agree with demoting Montero? There’s a part of me that thinks keeping him in the rotation and Dice-K in the pen made more sense, since having Dice-K instead of either Carlyle or Eveland with Meija, Black, Familia, Torres, Edgin and Rice seemed to make for a stronger overall pen. But, then again, Dice-K has proved (so far) this year that he can do it all!
    Finally, I agree with you on Duda … I made a comment that what he did in that game was the 1st time I can recall since his 2-HR game that I’ve seen Duda succeed in a clutch situation this year.
    That said, the main problem with this team now is strictly clutch hitting. They must lead the league in men LOB or have the lowest BA with RISP! At this point, would you just bench Chris Young if either Lagares or Eric Young, Jr. are back healthy soon? Also, who else would you bench/play at this point … I’m not ready to give up on d’Arnaud just yet … as always, I appreciate your thoughts!