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.