Mets radio voice, Josh Lewin, often asks at the end of a game, “what did we learn today”? In this spirit, let’s take a look at some of the key take-aways from the Mets’ recently completed series loss (2 out of 3) to the Washington Nationals.
Apr 9, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets center fielderJuan Lagares
(12) makes a catch against Atlanta Braves first basemanFreddie Freeman
(not shown) during the first inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Juan Lagares needs to play every day. Not only did he rob Jayson Werth of a home run on Saturday, he added a home run of his own and 3 RBI in 2 games played in this series. Lagares at times takes an undisciplined approach at the plate, but with regular playing time, this may be corrected.
Bartolo Colon may have something left in his tank. Colon had not looked good recently, but on Saturday he threw 8 innings, allowing 2 runs on 6 hits. The Nationals did hit some long outs against Colon, but he held tough and gave the Mets a much-needed shut down performance.
Jenrry Mejia may be a closer in the making. On Saturday, Mejia pitched the 9th inning, striking out 2 of the 4 batters he faced while earning his first big league save.
Ruben Tejada is probably not the answer at shortstop. Going into Sunday’s game, Tejada had hit .227 during his so-called “resurgence” since Wilmer Flores was felled by the stomach flu last weekend. Tejada went 0-3 on Sunday, his average is down to .185, and he committed a crucial error that allowed Washington to score 2 runs in Sunday’s game.
Zack Wheeler is still a work in progress. Wheeler pitched 6 innings on Sunday, allowing 3 earned runs (5 overall), striking out 5 and walking 2. His command was better than it was at Yankee Stadium, but it still was not where it needs to be. A pitcher with Wheeler’s raw stuff should be more effective than Wheeler has been.
The Mets continue to scuffle for offense. Juan Lagares provided the team’s only home run in the three games against Washington. Curtis Granderson went 1 for 7 in the series. David Wright went 4 for 11 during the series, but was not making solid contact. Lucas Duda went for 2 for 8 with a double, but is still not providing power. Chris Young went 1 for 5 (1 start) in the series. Clearly, the Mets need more from the middle of their order.
Eric Young Junior has been inconsistent at the top of the order. After igniting the offense against the Yankees, Young went 1 for 13 during the Washington series, and his average now stands at .221.
Terry Collins is, well, Terry Collins. One item from Collins’ past is that he can get edgy at times with the media. Collins showed that before Sunday’s game when answering questions about the outfield configuration, and especially the playing time afforded to Juan Lagares. It will be interesting to watch Collins as the season goes along, especially if the Mets continue to struggle. While managing the Angels, Collins allegedly lost the clubhouse, calling out players to the media. In New York, such behavior will be magnified.
The Mets stand at 20-23 with an off day on May 19th. They then welcome the Dodgers to Citi Field to begin a 9-game home stand. The Dodgers should give the Mets a good test this week. The season is no longer young. The Mets have to continue to identify and address their needs if they want to remain relevant in the National League East.