New York Mets News

Mets series vs. Diamondbacks: What did we learn?

By Rich Sparago

The Mets completed a 3-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 25th. The series culminated with a Banner-Day doubleheader that the two teams split. The Mets lost two of three during the series. Here are some of the key items that came from the three games vs. Arizona.

May 20, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Rafael Montero (50) pitches during the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

  • The Mets are struggling to score runs, and the problem was magnified during the Arizona series. In the three games, the Mets stranded 31 total runners. Lucas Duda and Chris Young were particularly ineffective with runners on base. Duda left 15 on base during the series, while Young left 8. This is very concerning when these are the 5th and 6th hitters in the lineup.
  • Zack Wheeler, though he took the loss on May 24th, may have taken a step forward. He was in trouble early in the game, with three runs across the plate by the 3rd inning. However, Wheeler found a way to figure it out when he was in trouble, and ended up pitching 6.2 innings of 3-run ball. This ability to manage innings when things are not going his way will serve Wheeler well in his development.
  • Rafael Montero, in his third start since being called up, showed the promise we have been anticipating. Montero showed pinpoint control on May 25th, locating his fastball, and mixing in an effective change up. Montero pitched 6 innings, and struck out 10 while walking 3. Although he did not figure in the decision, the effort he put forth will be good enough to win on many occasions in the big leagues.
  • Jenrry Mejia pitched in both games of the doubleheader, and did so very well. He was the tough luck loser in game one, and notched his third save in game 2. His ability to pitch in both games speaks volumes about his health, and helps validate the Mets’ experiment to try to make him a closer.
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka was the spot starter in game two of the doubleheader. He showed his versatility and value by going 6 innings, allowing just 2 runs. Matsuzaka has now started, and pitched in both long and short relief this season. While the Mets will have a pitching glut in the near future, it may make sense to keep Matsuzaka around for a while.
  • Daniel Murphy continues with his enigmatic play. He was 5/12 during the series. However, as he did in the Los Angeles series, Murphy looked bad in the field. He dropped a throw on a potential inning-ending force play in the 9th inning of game 1 on May 25th, allowing the eventual winning run to score. The play was inexplicable, as the throw was nearly perfect. Murphy has been the epitome on “up and down” in 2014. I continue to believe that he is playing his way off the team.
  • Eric Young, Junior injured his hamstring on May 24th, and will likely go on the DL May 26th.
  • Vic Black was called up to be the 26th man for the doubleheader, and will return to Las Vegas. This comes as a bit of a surprise, as Black has been pitching well in Triple A. It seemed that he would stay in New York, and possible replace Jose Valverde in the bullpen.
  • Dillon Gee did not throw as planned on May 25th. He is recovering from a lat injury, and may be out longer than expected.

The Mets will now host the Pirates for 3 at Citi Field, beginning on May 26th. They’ll welcome Ike Davis back to New York, and try to salvage a decent home stand, on which they’re currently 2-4.