The New York Mets West Coast trips kill me. The time difference, keeping me up later at night…at least the new time constraints are conducive to shorter games and me getting to sleep a little bit earlier.
Usually the west coast trips are damaging to the New York Mets as well. Historically, it seems like the Mets struggle a bit when they play on the other coast. And given the struggling offense and that multiple key members of the pitching staff are watching from the sidelines, it’s amazing that the Mets come back east completing the trip against the A’s, Dodgers, and Giants with a 7-3 record.
There was certainly more to the story about the 10-game swing than just the surprising record.
Each stop presented a bit of a back story that made for an New York Mets interesting trip.
The Mets were a bit disrespected when they arrived in Oakland as the organization celebrated the 50th anniversary of the 1973 World Series win over the Mets. So it was perhaps only fitting that the A’s came out and embarrassed themselves.
The A’s are off to a bad start and Oakland pitchers issued an unfathomable 17 walks and also hit two other batters, leading to 17 runs for the Mets in the opener of the series.
The Mets swept the A’s and well they should have. But anyone who woke up to find out that the Mets had scored 17 runs in one game and thought that they had emerged from their offensive doldrums, would be surprised to see that that wasn’t the case. It was a bit deceiving. They would win the next two games by one run, Game Three in the 10th inning.
The Mets moved on to Los Angeles where they took two out of three from the Dodgers. The Mets bested the Dodgers by two runs in Games One and Three, pretty much going toe to toe with them offensively.
The Dodgers and the Mets can each say that they can put a three-time Cy Young Award winner on the mound every fifth day. Well, at least the Dodgers can…they can put Clayton Kershaw out there. At the moment, the Mets can’t. Because while Kershaw earned his 200th career win in Game Two of the series, Max Scherzer was ejected in Game Three for being a bit too sticky, and then was hit with a 10-game suspension.
So an already depleted New York Mets starting rotation will now be without Scherzer for two turns in the rotation.
The Mets then headed back to Northern California and split the four-game series with the San Francisco Giants, the Mets taking the first two games and the Giants taking Games Three and Four.
In an interesting turn of events, the Giants lineup would feature former Mets Wilmer Flores, J.D. Davis, and Michael Conforto, as well as recent castoff Darin Ruf in some combination, and they would all be in the game at the same time during Game Four of the series.
It is a bit heart-breaking to see Flores in anything but a Mets uniform, and even hard to fathom Conforto wearing the jersey of another team. But it is more than a bit heart-wrenching to see Davis in a Giants uniform and Ruf ALSO in a Giants uniform. How did that HAPPEN? Let’s see…the Mets sent Davis to the Giants…last season…along with a couple of other players…for Ruf. Ruf, fails miserably in his short time with the Mets, is released, and then…forget it…not even worth discussing at this point.
What IS worth discussing is that with the exception of the smoking hot Brandon Nimmo, who is hitting .350 with a .455 OBP; Pete Alonso, who has already clubbed 10 home runs in April; and Jeff McNeil, who after getting two hits in finale against the Giants is finally up to .296 with a .418 OBP, the Mets are just not hitting.
It’s funny how the ESPN announcer Eduardo Perez on Sunday night said that Francisco Lindor was off to one of his best offensive starts. Really? What is he seeing that I am not seeing? Yes, Lindor has had a couple of clutch hits…clutch homers to be exact. He has four HR and 18 RBI but that is a bit deceiving too as he is hitting a paltry .221 and has left a lot of men on base.
The rest of the Mets regulars are all below .250. Starling Marte is at .239 with one HR and six RBI and Mark Canha is at .240 with two HR and seven RBI. Meanwhile Eduardo Escobar still can’t get it going with a .145 average with two HR and eight RBI and his third base partner rookie Brett Baty is starting to hold his own getting up to .238 but has no HR and two RBI. The current catching tandem of Tomas Nido owner of a .122 average with one RBI and Francisco Alvarez, who finally hit his first homer of the season is at .148. The production is just not there. Oh, wait, Daniel Vogelbach is AT .250, and he, too finally hit HIS first homer on the trip.
The Mets are 11th in the National League with a .241 batting average. You might wonder, how then, are they 4th in the NL in runs scored? The 17 runs scored in one game will inflate the numbers…that happens when you have only played 23 games.
The story lines are a bit unusual – 17 free passes issued to the Mets in Oakland; Max Scherzer earns a suspension in Los Angeles; Darin Ruf joins J.D. Davis and the other former Mets in the Giants lineup AGAINST the Mets. Perhaps the biggest story line is that the Mets survived it all and won seven of 10 games – in a 10-day period. Can’t really complain about the lack of sleep after all of that.