By: Niko Goutakolis
There have been a lot of things to cheer about when it comes to the Mets lately.
In fact, there have been so many things to celebrate, that good performances have gone completely under the radar.
Take Michael Cuddyer for example, no one was thinking about him before the Mets visited Philadelphia, then he hits a shot into the second deck, and upon review of Cuddyer’s recent numbers, the fans start to commemorate his recent success. This is in no way a “bad” thing. In fact, this is probably the best predicament I’ve ever written about, but let me remind you of another player, a player that is the second longest tenured Met, a player that played at Shea as a Met.
He’s Daniel Murphy.
Murphy probably, well, definitely had the worst start to a season that anyone could have. He missed the overwhelming majority of Spring Training, and was very weak to start the season, both offensively and defensively. Dilson Herrera came up, and the media started to explore the possibility of trading Murphy.
Murphy got a little better when the Mets ventured into Yankee Stadium, but then got injured once again, in Arizona, trying to beat out a ground ball. This time, Murphy spent more time rehabbing, and made sure he was at 100%. When he came back, his average slowly increased (and still is), as did his power numbers. Even his defense, which is his achilles heal, has improved.
Murphy has been known for his consistent bat, and hitting the ball to all fields. But this year, he has become even more of a contact hitter. While there is still a full month of a season left, Murphy will need to strike out 55 times if he is going to tie the amount of strikeouts he had last year. With a long stint on the disabled list behind him, he is only three RBI’s away from last years total.
Before I continue, let’s remember that Murphy’s performance last year wasn’t bad at all, in fact, it was so good it landed him a spot on the NL All-Star roster.
The most interesting thing about Murph this year is his power increase. Murphy is three home runs away from his all time high (thirteen in 2013), and he is in no way “swinging for the fences”. His strikeout totals prove that. If Murphy can get his average up by about 5-10 points, then he would roughly have his best average in his career in a full season of play.
Murphy has handled the constant change of position with praise, and his ability to preform without any peace of mind is astounding.
I think the Mets need to extend Daniel Murphy’s contract. He’s the only player that I’ve watched preform with honors in the face of adversity in the history of Citi Field. Sure he might not be gifted defensively, but what you get on the offensive side is way more then the price it takes to land him.
And the Mets continue to roll, winning their fifth straight game, and maintaining their 5.5 game lead over Washington. Hopefully the Mets can enhance their lead before the Nationals series that will occur around Labor Day, as the Nationals have already lined up their rotation to have their aces pitch against the Mets, similar to what the Mets did to the Nationals.
- Noah Syndergaard got his first road win today
- Yoenis Cespedes hit another home run today.
- David Wright appeard sluggish over at third tonight.
- The benches almost cleared after Phillies management wasn’t pleased about Robles’ quick pitch.
If this three game sweep of the Rockies didn’t convince you that the Mets are the “real deal”, I don’t know what will. The Mets entered Coors Field after a crushing loss in Baltimore, and they hit better than they had at any point since Citi Field open.
Yes, that long.
Yes, it’s Coors Field, but the Mets got clutch hits in bundles, and they looked excited in the process. What’s even better is that the offense is only going to improve in the coming days with the impending return of David Wright, and with Lucas Duda and the speed of Eric Young Jr. in a few weeks. These are exciting times for the Mets, and I’m excited to be a part of it.
Today’s date is August 21st 2015. The Mets currently hold a commanding four game lead over the Washington Nationals, and while I would usually be calm and comfortable, the collapses of 2007 and 2008 have taught me that no lead is safe.
Luckily for us, the 2015 Washington Nationals are not the 2007 Philadelphia Phillies. In fact, they aren’t even close to their talent level.
The Nationals have a lot of gaps that could prevent them from reaching the level necessary to make the 2015 Postseason. Their starting rotation, which is billed as one of the best in the game, has not been great. They’ve been plagued by injuries, but who hasn’t? I understand that injuries are un-preventable for the most part, and they can change your season, but haven’t the Mets had just as many injuries, if not more, this year?
Now, to answer the title question, the #1 thing the Mets can do to enhance their chances is to play good against the Nationals. One series could change the standings from a mere tie at one game behind, or, if you win three games, that would put you’re opponents seven games out, which would be close to impossible to overcome.
Next, the Mets have to lock down their flaw that plagued them in 2007. Their BULLPEN. While Tyler Clippard and Jeurys Familia have been good, you can’t have a bullpen with two above average relievers. Hansel Robles has some good raw talent, but it’s still very raw. The same was true for Familia when he came up in 2012, and with Mejia in 2010. Unfortunately, I believe that Robles is still a year or two away from being able to reach his full potential. So, Robles shouldn’t be considered as the answer to help aid the Mets bullpen woes.
So, who else could help the Mets succeed? Well, it will have to be a internal option, as Alderson has already stated that acquiring a player from free agency or through waivers is not on the Mets radar.
If I was Sandy, I would give Vic Black a quick look. He has spent the whole season on the disabled list and/or in Las Vegas. While his ERA isn’t amazing down there, he was consistent in the majors in 2013 and in 2014. The other internal option I hope the Mets look at is Dario Alvarez. A lefty who is performing well in Vegas. Alvarez joined the Mets last September and looked good.
What additions would you make? Leave a comment below and/or tweet me @NikoMetsPlus
Slugger Donn Clendenon and light-hitting Al Weis each homered to back the five-hit pitching of Jerry Koosman as the “Miracle Mets” closed out their first-ever World Series championship with a 5-3 victory over the heavily favored Orioles.
While I never saw this game, I’ve watched it plenty of times. This game is special in a lot of Mets fans hearts, and now you can watch it again on Mets Plus. Grab the popcorn and watch it during today’s day off.
deGrom was great yesterday through 7.2 innings, while only giving up one run and getting his ERA down to 1.98, which is second best behind Zack Grenkie.
deGrom’s only blemish was a home run to Geraldo Parra, who almost hit a second home run off Tyler Clippard in the eighth inning.
Curtis Granderson hit a pair of homeruns, including a leadoff home run in the first inning.