The Mets won two out of three games during the season opener against the Nationals last weekend in Washington DC. Here are three good and three not so good take-aways from the last three games …
1) The offense is not a one-trick pony
The Mets are not waiting for home races anymore "Hunting Strikes", a stroke that has been driven by Sandy Alderson and his hit coaches Dave Hudgens and Kevin in recent years. Instead, manager Mickey Callaway and new hit coach Chili Davis have been working to make their team more focused on beating the runners, defending themselves against the shift, making good contact and putting the ball into play this past spring.
As a result, the Mets scored eleven runs last weekend without a home run. In fact, six of the seven run-producer hits were sent to the opposite field on Saturday. Yesterday, they used five singles to produce three runs in the eighth inning to crack the game.
More importantly, both teams beat back the team in both cases last weekend.
"We are a solid bunch and we fight to the end," said Pete Alonso later, according to Newsday.
2) Brodie is right – Mets have depth
Jeff McNeil started on Thursday in the third base and left field on Saturday. He squeezed Sunday and finished a 4-for-11 series, nearly reaching the cycle.
In his place as a third during the weekend J.D. Davis slipped once, but made several great games in the field. And although he was only 2 out of 10, one of those hits was the starting signal for the RBI.
Keon Broxton started in midfield on Sunday, went 2 to 2 and had two stolen bases.
"Everyone contributes, and we feel that this will continue to happen," Callaway later added.
3) Alonso looks prepared and unimpressed
Rookie 1B Pete Alonso looked like a veteran hitter and first baseman during his 14 bats. During the first big league series of his career, he sprayed three doubles in all the fields, scored a run, drove three and drove tonight at .500. [Miami, USA] .500.
Obviously, he fails this season with 162.5500 RBI. And the pitchers finally adapt to him. Then he has to adapt again. However, 6-for-12 is much better than 0-for-12, and it should give him confidence to benefit from this achievement as we move in April.
"He knows he belongs," Callaway Sunday said. "He plays with everything he has."
1) Risky Decisions by Callaway
In the first game of the season Callaway chose at least two risky paths, namely Jacob deGrom . for Seth Lugo and Broxton's Exchange for Michael Conforto. Fortunately, both worked, as did Dominic Smith in defense of Alonso.
Sunday against Patrick Corbin and Callaway again decided to start Davis over McNeil, who stood at the bench despite four goals the day before. Callaway said he sat McNeil because Corbin is a left-handed pitcher. McNeil hit .281 against lefties last season.
Luckily, like Opening Day, Davis scored only one more goal in five clubs.
Lugo threw 41 places and was not available on Sunday. Overall, Callaway used seven different assistants in two games last weekend, with no rest day between Sunday and Monday games.
2) Greater space was up and down
At the inception of the series, Lugo Jeurys Familia and Edwin Diaz looked like an unstoppable juggernaut praising Van Wagenen, and the belief that every game could be closed until the seventh inning. During the last two games, however, the Bullpen ran six runs over the plate.
Lugo allowed a hit and ran away on Saturday two clubs in which Familia also ran a batter and gave a hit. Justin Wilson looked strong on Saturday, but then dropped a Sunday after Trea Turner.
3) The rotation is not perfect
Jacob deGrom looked amazing in Game One. Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler however, each allowed four runs and were always in trouble.
Wheeler and Syndergaard and deGrom are more than allowed to have one or two bad starts. The point is, though it's fun to imagine, the Mets will not get six innings of brilliant pitching every night. There will be bumps in the road as there is every season and in every team, which is why the Mets is probably the free agent pitcher Dallas Keuchel .
Matthew Cerrone should keep an eye on. ( Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is the lead author of MetsBlog.com, which he founded in 2003. He also hosts the MetsBlog podcast, which you can subscribe to here. His New Book, The New York Mets fans' Bucket List describes 44 things that every Mets fan should experience during his lifetime.