So we’ve made it through the first two series of 2013 New York Mets baseball. All I can say so far is that it has certainly been interesting. While the Mets haven’t hosted the most talented ballclubs thus far, it’s still been quite encouraging to see them get off to a good start. After an exciting walk-off win today they stand at 4-2 heading into a ten game road trip where they will face the likes of Philadelphia, Minnesota, and Colorado. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by some aspects of the Mets play through the first six games of 2013, and disappointed by others.
Let’s start with positive aspects of what I’ve seen so far…
John Buck has been phenomenal. John is off to an 8 for 19 start, with two homeruns and eight RBIs. Buck was a mere footnote in the trade that brought the organization prospect Travis d’Arnaud, but has proven himself to be a valuable veteran presence so far. On another note, Buck is exactly the type of player that the Mets have ridden to hot starts before, and I don’t expect him to continue this scorching pace all season. Nor do the Mets need him too, seeing as most expect to see Travis d’Arnaud sooner rather than later. For the time being I am very happy to watch John Buck tear it up.
The Mets starting pitching has been solid too. I think a lot of people who don’t follow the Mets were surprised to see Jon Niese starting on Opening Day. I wasn’t. This guy has essentially flown under the radar for a few seasons now, and is ready to emerge as a front end starter. He hasn’t wowed anybody statistically with his two starts this season, but has been reliable and consistent. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Jon Niese has now pitched at least 6 innings in his last 22 starts. What’s not to like? Dillon Gee took a step forward by showing us his health problems from last season are behind him. He threw 6 and 1/3 of three hit baseball against the Padres, but was the tough luck loser. Even Jeremy Hefner allowed just 1 earned run through 6 innings in his first start. I’m going to forget about Laffey’s 4 and 1/3, 10 hit start versus the Marlins today because hopefully he won’t be in the rotation much longer. Whether it’s Marcum returning or Wheeler later in the season, I don’t think (fingers crossed) Laffey is part of the New York Mets rotation in the long term. The starters have done their job. The Mets have been given every opportunity to compete in each game so far. That’s really all you can ask for.
Moving on to what I haven’t really liked so far…
The Mets defense has been lackluster. Follow the link to this video for my general reaction whenever the ball is hit in Lucas Duda’s direction. Yeah, you get the point. Ruben Tejada has been pretty awful at short so far too. Four errors through six games is just plain bad. I’m not too worried about Tejada in the long term though, just a disappointing first week. He looked a lot better at the plate and in the field today.
I get that it’s still super early, but I’ve been pretty unimpressed by LaTroy Hawkins. He appeared today and got the job done, but allowed an earned run in each of his first two appearances for the ballclub. Everything I’ve read suggests that Hawkins is a great guy in the clubhouse, and I don’t doubt that. I would like to him shape up and pan out as a veteran presence in the bullpen this season.
Overall I’m just thrilled to have some New York Mets baseball back again. We have plenty more to come, and whether the outcome is good or bad I’ll be looking forward to it.