After completing a sweep of Miami, the Mets now have a 10-3 record. They won their first seven home games for the first time and completed their first four-game sweep since July 2011 in Cincinnati. The winning streak is New York’s longest since an eight-game streak in June 2010. The Mets also began their 1986 and 2006 seasons with 10-3 records and won division titles in both those years.
After 13 games the Mets have the second best record in the majors despite the loss of their best positional player David Wright (hamstring) and their projected number two starter Zack Wheeler (elbow surgery). They also lost their projected closer Jenry Mejia, suspended for 80 games for PED use, and lefty pitcher Elgin. So how have the Mets thrived despite these key player loses?
It all starts with their pitching. The Mets five starting pitchers for the first 13 games have a combined record of 9-2 with a combined ERA of 2.70. Their combined ratio of strikeouts to walks is 74 to 11. Matt Harvey, returning from Tommy John Surgery, has 24 Ks with just 1 walk. He also has a record of 3-0. DeGrom has 17 Ks and just 3 walks. At this point in the season the Mets may have the best starting rotation in the majors. Everyone talked in the off-season of getting rid of the 42 year-old Colon. So how has Colon answered his critics? Colon is 3-0 with an ERA of 2.25. He has 18 Ks and just 1 walk in 20 innings. What about the Mets new closer Jeurvs Familia? Well, he is six for six in saves with an ERA of 2.35. I know the season is a 162-game marathon and the above is just a small sample of 13 games but Mets fans have every reason to be excited about their pitching staff. Their team ERA is 3.00 which ranks the Mets 7th out of 30 ML teams. Can you imagine how good the starting staff would have been with Wheeler?
We now turn to the Mets positional players. We begin with the starting catcher d’Arnaud. After being sent down to the minors in the first half of the 2014 season, he returned in the second half and showed he could really be a solid starting catcher. He has begun the 2015 season with a .317 AVG and an OPS of .892 and leads the team with 2 HR and 10 RBI. Unfortunately, in game 13 he was hit by a pitch which resulted in a broken hand. This will be a big loss for the Mets. At first base the Mets made the right decision in keeping Duda and letting Davis go. Duda has rewarded the Mets by hitting .396 with an OPS of .947 for the first 13 games. His defense at first has also improved. At second Murphy is off to a slow start batting a mere .156. But don’t worry because he is a .300 hitter and before the season ends that’s where his AVG will be. His defense has always been criticized but I see him improving. At shortstop Flores won the job over Tejeda because of his bat. However, he is only batting .222 after 13 games. But in his last few games he has shown a marked improvement. His fielding is adequate at best. Before being placed on the DL Wright was batting .333 and continues to be excellent defensively. He seems to be returning to his All-Star form after an injury-plagued 2014. Their centerfielder Lagarus continues to demonstrate why he won the gold glove in 2014. I see a definite improvement in his hitting. Granderson in right field is off to a slow start batting just .146. However, as their leadoff batter he has 12 walks. He is a good defensive outfielder with power. He will produce home runs in Citi Field now that the fences have been brought in. Cuddyer in left field is solid and is batting .333. As a team the Mets rank 10th in AVG, 15th in OPS, 22nd in HR, and 11th in runs scored.
My prediction is even with the loss of both d’Arnaud and reliever Blevins in their last game to go along with the other losses of key players, the Mets will make the 2015 playoffs because of their pitching. Once again the Mets will be THE AMAZING METS.