The first month of the baseball season is nearly in the books, and the New York Mets have surprised a lot of people with their ability to win games. The Mets faced a brutal first month of the season, and it didn't start promisingly after they were swept by the Washington Nationals in their first series of the season. Since then, however, the Mets have won 14 of their last 22 games to climb all the way to second place in the National League East.
After they finished 6-3 on their first road trip, many wondered if the Mets could carry their momentum with them back home. The Mets have struggled at Citi Field for the last three years, and with series against the Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals on the docket pessimism was very possible. The Mets did drop two of three to the Braves, but they rebounded by winning three of four from the Cardinals. The Mets built on that series win by adding another against the Marlins over the weekend, including a nice bounce back win on Sunday after dropping a tough game Saturday night.
The Mets now hit the road at 14-11, three and a half games behind the Braves in a very tight National League East. The Mets' next road trip kicks off tomorrow with a brief two game series against the Philadelphia Phillies, then moves to Colorado on Thursday for a four game weekend series with the Rockies. A three game swing in Miami next week against the Marlins completes this trip. The Mets have a chance to build some serious momentum for their season with another winning trip.
The Mets aren't facing any teams on this trip who are better than they are. The Phillies are 13-12, and have been an essentially average team over the first month of the season. The Mets will draw Cole Hamels and Kyle Kendrick in the series, two pitchers they have had some success against. After the Phillies' series they will head to Colorado and face a 14-12 Rockies' squad. The Rockies are hot, having won 7 of their last 10, but four games in Coors Field can lead to all kinds of crazy scores.
Having both Philadelphia and Colorado on the road trip offers the Mets an opportunity to get their struggling offense going. Aside from Daniel Murphy, David Wright, and the injured Juan Lagares, no Mets' regular is hitting above .257 on the season. The Mets have also had very little power, hitting only 16 home runs over their first 25 games. Going to hitters' havens could help get some of the club's struggling power hitters, like Curtis Granderson, going to support a pitching staff that is carrying the team right now.
The trip wraps up with three games against the Marlins, who the Mets just took two out of three from last weekend. The Marlins are a feisty bunch, but no one is expecting them to be around for the long haul. The Mets have had their struggles in Miami the last few years, but the Marlins are a team the Mets should not lose a series too all season if they expect to be a 90 win team.
No one is expecting this road trip to echo the tremendous 2006 road trip that saw the Mets win nine out of ten games against the Dodgers, Diamondbacks, and Phillies to essentially grab the NL East by the throat. The Mets can do themselves a tremendous service, however, by securing another winning trip. A 6-3 mark would be ideal, as it would put the Mets at 20-14 before a tough 13 game stretch where they play the Phillies, Yankees, Nationals, and Dodgers. A 5-4 mark is also obtainable if they split the first two series of the trip and win two of three against the Marlins. If the Mets want fans to take them seriously as potential contenders, taking care of business on this road trip is essential.Tags: Baseball, Marlins, MLB, New York, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Rockies