The Mets get their first real test of the season with four games in San Diego against the upstart Padres. Win or lose, just play good baseball.
The Mets, fresh off winning another series against the Diamondbacks, begin a four-game series against the Padres tonight at Petco Park. As usual, the weather in San Diego is typical, with temps in the 60s, and a 1% chance of rain, so unlike last weekend, there will be no rainouts to contend with for the Mets.
The tendency and gravitational pull for a series like this one are to label the games as “critical,” even “crucial,” but that would be a misnomer, at least with how it applies to the Mets.
The Mets are riding high with a commanding 4.5 game lead in the National League East Standings.
There is no team closer than seven games in the loss column, and the team is a full six games over .500, with a run differential that has finally made it to the plus column (+6).
Mets: Playing Solid Baseball Is All That’s Critical
Regardless of all that, though, the Mets are playing good baseball, and to have that to continue is all that is really “critical” in this series.
Injured players are beginning to trickle back, and almost immediately, they are having an impact, as witnessed by Pete Alonso‘s game-winning single yesterday. Francisco Lindor‘s bat is finally awakening, and the “pressure’s off” lift to the team is seen on the faces of his teammates in the Mets dugout.
Moreover, it can now be said the Mets bullpen is one of the elites in baseball, powered by the resurgence of Edwin Diaz, who is spinning 101 MPH fastballs again.
In short, everything points up for the Mets, and all they really need to do this weekend is keep it that way by remembering who they are and where they are at this point in the season.
In fact, it can be said these games are (indeed) critical for the Padres, who have dropped four in a row, losing their lead in the NL West and just a nose above the third-place Dodgers.
Critical Series? It’s Only The Beginning
The Mets won’t talk about this, but I can. Beyond this series is a two-game set at Camden Yards to play the Orioles, who still feel the effects of a fourteen-game losing streak. Bookending those games are scheduled off-days for the Mets before the going gets tough again with a homestand with the Padres next weekend for three, and then the Cubs for a four-game series.
All of which is to say there is a lot of baseball games left to play, and there will be plenty more series that will attract the “crucial” label.
Mets: The Blending Of A Team In The Making
The other thing about the Mets is they never appear to be “tight.” They are a fun-loving group, led by Lindor and Alonso, to compliment the stoicism and intensity of deGrom and Stroman.
The Mets warrior mentality is seen in the many games played and won by the Bench Mob in the absence of so many regulars. It’s reinforced by Kevin Pillar‘s return to the lineup only a week after being hit in the face by a pitched ball.
Wisely and successfully, Mets manager Luis Rojas has adopted a strategy of just staying out of their way while letting them play the game, win or lose.
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Fred Brunner Hopefully they will at least split. I will see Jacob pitching on Saturday hopefully they score enough runs the way they been doing so far
Tony Acevedo This is the first real baseball game of the season IMO.
Angel Perez Just go out there and play! We’re just as good as anyone!
Bradford Hardy Just play well. try to split the series .. oh, & this just in, SD is anything but UPSTART.