Monday, July 13, 2015

>>>Kirk Makes Metropolitan History!

Now that's the way to go into the break! 
Four wins in a row (7 of the last 9) capped off by Kirk Nieuwenhuis's historic 3 home run performance at Citi Field. 

After the awful news about the Steven Matz injury I didn't think there was any chance the Mets could make me feel up going into the All-Star break. But they managed to pull it off. The great pitching finally getting some accompaniment in the form of the long ball. 

After being barren of power (and offense in general) for quite some time New York managed to hit 10 home runs in the last 4 games! That's incredible. It's also the kind of thing that can drive a fan crazy. Crazy with hope that this team can stay afloat through the second half.

 You can't say the 11 game winning streak back in April was squandered. Although you could say we've been living off it.

 After a 15-8 opening month New York has gone 34-39 (13-15 in May, 12-15 in June) to stay in the race at the break with an overall record of 47-42. A respectable 5 games over .500 and a heartening 2 games out of first.

Considering all the injuries and the lack of offense it's pretty incredible that they have been able to hang. We lost Wheeler for the season in spring. We lost Wright for who knows how long 8 games into the season. Blevins:CRACK! d'Arnaud: CRUNCH! And d'Arnaud again. Then all that air that was let out of the Matz balloon last week. Recalling the 4 game sweep by the Cubs in May or the 7 game losing streak in June retouches feelings of despair, displaying this team at its lowest depths. But there has been a bunch of highs. 

The 11 in a row. Lucas Duda's wicked start. Jacob deGrom's continued excellence. Synderguaard's appearance, performance and continued growth. Steven Matz and his astonishing debut. Harvey readjusting well after surgery and becoming a sideshow in a rotation of aces.  All these pitchers hitting for a higher average than our bench. Flores decent power numbers to start, Granderson carrying the offense on his back for a few. Duda heating up again.

And to top it all off a fantastic half a season so far from our closer Jeurys Familia, who backed into the role when Jenrry Mejia was suspended. I always thought Familia had better stuff. He has been famtabulous, racking up 27 saves (out of 29 chances) with an eeny weeny 1.25 ERA. Jeurys has really risen to the occasion and is one of the best closers in the game right now. 

He should have made the N.L. All Star Team. Shame on you Met fans who didn't vote.

After a hideously bad start on the road the Mets turned that around a little bit at the end there, taking the last two road series (4-2). I hope that's a sign of  future improvement on the road because if we are going to compete we have to do better from here on out. New York was 15-28 away from Citi, 32-14 at home. The standings at the break:
 Note the runs scored/runs allowed.

It's hard to believe that the Mets have never had a player hit 3 home runs in one game in any of their home ballparks during their history. Not at the Polo Grounds, not at Shea, not in their new digs, Citi Field. Nine Mets have hit 3 HRs in a game, all on the road. The Mets have been walking this earth some 54 years now. That's pretty amazin'.

A wacky season for Kirk Nieuwenhuis. When he was claimed on waivers by the Angels earlier in the season I thought that's the last we'd be seeing of him as a Met. But he flopped on the Angels and the Mets were able to re-claimed him off waivers when L.A. designated him for assignment. 

 Nieuwenhuis came into Sunday's game 7 for 66 (.106) with zero homers on the season. He hit his first home runs off Rubby De La Rosa and his third off Randall Delgado. They were two solo shots and a two-run job. One to each field too. Quite a display. We need Kirk to be big off the bench in the second half. Or big in the line up if Cuddyer don't get it in gear. Platoon w/Lags? Too soon to say but it's pretty clear that Lagares is not the same player who amazed me continuously and in many ways throughout 2014.

 So the Mets go into the break winning seven of their last nine games.
I'd have to call that a high note.

Photos by Kathy Willens and Jim McIsaac.  


 The Nickname cards so far.
I need a nickname for deGrom and Matz so I can add them to the nickname collection.
I'll only use The deGrominator™ if Breuer says it's okay. And if you beg I'll make a WILMA!


Metropolitan pitch-hitters

Nice to have you back Kirk.

Coming Soon-Game 7 of the 1973 World Series.

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