Ernest Dove - Can New York Mets Wright the Ship as World Series turns to Citi Field?


  Well, the Mets are in the World Series for the first time in 15 years.  The Mets were two outs away from stealing game 1 and then..........

  I wish to first say congrats to the Kansas City Royals for taking both of their home games to start this series.  They have proven to be EXACTLY WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE.

  The series will now shift to Citi Field with numerous question marks surrounding the Mets, their offense/defense and pitching.

  I'm sitting here; however, trying not to panic.  The Mets, again, are in the WORLD SERIES.  We are almost pretty much playing with house money at this point.  But, at the same time, I've been preaching the same thing on Macks Mets for awhile now.  Teams, regardless of youth and talent, are promised nothing in the future.  I very much enjoy talking about the 'dream rotation' that will enter into 2016 with 4 team controlled and off innings limits caps arms on it.  However, that truly means nothing because anything can happen between now and then, and into the season and beyond.  The time is now.  The young studs are tired, fatigued, exhausted, and all but one of them has surpassed their career high for innings in a season I believe. (Matz would have without the injuries).  So where do the Mets go from here?
  I can talk pitching all day but let's start with the captain, David Wright.  David has played every game in the postseason, including all 14 innings of world series game 1 followed up with the 9 innings in game 2.  Will David be able to come right back out after the day off and gear up for game 3?  I assume the obvious answer is yes, absolutely. David has shown glimpses of his former self throughout the playoffs.  He has shown a slick glove, strong arm and a knack for the big hit to drive in runs.  David has also shown to be error prone in the field, a possible physical need to throw pretty much side arm on every ball thrown to a base, and has randomly looked lost at the plate with bad swings and also looks at pitches in the strike zone that appeared hittable. Which David Wright will show up in game 3, in front of the home crowd?  A crowd that has not witnessed a game on the worlds biggest stage in so long.   What I've noticed is that David is simply not at all spreading the ball around with his bat in the postseason.  His few and far between big hits have all been pulled.  It was nice to see him attempt a stolen base but he was caught stealing.  But regardless I'm just not sure if Terry Collins will change anything as far as penciling him in to play 3B and also bat 2nd.

What to do with Michael Conforto?

  This is a tricky one for me.  Conforto has produced very little in the postseason, but he does have a homer.  He also had some clutch sac flies.  He also honestly has the second best arm in the outfield.  So with the Royals continuing to throw out nothing but righties, will Terry Collins and his staff continue to go Conforto in the lineup for the 3 games in the Mets NL and non DH ballpark?  And if so, will he continue to be taken out of games for defensive purposes, even though the guy coming in (Lagares) is now recently having trouble with reading the ball along with already weakened arm?  I wrote an article not too long ago about the idea that Conforto might actually become a star in the postseason and be the hitting version of Bumgarner.  That obviously has not happened.  But a few games of success in the Big Apple might help all that quickly.

Are Mets bats passive, nervous, sticking to the hitting philosophy or all of the above?

  I'm trying to figure out the Mets strategy here at the plate.  We all know about Granderson.  He understands his role fully.  He works counts and draws walks because he the leadoff man.  But it seems like everyone else in the lineup, except for Daniel Murphy and Travis d'Arnaud, seem to be stuck in that thinking of take take take, and apparently look for 'your pitch' later in the count.  However, what's happening over and over is that pitchers, especially in this World Series, are simply throwing meatballs on the first pitch, and in certain counts that favor the hitter such as 1-0 and 2-0.  The Mets can obviously look no further then towards the other dugout to see what's going on with a team of hitters who can care less about opposing pitch counts.  They are all willing and able to hack at the first pitch.  We've seen numerous Harvey and deGrom innings be 9-12 pitch innings.  Good for them, but has eventually been happening is that the balls have begun to find their way into position on the field which are leading to singles and errors.  And for the life of me I think I am still honestly questioning whether or not Cespedes honestly was not ready for the start of game one on that first pitch and barely realized that the game had started.  The Mets need to follow the lead of Daniel Murphy and TDA.  Swing at strikes, whenever they come in the count.. Yes, I know that d'Arnaud is not lighting up the scoreboard but he still attacking.  And hopefully the law of averages says that he will eventually catch up to the ball and make more solid contact on those first pitch swings.  And with his power they can produce extra bases.

Will youth on the mound finally be served with its most youthful?

  Well, the Mets had their chance to line up their rotation and throw out their two best arms to start this series, and it just didn't work out.  But lucky for them there are two more to go, but they are younger and even more experienced then the first two.  So, what can we expect from Syndergaard and Matz in the world series, at home?
  There are plenty of stats to show how dominate Thor is at home, and Matz made quite a scene in his hometown state himself, but this is the world series.  I'm definitely curious to see what becomes of Thor.  Yes, I understand that the Royals have fancy stats that show their ability to swing at pitches, regardless of speed.  I also know that Harvey and deGrom did not seem to have full control of their 95+ pitches, and threw a lot more off speed stuff then usual.  So, can Syndergaard come out of the gate throwing 98-100, with more control then the first two, and then compliment that fireball with his curve and off speed stuff rather then almost come close to approaching 50-50 as far as fastball and breaking stuff?  I would personally prefer that Syndergaard let it fly.  I want him averaging 98+ throughout his outing on his fastball, and obviously pray that he is throwing his curveball for strikes.  And I am no quite interested to see what the lefty Matz can do against this lineup.  We've seen Niese succeed (im not counting whatever nonsense occurred when team had him pitch another multiple inning after already throwing a multiple inning the night before).  So I'm curious about Royals ability to handle a lefty with even better stuff.

Can the middle of the lineup produce?

  Murphy has been reduced to singles in the world series, but they still counted as hits in game 1.  Cespedes also had I believe a multi hit (singles) game to start this series, but both then became very quite in game 2.  So what can we expect of these guys back home at Citi Field?  I fully expect Daniel to be aggressive, swinging at the first pitch and hardly striking out.  however, who I'm worried about is Cespedes.  He just hasn't had that fire that he had since he burst onto the scene in September.  He's back to swinging at bad pitches, either tough breaking pitches or off the plate high fastballs.  He has been able to kind of show his swagger on the base baths, but not at the plate unfortunately.  The Mets need Cespedes to drive in runs in New York, starting immediately in game 3. 
  And of course there is Lucas Duda.  He is not smashing the ball, but he is making contact and the balls keep finding holes.  We can play the BABIP game, especially with the Royals solid overall defense, and say that Duda might stop finding holes.  However, we can also state that since Duda is on a hot streak he should now be due for 1 to 3 homers during the series here in New York.

  Can the Mets spell R E L I E F while in Queens?

  One person I'm not worried about is Familia.  If the Mets have a 1 run lead going into the 8th innings in game 3, Terry will not hesitate to have Familia warming up and will go to him during any sign of trouble.  And I fully expect Familia quiet honestly to not give up another run in this series if given the chance.
  We've seen glimpses of solid outings out of Reed, and Clippard can seemingly get guys out, although lot's of hard hit balls need to find a Mets glove often times during his recent outings.   I'm also willing to trust Colon in New York's ballpark, and I have no issues with Mets utilizing Niese even if just to face one or two lefties in the late innings.  The Mets simply have to trust their guys at this point.  It's been fun watching all the starters go into the 7th-8th innings for awhile now but it hasn't happened lately and you can't assume it will even happen again during this series with a strong offensive and scrappy team.

  Will Terry Collins make the right calls during the next few games?

  I'm not here to bash Terry Collins.  He's the manager of my favorite team. A team that's in the world series.  But I will say that his coaching skills will now be fully put to the test as the series shifts to the non DH rules of the National League.  I was actually ok with his decision in game one to start Kelly Johnson because there was a righty pitcher on the mound, and Terry has respected and trusted Kelly in big spots in late innings as a pinch hitter against righties anyway, so why leave that trust and faith on the bench conceivably for an entire game.  However, the experiment and trust did not work in game 1.  But the trust will most likely occur again right in game 3, because I assume Mets will go Johnson over Kirk as the first lefty pinch hitter.
  Terry must also decide the importance of 'riding his horse' on the mound vs the importance of squeezing out an extra run in the middle to late innings.  Yes, it's been fun talking about the Mets pitchers and their ability to hit, but in the world series do you really want to trust Thor and Matz with bat in their hands in the 5th-6th-7th inning if tied or down a run, with runners on base and 1-2 outs?

  Will Mets fans (and MetsTwitter) be satisfied no matter what happens in New York this weekend?

  Well one thing is for sure, semi conscious or not, my buddy Scott (who has tickets to game 4) will be entertained one way or the other at Citi Field, being at a Mets World Series game.  And whether they are going in at 0-3 or 1-2, a win in game 4 should have him smiling all the way back to Florida. But what do the majority of Mets fans want or expect in the coming days ahead?
  You can already tell on social media that many of the fans could care less about the fact that the team actually made it to the world series in the first place.  It's now win or bust in many a fans eyes apparently. 
    I for one do not agree.  I want the Mets to win the world series because the future is promised to nobody.  But my heart is not broken if they lose.  Ok, yes, if they get swept, I'm going to be angry.......for while.........And I will quietly piss and moan, blaming random players, coaches and staff, and blame the umps, TV cameras (good job FOX) and the damn Royals inability to strikeout or let more line drives get by them............ But in the end I'm still a fan.  I'll keep wearing my David Wright t-shirt (so will my daughter) and I'll keep finding ways to purchase more Mets type stuff for the home, car, doormat, etc.  As a fan, I'm not just happy to be here...... But I'm also happy to have the opportunity to still be watching Mets baseball in late October.

What's going on right now with Macks Mets readers?  Are we depressed?  Have we given up?  Are still expecting a series win, possibly the next 4?  DISCUSS



Thomas Brennan said...

Wright has 5 more years. Scary thought.

What we really need from him is 4 more vintage Wright games this coming week.

One prescription for Duda and Cespedes is to not take fat first pitch fastball strikes. KC sure doesn't.

We also need Wilmer and Conforto to hit in better luck.

When a team like KC attacks, you will have greater success if you can pitch just out of the zone more than they have. Of course, that might drive up pitch count.

Mack Ade said...

I would play Conforto tonight.

He has had some great contact with a lot of bad luck shots hit directly at a fielder.

I'm sort of down on the hot dog Lagares right now

Anonymous said...

I think Conforto is the much better hitter. I'd start him, too.

James Preller

Ernest Dove said...

From what I understand this young Royals pitcher is a stud. Can Lagares, whose having a nice offensive postseason, maintain his current positive plate discipline off guy throwing 100mph?

Stubby said...

Whatever happens--and as painful as Wednesday's loss was to watch--I'm happy with what this team has accomplished. If someone had told you in March or February that we'd be in the Series this year, you'd have taken that, right? Most likely, you'd have asked what they were smoking.

Even if I'm happy, which I am, I can only hope the players are not. You look back to that '86 team and wonder how it is they never got back to the Series. I mean, that team was flat-out dominant. How did they not get back?

Cueto was on fire and that KC field is downright bizarre, if you ask me. I just hope the Mets are fired up to deliver some payback tonight. 0-2, you're still in this. 0-3 and you're really not.

Ernest Dove said...

I expect series to be tied before midnight tomorrow. ..........................

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