Team Record: 2-4 (14-20 overall)
May 7-8, White Sox Series: T, 1-1
May 9-12, Pirates Series: L, 1-3
The Bad Stuff:
- Aside from Matt Harvey and Dillon Gee, the New York starting staff was, to put it nicely, sub-par. Jeremy Hefner, Shaun Marcum, and Jonathon Niese were shelled at the hands of the Chicago and Pittsburgh bats.
- The New York offense didn't fare much better, scoring fewer than three runs in every game on the homestand.
- Jordany Valdespin had some trouble in the Pittsburgh series, getting plunked on Saturday for admiring his home run in a blowout the night before. While his teammates supported them all they could within the baseball code, JV1 didn't quite understand why New York wouldn't retaliate for what he saw as a "baseless" beaning.
The Good Stuff:
- Matt Harvey, period. He came about as perfect as a pitcher can come without actually doing it, allowing a little dribbler of an infield hit on Tuesday that was the only blemish on a nine-inning, no-walk, 12 strikeout performance. While he wasn't nearly as good on Sunday, his numbers (two runs in seven innings) should have been good enough for the win. Instead of 6-0, though, he's stuck on 4-0. At least none of those was an L.
- Dillon Gee pitched well in his Thursday start, allowing a single run in five innings of work.
- The Whitestone Kid, Mike Baxter, made a name for himself during the week with two walk-off hits, a single in the 10th that broke the Tuesday tie with the Sox, and a 9th-inning base knock that offed the Pirates in the series opener. He was the recipient of two, count 'em, TWO, whipped cream pies in the face courtesy of Justin Turner (Buck would have broken his face for sure on the second).
- Juan Legares flashed his glove on multiple occasions, saving a home run on Thursday and coming up with a nifty shoestring-then-dive to help Harvey out on Sunday.
That Saturday's 11-2 blowout was on Banner Day was appropriate, as this was a Banner Week for all that is wrong with the Mets so far. The most disappointing slumps belong to Ike Davis (so painful to watch a repeat of 2012), Jonathon Niese (Opening Day starter and anchor of the staff coming into the season), and Daniel Murphy (should have been an All-Star starter with his start).
Still, as my boss over at Rising Apple points out, didn't we expect this from the beginning? Didn't w know this year was a wash on the road to contention? We know 2014 is when things will start to get better, so should we really be concerned that the team is under-preforming in 2013? In a way, no we shouldn't; the heart of the matter is that the Mets just don't have enough good ballplayers. They're temporary fixes, never meant to be part of the big picture. Rick Ankiel may not be the most desirable pickup, but he's only meant to be a stopgap on the way to better things.
The only thing I can see that would be of concern is the sheer quantity of holes in the lineup. We knew the bullpen and outfield would be trouble, but now that the starting rotation and infield have started faltering, that may be something to raise an eyebrow at. Their slumps will probably slide, but it's something to keep an eye on.
Either way, all Mets fans can do now is take it one day at a time, root for the guys, and remember that in the grand scheme of things baseball should be a source of happiness. It's up to us to find it.