Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Niese, Mets Edge Bucs 3-1, take Series to go Four Games Over .500

The New York Mets continue to surprise most preseason pundits by winning another road series and climbing back to four games over the .500 mark. Every time this team seems headed towards an extended losing skid, one of the starting pitchers comes up big and tosses a gem. With Johan bouncing back, R.A. pitching like a front of the rotation starter, and Jon Niese, in the role of the up and coming lefty, The Mets have been able to keep the skids at bay. The theme this year has been quality starts, and Jon Niese tossed his sixth quality start in his ninth game, winning for the first time since April 14th. The win follows R.A. Dickey's strong start and continues to keep the club within wild card striking distance. The team now boasts the NL batting average leader in Wright (.399) and win leader in Dickey (6). While the team ranks near the bottom in almost every slugging category, (except doubles where they lead the league with 83), they have been able to scratch out enough runs to win games in which their starters pitch well. This is mostly due to their ability to draw walks and hit with men in scoring position. They have been especially effective with RISP and two outs. The question will be how long they can continue to win without the long ball. I think they sorely need Jason Bay's right handed power bat. While nowhere near the slugger he was before signing with the team, Jason's three HR's in 50 ab's would be a pace the team would love for him to continue. Who the odd man out is when he returns remains to be seen. Some have been calling for Ike Davis' return to the minor leagues. I for one think that Ike has been putting much better swings on the ball, and feel it is just a matter of time before he breaks out. However, you simply can't keep a guy with a .150 batting average in your starting lineup. Terry Collins and Sandy Alderson need to have some serious discussions over the roster. When Thole, Tejada, and Bay are all ready to return, The Mets will have some interesting roster moves to make. Both Mike Baxter and Ronnie Cedeno have been excelling in their roles, and you have to wonder whose position on the team may be in jeopardy. In the meantime, Let's Go Mets!

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