Monday, October 05, 2015

Niggling Worries

I don't believe in momentum but I have some serious concerns about the way the Mets limped into the playoffs and what that portends for their chances to beat the Dodgers.

1) The offense is back to July levels of ineptitude. I know the Mets fielded a Triple A lineup against Max Scherzer, but he essentially threw a perfect game and struck out 17. The Mets August hot streak wasn't caused solely by the presence of Yoenis Cespedes. It was that Cespedes was hitting, which helped everyone around him hit as well. Even a 2-game slump in the Division Series is enough to knock you out of the playoffs.

2) The bullpen has been horrible. Tyler Clippard was horrible in September and October (6.14 ERA), Hansel Robles allowed runs in 4 of his last 6 outings, Jon Niese had 4 relief appearances and allowed 6 hits to 15 batters faced. Addison Reed has been good, and I trust Familia, but these are going to be close games and the Mets starters tend to falter in the 7th and 8th innings.

3) Terry Collins is a moron. I really dislike the way Collins manages this team, both from the broad view and from the specific in game moves. I am flabbergasted and befuddled as to why he rested all his regular position players down the stretch, but felt the need to keep his fragile starters "fresh" forgoing innings limits, doctors' warnings and common sense. If home field and staying fresh was important, why weren't some real hitters playing those games?

4) Thor on the road. The main job of the manager is to put his players in the best position to perform at their best. Noah Syndergaard is much more likely to perform at his best in CitiField compared to Dodger Stadium. I don't know why this is, I just know that it is. Sure it could change next year, and for the rest of his career, but for right now, it makes no sense to throw him out there in Game 2, and maybe again in Game 5 on the road when he clearly pitches much better at home.

5) Kershaw and Greinke. Even if the Mets were playing their best ball right now, it would still be a monumental task to face the Dodgers, the one team with a better top 2 than the Mets have. I know Kershaw hasn't done so great in the postseason, but he's still one of the best pitchers in the majors and can be absolutely unhittable at times. I pity Granderson, Murphy and Duda if they are forced to face him.


Bill said...

I'm sure you hope for a Mets sweep. I hope it's a good series.

Damino said...

Paul great post and I very much share your concerns. I was pulling my hair out watching the Mets blow a 2 game lead (plus the tie breaker) over the Dodgers by fielding a minor league lineup this past week. Getting swept by the Phillies was inexcusable. And as you said, even when the regulars played, the offense was abysmal. I was, however, encouraged by the final starts of deGrom, Syndergaard and Harvey, who were all excellent.

I'm hoping for the best, but honestly I can easily see the Dodgers winning in 3 or 4 games. I'm expecting the first two games to be painful 1-0 or 2-1 losses, where deGrom and Thor are great but just a step behind LA's starters, and I can see the Mets' shoddy infield defense costing them the game in a close one. I really hope I'm wrong, and I think the key is somehow taking 1 of 2 in LA.

My only point of contention is that I agree with Collins' decision to start Thor in game 2 and Harvey in game 3. Due to the schedule, the game 2 starter is in line for game 5. Given Harvey's innings controversy, I think they want him to pitch only one game in the division series, and if they win he'd be primed for 2 starts in the NLCS. I completely hear your point about Noah's home/road spread, and of course there is no guarantee of even getting to game 5, but I think I'd do the same here.

Oh and for better or worse I'm not going to see much of this series, as I'll be in Greece where night games start between 3 and 4 a.m. and I'll be on a plane during one of the games.