Monday, April 7, 2014

Mets Take Series Against Reds

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Cincinnati Reds vs. New York Mets

Series Recap, April 4th-6th

April 4th Reds: 3 Mets: 4
April 5th Reds: 3 Mets: 6
April 6th Reds: 2 Mets: 1

The New York Mets were able to bounce back from a poor season opening series, taking two of three from the Cincinnati Reds over the weekend at Citi Field. It was a nice response for the Mets, as the opening series created more questions than answers for manager Terry Collins. It also gives them a little positive momentum as the Mets will embark on a nine-game road trip starting against the division rival Atlanta Braves.


Elsa/Getty Images
After struggles in the first series, the Mets first basemen blasted the ball against the Reds. Receiving the start in the first game, Lucas Duda launched two homers, knocking in all four runs in a Mets 4-3. Ike Davis then hit a pinch-hit, walk-off grand slam in game two to give the Mets a 6-3 victory. Davis continued to hit well, going 2-4 in the series finale.

The bullpen was atrocious to start the season, but they had a solid series against a dangerous Reds offense. The Mets bullpen gave up only two runs in eight innings, both surrendered by John Lannan in 2/3 inning of work in the series opening game. Jose Valverde was able to lock down his first save of the season in the first game, also pitching a clean inning in the finale to keep his ERA at 0.00 to start the season. Kyle Farnsworth pitched 2.1 innings in the series, looking more comfortable after a rocky first appearance.

The Mets pitching staff was able to keep the Reds best hitter, Joey Votto, in check all series long. Votto only reached base twice, going 1-11 from the plate with a walk. Votto not getting on base often is a victory for the pitching staff as a whole, as he was second in the MLB, first in the NL, in on-base percentage last season at .435.

Jenrry Mejia had a strong first start of the season. Mejia started the first game in the series, and got the Mets off on a strong foot. He struck out a career-high eight batters, allowing one run on four hits in six innings. The five walks were the only negative on an otherwise outstanding first start of the season. Along with Zack Wheeler, Mejia is arguably the most talented pitcher the Mets have.


Some players the Mets are depending on offensively have not yet gotten it going. Catcher Travis d’Arnaud has not gotten a hit yet this season, going 0-15 thus far. Eric Young Jr. has struggled as well, as he is 2-19 with nine strikeouts through six games. Young looks to be turning it around a bit, as he got a hit in two consecutive games to end the series. Through six games, the Mets have the lowest batting average and on-base percentages in the MLB.

Elsa/Getty Images
As much as Votto struggled against the Mets, Brandon Phillips was on fire. Phillips has a 29-game hitting streak when visiting the Mets, putting him second on the all-time list behind former Florida Marlins’ second baseman Luis Castillo from 2001-2005. Phillips has a .318 career batting average against the Mets, and it rises to .350 when at Citi or Shea Stadium. For the series, Phillips went 5-13, with one home run.

The Mets received some news on Bobby Parnell, and it is not positive. Parnell will indeed undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2014 season before it really even started. Valverde will assume the closer role for the foreseeable future. The Mets will hope he can return to form next season, along with Matt Harvey, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery of his own.

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