Mets Up: Baseball Calendars Collide

Pardon my absence, but earlier this week I saw The Flash. The world will get their opportunity to see it on June 16, but I was given foresight. I’ve seen the future you will soon see. I won’t spoil Flashpoint; but alert you that the answer is patience. I’ve been patiently waiting for a track to explode on; like Queens rapper 50 Cent in his Mets blue cap throwing a first pitch almost as bad as Howie Rose’s left handed screwball. But I’ve been waiting for June to truly take a look at this team without bias based on last year’s results or the seemingly immediate toddler-like need of a fan base that only has two titles to showcase, yet expects and demands more like an endless loop where no final answer can possibly be correct.

What was right on time was a taste of Philadelphia and a filthy Phillies franchise I’m glad the Mets are currently dominating. It doesn’t take the taste of Chase Utley from my mouth, but there’s little fear from them and it showed. A dominating three-game sweep that echoed the 2022 team as the fictional baseball calendar reached the mark of only this year mattering. If so, they showcased the starting pitching that will be needed to pitch this team deep into October.

It started with Kodai Senga, consistently getting ahead of batters and forcing them to chase the Ghost into the dirt. It helps the Flithies are leaders in MLB at chasing bad pitches. Trey Turner was chasing pitches; a sad sight since I’m used to seeing him rake. A key part of the 2019 Washington Nationals’ championship run, he looks lost atop Philly’s lineup going 0-for-7 at the plate in the first two games. But to start Wednesday, he singled and technically scored on a stolen base.

Turner was at second after a walk to Bryce Harper, who looks as frightening as ever in this lineup. Turner stole the base off starting pitcher Max Scherzer; but when you start a 21-year old behind the plate, what happened next can be expected. Instead of sitting on the ball, Francisco Alvarez threw down to third, which ended up in left field. Harper was following along on the play and ended up at third base, but that wasn’t the worst part.

Nick Castellanos had a 1-2 count and the pitch Turner ran on was a fastball on the outer part of the plate. If Alvarez stays still and frames the pitch, the inning is over. Instead, the pitch was called a ball and the Flithies left-fielder followed with a sac fly for a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Unfortunately for them, that would be all that Scherzer and the law firm of (Jeff) Brigham, (Brooks) Raley and (Drew) Smith would allow on this day. But it’s always the little things that make the difference in the end. 

Little things like Pete Alonso lessening his swing and taking advantage of the empty right side of the infield. For weeks now, teams have played the Polar Bear with the 2nd baseman as close to the bag as possible. After Jeff McNeil dropped an RBI single in front of Phillies’ outfield vacuum cleaner Brandon Marsh, runners were at first and third. Anything to the right side meant another run, but Pete swung threw a high fastball to leave two on. I expect more from Alonso only because he has the ability and showed it last year. I didn’t see much from Daneil Vogelbach last year, but I do love his 'Man of Steal' commercial and laugh every time he gives Buck Showalter the thumbs up.


I’m old and don’t go down the stats wormhole. Simple things like on-base percentage (OBP) are enough for me, so I was willing to argue for him when that was dominant. But his OBP is now behind McNeil and there’s only so many walks one can take when not attempting to move from the base once there. Vogelbach is not driving the ball when he does decide to swing & is yet another batter unwilling to take an opposite field ground ball to easily score a run. So thumbs up for sitting him down in the sixth inning for Mark Vientos with Brett Baty at third.

“Before that at-bat happened, I was thinking about a situation with a runner on third and I come up and did exactly what I wanted to do,” Vientos said to the New York Post. “Make hard contact or hit a [fly ball] or a ground ball through the middle, just to score the run. That was my job and that’s what I wanted to do.”

Vientos looked overpowered on earlier strikes, but produced a big league at bat, generating a sacrifice fly to bring home the game’s 4th run. This team doing the little things, along with an 8-game home winning streak provide a calming assurance for the alarm bells going off for what awaits next week. It’s not as if one can look past the Toronto Blue Jays as each team starts Friday with a 30-27 record. There’s a Mets surprise starter scheduled for Sunday and for the second straight day, the Amazin's will face a starter they employed last year. 

Chris Bassitt was one of the pitchers pointed at when the pitch clock rule started this spring. His delays last year were a mix of miscommunication with the catcher and wanting to get the hitter off his guard. It was successful to an extent and the less said about his Game Three start against San Diego, the better. But it was a successful signing for both sides and I saw no harm in letting him and Tiajuan Walker leave in the offseason. Now each has returned, one already a loser. Here’s hoping he joins his brethren and that’s the truth.

Upcoming Series: Toronto Blue Jays at New York Mets

June 2 - 7:10 p.m.

Justin Verlander (2-2, 4.80 ERA) vs. Chris Bassitt (5-4, 3.80 ERA)

June 3 - 4:10 p.m.

Tylor Megill (5-3, 4.67 ERA) vs. Jose Berrios (5-4, 3.86 ERA)

June 4 - 1:40 p.m.

TBD vs. Yusei Kikuchi (5-2, 4.56 ERA)