The Mets head into the first road series of the young 2012 season with a 4-2 record of what already feels like another roller-coaster campaign. Before the season began, if you told me that the Mets would be 4-2 after six games, I would take that 10 times out of 10. The fact of the matter is for the first four games, this team looked like a juggernaut, but the last two without David Wright, or his infamous right pinky, the Mets have been an offensively starved team.
A rivalry matchup against the 3rd place Phillies could be just what the doctor ordered to get the Mets bats going again in the cozy confines of Citizen’s Bank Park. Over the first six games, the Mets opening day lineup’s four through six hitters have a combined seven hits. Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, and Jason Bay are all mired in early season slumps. But the thing is that even Jason Bay won’t hit .158 all season, and we have all seen what Ike and Duda are capable of when they start to pick it up. So, bottom line is that this team is 4-2 without any help from the heart of their order, besides David Wright for the first four games.
In watching games at Citizens Bank Park over the years I know that a routine fly ball can become a home run in the blink of an eye. Maybe a couple of fly ball home runs this weekend can pad the Mets stats, as well as pad their confidence at the plate going forward.
The Phillies are without their slugging first baseman Ryan Howard and their All Star second baseman Chase Utley, both out indefinitely with injuries. Their offense has struggled in most games this season as their lineup is lacking the punch we have seen in recent years.
The Mets will face a tough portion of the Phils staff, going up against Cliff Lee, Vance Worley and Cole Hamels. The Mets have not fared well at all against Lee and have had their troubles with Worley, but they seem to own Hamels, especially Wright, who hopes to be back in the lineup this weekend.
The Mets are throwing R.A. Dickey, Jon Niese, and Mike Pelfrey to the bump this weekend. Dickey and Niese have performed well against the Phils, but their record does not show for it. Meanwhile Pelfrey is his usual Jekyll and Hyde when it comes to facing the Phillies. This leads me to believe Sunday’s Jackie Robinson Day game could be an offensive display for both teams and early calls to the bullpen.
Taking two of three on the road from the defending NL East champs would be a great way to start the first road trip of 2012. I’ll be glued to my TV during what is shaping up to be a lovely weekend in the Big Apple. Let’s hope the Mets can make it a little sweeter.