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Ya know…Jeurys Familia wasn’t exactly the Mets first choice. Nope, he wasn’t. Actually, the Mets were counting on some guy named Jenrry Mejia. Where did THAT come from? Well…with so many so-called experts counting the Mets out because Edwin Diaz is out for the year, the name Mejia should serve as a reminder.
After being groomed as a starter, Mejia had a somewhat breakout season in 2014 coming out of the pen. He made 63 appearances and pitched to a 6-6 record with an ERA of 3.65 and picked up seven saves. Mejia impressed by averaging 9.4 strikeouts per nine innings.
Mejia was primed to be the closer for the 2015 season. But, guess what? On Opening Day…OPENING DAY…Mejia was warming up for a 9th inning save but came up lame before entering the game. He went on the 15-game DL with an elbow issue. But wait…there’s more. While on the DL, MLB announced it was suspending Mejia for 80 games for testing positive for a banned substance. The Mets replaced Mejia with Familia, who had been serving in a set-up role.
My mother always tried to warn me, "Don't count your chickens before your eggs are hatched." It's a good rule to live by, especially before the start of the baseball season. A 162-game schedule makes for a long season and a lot can happen. A season can turn on a dime. Things can go bad very quickly.
So when everyone was so quick to label the Mets starting rotation as the best staff ever assembled, you just had to wonder if it was a bit premature. Well they may just be the best collection of talent. But there certainly seems like there is something to be concerned about, especially for those who remember the group from a prior era that carried the tag "Generation K." The hype is great for marketing, but sometimes it can land you with egg on your face.
The Mets put the final nail in the coffin of the Chicago Cubs, completing the sweep and sending them into the 2015 World Series. And they simply repeated the same process they utilized each and every game before - one of their young starters (this time it was Steven Matz) overmatched the Cubs hitters, Jeurys Familia put the finishing touches on in the ninth, and I am getting tired (not really) of saying this...Daniel Murphy hit a home run.
The Mets starters simply did not give the Cubs a chance to breathe. The Chicago hitters were able to put a chink in the armor here and there, but the Cubs never led at any time during the four game series. The Mets staff just completely overpowered the power hitters of the Chicago lineup.
After sweeping the Rockies in four games at CitiField just a week ago, the Mets met with the Rockies on their own turf to begin a three-game series at Coors Field. And the Mets showed that they could keep up with the Rockies brand of "Coors Field baseball" better known as good old fashioned Home Run Derby. Well, at least Yoenis Cespedes did. Cespedes had a career night hitting three home runs, including a second inning grand slam, going five for six with seven RBI, five runs scored, and added a stolen base. The game actually resembled a slow pitch softball game as the teams pounded away at each other with the Mets eventually winning 14-9 after blowing an early 7-1 lead.
The Mets are sitting atop the Eastern Division of the National League yet they are far from running away with the division title. In fact, the thought of meeting up with any of the three teams in the Central Division - Cardinals, Pirates, Cubs - is downright scary. The Mets are doing a pretty good job of beating up on the second division teams...but they are struggling against teams with winning records...as evidenced by their sweep of the Rockies followed up, in turn, by getting swept themselves by the Pirates at CitiField. The split with the Orioles in Baltimore not only showcased the Mets strength, it also showcased their weaknesses.
Jacob deGrom throws another gem in the bandbox more commonly known as Oriole Park at Camden Yards...lowering his ERA to 1.98. Curtis Granderson blasted two home runs and had a great catch in the 8th inning.