Opening Day is TODAY! The Mets are hosting the Nationals in our first NL East match-up of 2014. Let’s take a little look at the Mets team and see what they have going well, what is going wrong, and what the Nats need to do to win this series. Here’s the MattsBats.com Opening Day Scouting Report for Nationals @ Mets.
What’s Going Well – Overall, the Mets had an okay Spring Training, with a 14-16 record in the Grapefruit League. They start regular season play with a decent infield formed by familiar faces like David Wright, Ruben Tejada, Daniel Murphy, and Ike Davis/Lucas Duda. It will be interesting to see how new Met Curtis Granderson adjusts to playing for the other New York team. Granderson only bat .157 this spring, but he hit 3 homers, which is alot for spring training.
I talked to Mets fan and kid blogger Niko Goutakolis, who writes Pepper: a MLB Blog. Niko thinks the Mets got stronger from last year by adding Granderson, Chris Young and Jose Valverde. He also reminds us to “look out for Daniel Murphy. He’s a constant 300 hitter, and is a true veteran.”
What’s Going Wrong – Pitching. With Matt Harvey out recovering from Tommy John surgery, the Mets’ starting pitching rotation looks pretty weak this year. The only pitcher in Mets history to throw a no-hitter, Johan Santana, will now be wearing an Orioles uniform. The Mets starting rotation is Gee, Colon, Wheeler, Niese, and Mejia. No really ace on the staff. Niko sees it differently, saying “I expect an amazing season from [Zack] Wheeler and hope that we can get a couple starts from [Matt] Harvey in September if we are in the hunt.” I think there is little chance that the Mets will be in the playoff hunt, and even Niko expects them to finish at just about .500. I think Matt Harvey should take all the time he needs and maybe rehab in some minor league games if he is able to later this season.
What do the Nats Need to do to Win? Post better numbers against Dillon Gee, the Mets’ Opening Day starter. The Nationals hit .228 off Gee with a .300 On Base Percentage last year. That is not very good. Bryce Harper, however, hit .375 off Gee last year, while some of the veterans, like Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond posted only .174 and .219 averages, respectively. To even things up, the Mets hit only .200 off Strasburg, .186 off Gio, and .251 off Zimmermann last year. Pitching is the Nationals’ strength, especially when you compare the Nats bullpen to the Mets relievers.
ENJOY OPENING DAY! And let’s get ready to PLAY BALL and:
(I know what you are thinking, but it means to “Make the Mets Upset”)