(Neil Miller/Sportsday Wire)
The Mets won on at Citi Field today, 7-2 over the Philadelphia Phillies.
File this under the sun rose in the east and your taxes are due in about a week.
The Mets always win on Opening Day.
More importantly, the club did what they had to do today. They handily beat a team that they needed to beat. The Phillies are terrible, as are the Braves, and if the Mets plan on repeating for the NL East crown, they will have to feast on the bottom feeders this season.
With 38 games against the Braves and Phillies, the Mets need to dominate this low level competition. Win 30 games against the two. Feast on the East or whatever you want to call it.
“One thing that really helped us last year is that we played really well in our division,” said manager Terry Collins. “We got to beat our division. At the end of the season that got us over the hump. We have a long way to go yet and I don’t take anybody for granted. This is the big leagues”
Yes it’s Major League Baseball, but understand both the Phillies and Braves are not big league teams. They would like to be and maybe someday their young talent will elevate the teams into contention.
But that doesn’t mean the Mets should take these teams for granted. Last season, the Mets went 11-8 against Atlanta, 14-5 against the Phillies and 7-0 against the Reds, another terrible team. That’s 32-13 for those scoring at home.
Today, the Amazin’s feasted on the Phillies bullpen and maybe tomorrow they will knock a starter around. However both teams will win at least 60 games this year. That’s the way baseball works, so the Mets need to be careful in these games.
That said, there’s nothing wrong in playing the schedule you are given. Every contender plays the weaker teams and the Nationals are definitely thinking the same thing, so it’s the Mets job to put these clubs in their place.
If they stay healthy, there should be no problem, but that’s if the Mets don’t get any debilitating injuries to some key players. Jacob deGrom was removed today with a lat injury, similar to what put Stephen Matz on the shelf for two month last year.
For his part, deGrom is playing this down.
“I’m not really worrying about it,” he said. “I had a back injury early in the spring. I don’t think this is related to it, so I’m not really worries about.”
Great, no concern, but what if it happens? Or what if David Wright’s back starts barking? Or Yoenis Cespedes gets hit with a batted ball during batting practice? (Don’t laugh it almost happened today.)
Then the Mets may have problems.
Which brings us back to the also-rans. Five more games against the Phillies this month and three in Atlanta and then three at home against Cincinnati. That’s 11 games.
Can the Mets win 10 of them? Sweep all 11?
That’s how championship teams are made.
The Mets need to take care of their business.