For the portion of the Met fan base who isn’t happy with anything but 162-0 season, you need t take the Meatloaf approach to the baseball season.
“Don’t be sad. Two out of three ain’t bad.”
The Mets took care of business the first series of the season, after beating Atlanta 6-2 tonight. With strong performances from the Big Three on the mound and some timely hitting coming around, it’s all you can ask from Terry Collins crew against the upstart Atlanta Braves.
Remember this is pretty much the same Braves crew which gave the Amazin’s fits last year when the club was fighting for a Wild Card spot, so coming out strong against Atlanta is all you can ask for. They won the series. Now it’s onto Don Mattingly’s Marlins, who come in tomorrow.
“The pitching is the most important thing here,” Collins said. “The focus was on Matt (Harvey) tonight.”
Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom are pretty much gimmes. If they didn’t perform well it would have been news. But Harvey was a wild card tonight You didn’t know what you will get from The Dark Knight, as he took the Citi Field mound for the first time since last July.
And frankly, even more than the win, his performance was the most encouraging new to come out of Flushing this season so far. He went 6.2 inning and allowed two earned runs on three hits with four strikeouts. Sure, he still wasn’t throwing 98, but maybe this is better. Harvey is becoming a pitcher instead of a thrower.
“He followed the plan we talked about before the game,” Collins said. “He didn’t try to overthrow. He threw all his pitches. He commanded all his pitches. We told him to go out and pitch and he did.”
Harvey’s poor season last year, which eventually was shut down because of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome surgery may have been the difference between the Mets winning the division or losing in the Wild Card game. With Harvey ending up 4-10 with a 4.86 ERA, they were effectively taken out of the divisional race at the All-Star Break and had to fight for the Wild Card.
A normal Matt Harvey season would have given the Mets a fighting chance against the Nationals. Maybe, 2017 will be that difference.
But there’s more to come, as the Met offense came alive today with six runs on eight hit. It was timely and every regular had a hit except for Jay Bruce, who carried the club over the first two games.
“The offense is going to come,” Collins said. “It’s going to come. We get to get some at bats under our belts for some of the guys. Last night was the first night game we had since last October. There’s a lot of dynamics that go into it. These guys get into routines. Hopefully over the next few days these guys will settle in and you will see more offense.”
And that’s why Collins is cool as a cucumber. His starting pitching looks ready and the offense is coming around. This weekend we will see if the back end of Jack Wheeler and Robert Gsellman will also live up to the billing.
If it doesn’t, just remember, two out of three ain’t bad. Keep winning series and the division will come.