The New York Mets are on the verge of winning their first division title in nine years. The magic number is now one, and the excitement is palpable among Flushing’s faithful. One Mets win (or Nationals lose) and it’s official: The New York Mets will be 2015 National League Eastern division champions.
Moments after Terry Collins told the media he was not embarrassed by the team’s current starting lineup, the New York Mets manager penciled in John Mayberry Jr. as his cleanup hitter in the series opener against Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers. For the record: Mayberry Jr., who was signed last winter to bolster the team’s bench depth, went 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts dropping his batting average to .165.
Matt Harvey has won games that, maybe, he shouldn’t have. He’s lost games he should have won. His fastball is not as overwhelming as it once was and his control is excellent, then a few innings later poor. He walked five batters on Sunday and allowed multiple home runs in four of his 16 starts.
Bartolo Colon has a secret, but no for long.
When the New York Mets signed Colon to a two-year, $20 million deal prior to the 2014 season, fans and the media scoffed at investing in an aging veteran pitcher. Colon is now 41, but honestly, his physique suggests he’s closer to 55. What we saw — an out-of-shape pitcher with a large waistline and legs like small oak trees — was not what the Mets received.
Spring Training comes with its own measure of swagger. Optimism is the size of a grapefruit. Predictions of an October pennant race sound as sweet as a sun-kissed Florida orange. From Florida to Arizona, managers and coaches spew sweet accolades on the crop of prospects while players gush giddy gibberish sweeter than the citrus of a pomelo.