Over the last twelve games the Mets have swept two three-game series and were swept in two three-game series. They lost three to the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium, swept the Devil Rays in Tampa, were swept by the Cincinnati Reds at Citi Field, and then just swept the Baltimore Orioles there. So my question is simple: which team shows up to face the Yankees tonight? Will it be the dominating team that crushed Tampa and Baltimore, or the one that could barely muster a few runs against the Yanks and Reds?
One constant over the whole season has been strong pitching. The Mets staff is going to give you that always. R.A. Dickey and Johan Santana give the Mets their best one-two punch in starters since Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman. In fact, they invoke the memories of that duo again and again this season. When you have that kind of pitching in a short playoff series, it is devastating, which is why the Mets did so well back in 1969 against the Atlanta Braves and the Orioles (whom the last swept at Shea back in that year).
Still, the problems with the offense remain a concern. Despite the potent bat of David Wright, the Mets have struggled at the plate on and off this season. Ike Davis is starting to look like he knows how to hit again, but in the games when they were swept they could barely manage hits or runs. With Jason Bay (concussion), Ruben Tejada, and Ronny Cedeno on the disabled list, the Mets are struggling to get runs scored.
The Yankees, after a 10-game winning streak, lost their last two against the Braves. Are they going to come in and bounce back against the Mets? One issue is that the game plan for the Yankees (as it has always been) is hit the long ball; unfortunately, Citi Field is no Yankee Stadium in that department. Even with the fences pulled in this year, the Mets’ home field is still a tough homer park. For some reason the ball goes up and dies somewhere between home plate and the fences. That could certainly affect the Yankees this time around.
Still, the most important question is which Mets team will show up. The last twelve games have been a roller coaster ride to be sure. If you believe in patterns, then the Mets are due to lose three straight again, but I wouldn’t bet on it, mostly because Dickey is pitching on Sunday.
It should once again be an exciting series. In this case of the Mets David against the Yankees Goliath, we have to hope the Mets remember how to hit, or it’s going to be a long lost weekend for the fans in orange and blue.
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