Three things to look for in Philadelphia series As the Mets head to Philadelphia for yet another key three-game series with the Phillies, the season may be hanging in the balance. At 54-54 and eight games back of the Braves, it’s gut check time for the Mets. We’re approaching do or die time.
After an implosion on Wednesday night against the Atlanta Braves where the Mets committed four errors, three of which came in a disastrous 6th inning, and let the game get away from them, the Mets will have their resiliency yet again tested this weekend in the City of Brotherly Love.
How will they bounce back?
Well, I for one, felt after Jeff Francoeur’s game-winning home run on Tuesday that some momentum would carryover. But it was not meant to be.
In Wednesday’s post, I said the Philly series was ripe for the taking and I still stand by that. I don’t have a lot of confidence in the team, but some factors may work in the Mets favor.
So here is another chance to make up ground and make a statement.
I know it’s hard to be optimistic at this tough time, but as Winston Churchill once said, “The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity, the optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
Here are three storylines to follow as the Mets take on their heated rivals.
1) Is there any fight left in the Mets?
If there is ANY fight left in the Mets to salvage the season, they have to treat this series as a heavyweight fight and come out swinging.
Wednesday’s loss will be a hard pill to swallow and it would serve them best to just forget about it. Philadelphia represents a new fight. I will be looking for more aggressiveness, spirit and spunk. They should try to steal bases early and often, take the extra base and lay it all on the line.
I just want to see a competitive edge that has been lacking with this team for the better part of six weeks.
2) Can the Mets pitchers take advantage of a weakened Philadelphia lineup?
This weekend the Mets will throw out their most dependable arms in Jon Niese, Johan Santana and R.A. Dickey. The trio have been on top of their game, and for the Mets to make some damage this weekend they must go for the jugular as the Phillies will be without Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Shane Victorino.
Even though the Phillies are missing the services of these three key players, the Phillies are still riding high. The Phillies had an impressive come from behind win on Thursday night when they won 5-4 in 10 innings. They are in the midst of a four game winning streak and have won 12 of their last 14 games.
The Phillies are riding a lot of emotion.
To the Phillies credit, they have gotten outstanding pitching lately and this series should be no different as the Phillies will send Joe Blanton, Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay to the mound in successive fashion.
3) Can the Mets get some clutch hits off a weak bullpen?
While the Phillies have gotten great starting pitching, their bullpen has been shoddy at best. Can the Mets get some key hits off a weakened relief corps?
Phillies closer Brad Lidge has been prone to melting down and if it comes down to bullpens, the Mets may have the edge.
It would be a great sign of progress if the Mets could get some key hits and runs off the back end of the Phillies bullpen.
The Phillies are currently two games out of first and will treat the series with the same sense of urgency. Both teams will view the series as a statement series and it’s up to the Mets to test their intestinal fortitude and grab a few wins on the road.
It won’t be easy, but if the Mets have the fight they say they do, they better show it now as this may be their last chance because if they don’t make a stand this weekend their season could spiral downwards really fast.