Wheeler watch begins, D’Arnaud on the mend
BY JOE RINI
While periodical cicadas were emerging from the ground after a 17 year wait to screech their way to a mate, the New York Mets swept the season series from the New York Yankees for the first time in this the seventeenth year of inter-league play with four straight victories. However, after subsequently being swept by the last place Marlins over the weekend, perhaps Mets fans could improbably ask, “Why can’t we play the Yankees everyday?”
The outset of the 2013 Subway Series pitted the surprisingly first place Yankees against a reeling fourth place Mets team that had lost 12 of 15 games. However, on the strength of exceptionally strong starting pitching, timely hitting, and solid defense, the Mets took four games from the Bombers and probably added several games to the playlist of Mets Classic Games shown on SNY.
Game two featured Matt Harvey facing the team he grew up rooting for and he allowed only one run while striking out 10 and walking no one in eight innings of work. But if Harvey provided the thrills in eight innings, the Mets bats that provided the drama in the ninth inning when Mariano Rivera did not retire a batter as the Mets scored two runs and the victory off the Yankee closer as he failed to get a save for the first time in 19 attempts this season.
After the Subway Series shifted to the Bronx, the Mets battered the Yankees 9-4 in the third games as Jeremy Hefner picked up his first win of the season and Dillon Gee capped of the series with 12 strikeouts and no walks over 7 plus innings in a 3-1 Mets victory.
Unfortunately for the Mets, the good feelings of Yankee series did not extend beyond the LaGuardia Airport runway as late night/early morning flight to Miami lead to three losses against the last place Marlins. The bats were lackluster in the first two games as the Mets fell 5-1 and 8-1 and the Marlins pecked away at Matt Harvey early and then beat up the bullpen late in the 11-6 finale on Sunday. Despite a dismal record of 16-41 after Sunday’s game, the Marlins have a 6-3 record versus the Mets this season.
Speaking after Sunday’s game, Mets captain David Wright said, “We don’t have much room to talk ourselves, talking about, ‘We should beat this team, should beat that team.’ There’s probably a lot of teams saying that about us right now.”
In Triple-A Las Vegas, top prospect Zack Wheeler picked up his fourth win in five decisions. With a possible June call-up to Flushing only weeks away, Mets skipper Terry Collins cautioned, “I hope everybody understands if and when this guy comes, he’s not going to be the savior…One guy is not going to turn this around for us. It takes 25.” In other minor league news, the sidelined Travis d’Arnaud has been cleared to begin weight bearing rehabilitation exercises.
The Mets enter play on Wednesday with a record of 22-33 in fourth place. After concluding the current road trip in Washington on Thursday, the Mets return to Citi Field and get another crack at the Marlins this weekend as they start a nine-game homestand.