Our State of the Mets column returns for its second week, and while the mood among fans has mellowed a bit since a red-hot start, there is still plenty to break down and discuss in this second installment. As always, we want to hear what you have to say about your favorite (or least favorite) team below in the comments section. And check back next Saturday night for the latest from the New York Mets.
The Mets had a great start to the season, buoying hope for a fanbase that needed it in the worst way. That 6-2 start, however, was followed with a 2-4 mark this past week, including a three-game losing streak, so it would be easy to look at that as a true sign of things to come for the franchise. While that might end up being true as the season moves along, right now, the Mets are right where they need to be to make a run at the postseason. The big picture says the Mets are 8-6 and three games back in the NL East. It should also be noted they are one game better than the rival Philadelphia Phillies. Of course, the season is still in its infancy stage, but being two games over .500 at this point is something to be proud of.
Mets first baseman Ike Davis hit a three-run home run in the sixth inning to break a tie against the Atlanta Braves last Monday and the team went on to win the game 6-1. Davis' shot came against Tommy Hanson, one of the better pitchers in baseball. What made the home run even sweeter was the fact the Braves intentionally walked David Wright to instead face Davis. Dillon Gee deserves just as much credit as Davis as well, as he allowed just four hits over seven innings in picking up the victory on the mound.
The Low Point
The Mets had plenty of opportunities to complete a comeback victory over the San Francisco Giants in the series opener Friday night. The Mets tied the game at three with a run in the bottom of the ninth, and had runners on first and third with one out. A fly ball would have ended the game. Mike Baxter, however, grounded into a force out at home and then Ruben Tejada struck out to send the game to extra innings. The Giants answered back with a run off Frank Francisco in the 10th to take the lead again, but the Mets opened the bottom half with two straight singles. But their would be no second comeback, as the Mets went down 1-2-3, leaving the two runners on base. These type of losses hurt.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis: You might not even be able to pronounce his name, but the Mets center fielder might make himself a household name if he continues to hit the way he did over the last week. Nieuwenhuis is hitting .325 (13-for-40) this season with two doubles, two home runs and four RBI and a stolen base.
Dillon Gee: The Mets pitcher allowed four hits and one earned run in seven innings against the Braves Monday to pick up the victory. He struck out five in his only start of the week. If the Mets can get this kind of production consistently from Gee this season good things will happen. Mike Pelfrey gets a special mention as well for allowing one unearned run in a no-decision Friday night.
Ruben Tejada: The Mets shortstop has struggled this season but may have finally broken through with a big game against the Giants Saturday. Tejada had three RBI, including a two-run double in the bottom of the seventh inning to break a 1-1 tie. His average is up to .265 on the year.
Johan Santana: The Mets ace opened with two strong starts this season but his third was terrible. He lasted just out one into the second inning, allowing six runs, four unearned, one four hits and a walk. The Mets couldn't recover and dropped a 9-3 decision to the Braves. Santana is 0-2 but should be good going forward.
Frank Francisco: The first two players on the "down" list is a sign of how quickly things can change in baseball. Both Santana and Francisco were on the "up" list last week. This week, both struggled mightily. Francisco was the losing pitcher on Friday, allowing the go-ahead run in the 10th inning. He's dead last on the team with a 8.36 ERA.
Ike Davis: I know, I know, he had the big hit to get the Mets a victory over the Braves on Monday. But Davis is still batting just .148 this season. He has three home runs and seven RBI, which means he's making the hits count. But since there's only eight of them so far this season, it's not helping as much as it should.
The Mets continue their four-game series with the Giants Sunday afternoon and Monday night before hosting the Miami Marlins for three in the middle of the week. Of course, that means the return of former short stop Jose Reyes. The team is planning on a video tribute to the man who took the money and his talents to South Beach. We'll see how the fans respond Tuesday night. The Mets then head to Colorado for a three-game set over the weekend. We'll be back with the next installment of our State of the Mets breakdown next Saturday night. Until then, comment below on what you think the state of the Mets is so far this season.