Tonight at Citizens Bank Park begins a three game series between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies. It is a matchup of the recently hot Mets and the best team in the National League. What had been a rivalry the past few years may have been reborn after a hiatus last year. The Mets at this time find themselves atop the NL east a whole 1/2 game ahead of the Phils. To the Phillies they are looking forward to some home cooking and the Mets…well they are merely an entre. The Mets are going to look towards making a statement, as early as the season is, but they need to get a barometer of where they are.
The matchups are Niese v. Kendrick tonight, Pelfrey(4-0) v. Halladay(4-1) tomorrow and Santana(3-1) v. 47 yr old Jaimie Moyer(2-2). Its too early to put any real significance on this series. But, the Mets come to Philly playing their best all around ball in a long while and dont want this roll to end. The past 10 days have given Mets fans something to believe in again. Their pitching is tops in their division at this time and the bats have woken up from their hibernation. The Phillies will fight until the end with their lineup that doesnt offer a break even without Rollins.
I expect the Phils to repeat as division champs this season but, if the Mets can keep playing solid defense and get the type of pitching they have the first month,throughout this season? They have a chance to contend for the postseason!
LETS GO METS!!!
Well here we are again… spring training. With it comes a sense of optimism and hope for all teams, no matter how the year before played out. For this Philadelphia Phillie team, it isnt a stretch to expect good things for the upcoming season. This team is coming off of three straight NL East first place finishes and back-to-back World Series appearances. They are for the most part, an identical roster of the 2009 team but will it be enough to lead the division in 2010?
Their pitching rotation says good-bye to Cliff Lee who was great in the second half for the Phillies last year. He was downright dominant in the post-season in 2009 as well. But they did bring in arguably the best pitcher in the game in one, Roy” Doc” Halladay. If the Phillies had decided to keep Lee this team would have easily won 100-plus games this year. The rest of the rotation rounds out with apparently a now very hittable Cole Hammels, a young and consistent J.A. Happ, Joe Blanton and 47 year-old Jaimie Moyer. The rotation is not strong unless Hammels rediscovers himself. But with the offense this team brings to the plate once again they should get by with mediocre starting pitching.
This team can flat out rake! At home or on the road it doesnt matter. And clutch? Well, everytime i watch, they play the game intense and smart for 27 outs. This group is relentless and whatever they dont have in starting pitching aside from Halladay, they’ll make up for with their killer instinct and desire to win. No need to mention stats here. The lineup speaks for itself. Rollins, Victorino, Utley, Howard, Werth, Ibanez, Polanco and Ruiz. Bringing in Polanco was a great move and fits the Phillie mold. The defense is very solid all the way around, except maybe for Ibanez in left field.
The relief pitching is ok, but will be upgraded if both J.C. Romero and Brad Lidge can return to full strength from their injuries.
This team made minimal upgrades in the offseason, but may have done just enough to clinch a fourth straight division title. The Braves will definitely give them a run for their money and make for an exciting finale to the regular season when the teams meet in Atlanta October 1-3.
Predicted Finish: First in the NL East (89-73)