Mets 4, Braves 0: Three Up, Three Down

The Mets used three pitchers in the win. Combined age: 113.

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Three Up
1. Bartolo Colon: 
I believe “flummoxed” is the proper term for what Colon did to a Braves lineup that was swinging out of its shoes at his pitches. An aggressive lineup against a control artist such as Colon is a recipe for pitching success.

2. Travis d’Arnaud: Two hits to snap his season 0-fer were nice, but more important was how d’Arnaud handled Colon and the Mets’ pitching staff. For all the talk about d’Arnaud’s offense, catching remains his primary job.

3. Ruben Tejada: Was this a positive blip, or might Tejada actually be turning the corner? The answer could go a long way toward solving the Mets’ early offensive woes.

Three Down
1. David Wright: An 0-for-5 dropped Wright to .192 on the season. It’s not even close to panic time for the captain, but the Mets could certainly use some production out of the three hole.

2. Lucas Duda: His two-homer game now a distant memory, Duda has not produced much of anything as the Mets’ starting first baseman. If he continues to struggle, calls for Ike Davis will only grow louder.

3. Daniel Murphy: The second baseman’s offensive struggles continued with a 1-for-5 night and two strikeouts. He did hit a few balls hard, however, and has been playing better defense in recent games.

Season Standings
Juan Lagares +3
Ike Davis +2
Gonzalez Germen +2
Andrew Brown +1
Bartolo Colon +1
Kyle Farnsworth +1
Jenrry Mejia +1
Jon Niese +1
Anthony Recker +1
Jose Valverde +1
Lucas Duda -1
Jeurys Familia -1
John Lannan -1
Bobby Parnell -1
Josh Satin -1
Travis d’Arnaud -2
Eric Young, Jr. -3
Daniel Murphy -4

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Citi Field food review: Pat LaFrieda’s meatball sliders

The Mets increased New York City meat purveyor Pat LaFrieda’s visibility at Citi Field this season, and are now hawking LaFrieda’s meat at hamburger stands throughout the ballpark.

LaFrieda also added a meatball slider stand in center field, next to his original steak sandwich stand (actually two stands now). I tried it Sunday, and came away impressed.

lafriedameatballs

The sliders come in a boat of three for $12. That’s three miniature rolls with a meatball on each, topped with whipped ricotta.

The rolls kept a nice chewiness to them despite being thrown on the grill in what appeared to be a small pool of butter. One recommendation, however: if you’re going to try them out, do it before the game when you can relax at one of the high-top tables in center field. These little guys can be messy to eat by hand in the stands.

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They’re also not quite as filling as LaFrieda’s signature $15 steak sandwich, which remains one of Citi Field’s better concession offerings. Overall, however, this is a stand I will revisit frequently over the course of the summer.

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Mets Wins Above Replacement leaders through Week 1

Highest and lowest Mets fWAR scores through Week 1, according to the web site Fangraphs.com:

1. Juan Lagares, 0.4
2. Jose Valverde, 0.3
3-(t). David Wright, 0.1
3-(t). Lucas Duda, 0.1
3-(t). Gonzalez Germen, 0.1
3-(t). Jon Niese, 0.1
3-(t). Jenrry Mejia, 0.1

17-(t). Dillon Gee, -0.1
17-(t). Wilmer Flores, -0.1
19-(t). Travis d’Arnaud, -0.2
19-(t). Eric Young, Jr., -0.2

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Reds 2, Mets 1: Three Up, Three Down

A day late never hurt anyone…

Three Up
1. Ike Davis: 
In his first start since Opening Day, Davis finished 2-for-4. His reward will be a trip back to the bench for Tuesday’s series opener in Atlanta.

2. Jon Niese: Niese’s return from the disabled list was by most measures a success, despite the sixth-inning struggles that ultimately cost him the win. A better offensive performance would have greatly reduced the impact of that.

3. Kyle Farnsworth: Farnsworth actually didn’t pitch as well as Gonzalez Germen or Jose Valverde, the other two relievers to appear in Sunday’s game. But he has come through with two consecutive scoreless outings since Opening Day, perhaps positioning himself to gain a more prominent role going forward.

Three Down
1. Daniel Murphy: If Murphy is going to play poorly defensively, he must hit as well as ever. Right now, he’s not; an 0-for-4 Sunday dropped his OPS to .579 in four games.

2. Curtis Granderson: Another 0-for-4 dropped Granderson’s average to .167, with a .617 OPS and eight strikeouts in 25 plate appearances. Through one week, he’s been worth precisely 0.0 wins above replacement.

3. Travis d’Arnaud: After Sunday’s game, d’Arnaud said that he blamed himself for the loss. That may be a little harsh, but his 0-for-15 to start the season isn’t doing anyone any favors.

Season Standings
Juan Lagares +3
Ike Davis +2
Gonzalez Germen +2
Andrew Brown +1
Kyle Farnsworth +1
Jenrry Mejia +1
Jon Niese +1
Anthony Recker +1
Jose Valverde +1
David Wright +1
Jeurys Familia -1
John Lannan -1
Bobby Parnell -1
Josh Satin -1
Ruben Tejada -1
Travis d’Arnaud -3
Daniel Murphy -3
Eric Young, Jr. -3

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Mets 6, Reds 3: Three Up, Three Down

Today, we spell redemption “I-K-E.”

citifieldsunny

Three Up
1. Ike Davis:
Walk-off grand slams are usually good for an “Up” around here.”

2. Curtis Granderson: This is a tentative home-run-centric “Up,” because Granderson’s hesitancy fielding Chris Heisey’s double leading off the eighth put a man in scoring position with no outs. Brandon Phillips’ ensuing homer may have made that a moot point, but who knows how the inning otherwise might have unfolded.

3. Scott Rice: If we’re going to ding Rice every time he does not do his job effectively, might as well credit him when he does. After Phillips’ homer, Rice was asked to stop the bleeding against Joey Votto and Jay Bruce, two of the National League’s premier power hitters. A groundout and a strikeout later and the Mets were back in the dugout.

Three Down
1. Daniel Murphy: Though he did not commit an actual fielding error, Murphy may have been able to snag each of Tucker Barnhart’s first two hits with better positioning or athleticism. Murphy’s defense has been a weak spot throughout the young season.

2. Lucas Duda: Duda’s second game as the Mets’ official starting first baseman could not have gone much more differently than the first. A day after bashing two homers, Duda went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

3. Eric Young, Jr.: Young may finally have recorded his first hit of the season, but it came on an infield squibber that barely reached the pitcher’s mound. Something is not right with his swing, and until he fixes it, Young is hurting the Mets by batting leadoff.

Season Standings
Juan Lagares +3
Gonzalez Germen +2
Andrew Brown +1

Ike Davis +1
Curtis Granderson +1
Jenrry Mejia +1
Anthony Recker +1
Jose Valverde +1
David Wright +1
Jeurys Familia -1
John Lannan -1
Bobby Parnell -1
Josh Satin -1
Ruben Tejada -1
Travis d’Arnaud -2
Daniel Murphy -2
Eric Young, Jr. -3

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Mets 4, Reds 3: Three Up, Three Down

Three Up
1. Lucas Duda: Two home runs as the new starter at first base. That’ll earn you props every time.

2. Jenrry Mejia: It may not have been the most efficient start in the world, but it got the job done. Good enough for a Mets team that badly needs consistency.

3. Anthony Recker: How about that throw to nail known speedster Billy Hamilton trying to steal second? Not bad, Recker.

Three Down
1. Travis d’Arnaud: Through four games, he’s given the Mets virtually nothing. A critical player for them, d’Arnaud must be better.

2. Ruben Tejada: Tejada is quietly batting just .231 himself. This is more of a cumulative “down” that anything he did particularly wrong Friday.

3. John Lannan: Very little has gone right for Lannan so far this season, making him one of the biggest culprits in a greater bullpen struggle.

Season Standings
Juan Lagares +3
Gonzalez Germen +2
Andrew Brown +1
Lucas Duda +1
Jenrry Mejia +1
Anthony Recker +1
Jose Valverde +1
David Wright +1
Jeurys Familia -1
John Lannan -1
Daniel Murphy -1
Bobby Parnell -1
Scott Rice -1
Josh Satin -1
Ruben Tejada -1
Travis d’Arnaud -2
Eric Young, Jr. -2

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Poll: Who should be the Mets’ first baseman?

Later today, the Mets will name Lucas Duda their starting first baseman for the foreseeable future. But is it the right call?

It’s not realistic to expect the Mets to go out and invest in, say free agent Kendrys Morales, and Josh Satin probably profiles best as a right-handed platoon mate for either Duda or Ike Davis. But you decide:

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Nationals 8, Mets 2: Three Up, Three Down

A three-game sweep at the hands of the Nats is how this season begins.

citifieldempty

Three Up
1. Curtis Granderson: Snapping an 0-for-9 start with a two-double game, Granderson began to make good on the Mets’ $60-million investment. That was much more what the Mets envisioned when they doled out that contract.

2. Gonzalez Germen: Good for Germen, who has retired nine straight after that rough start to his season Wednesday night. Perhaps he will emerge as a (rare) trustworthy bullpen arm for Terry Collins.

3. Juan Lagares: 1-for-3 with a double and a sacrifice fly? That’s paltry by Lagares’ newly-enhanced standards. His defense has also been as pristine as expected, though Lagares has not yet faced any great challenges there.

Three Down
1. Eric Young, Jr.: The Mets’ problems begin at the top. In two games as the leadoff man, Young is now 0-for-9 with three strikeouts. “You can’t steal first,” goes the old adage.

2. Daniel Murphy: Give Murphy credit for his hit and leadoff walk, but subtract more than that for his two defensive errors. Considering all the other flaws on their roster, the Mets need Murphy — and their defense as a whole — to be sound.

3. Jeurys Familia: Like Scott Rice, who received a “Down” over him on Opening Day, Familia has struggled in each of his two appearances. A prominent bullpen role is sitting there waiting for him, he just needs to pitch well enough to claim it.

Season Standings
Juan Lagares +3
Gonzalez Germen +2
Andrew Brown +1

Jose Valverde +1
David Wright +1
Travis d’Arnaud -1
Jeurys Familia -1
Daniel Murphy -1
Bobby Parnell -1
Scott Rice -1
Josh Satin -1
Eric Young, Jr. -2

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Nationals 5, Mets 1: Three Up, Three Down

Loss, loss is not the way the Mets wanted to open the season.

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Three Up
1. Juan Lagares: Give this guy props — sure, it’s only two games, but Lagares has hit for the cycle over that span while serving as the Mets’ best player. He won’t be this good all year, but if he’s even remotely close to it, he’ll be fun to watch.

2. Gonzalez Germen: Sure, he began his season by giving up back-to-back doubles and throwing a run-scoring wild pitch. But Germen recovered to retire his next six in a row with three strikeouts, showing glimpses of what make him an important relief arm for the Mets this year.

3. David Wright: Wright’s first at-bat was the epitome of the type of hitter he is. With a runner on third and one out, Wright poked an outside curveball into right field, coming through with a sacrifice fly. At the time, it gave the Mets the lead.

Three Down
1. Curtis Granderson: Granderson finished 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, and is now 0-for-9 with five whiffs on the season. After striking out to end the sixth, Granderson drew boos from the scattered fans in attendance.

2. Josh Satin: Given the start at first base against a left-hander, Satin finished 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. Producing against lefties is his only ticket to consistent playing time.

3. Travis d’Arnaud: One of several hitless Mets through two games, d’Arnaud is 0-for-6 with three strikeouts. He whiffed once and grounded out twice in Wednesday’s game.

Season Standings
Juan Lagares +2
Andrew Brown +1
Gonzalez Germen +1
Jose Valverde +1
David Wright +1
Travis d’Arnaud -1
Curtis Granderson -1
Bobby Parnell -1
Scott Rice -1
Josh Satin -1
Eric Young, Jr. -1

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Empire State Building shines for Mets

The Mets may have lost in the afternoon, but once darkness fell, they did take center stage in Midtown Manhattan:

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