The simple answer is no. It’s customary for us Mets fans, to overreact after every tough loss and believe the results we just witnessed will carry over throughout the season. I don’t believe after one game against arguably the toughest team the Mets will face all season, is a reason to jump to conclusions. There were things in the game that happened that made me scratch my head, but then again it was only one game in an electrically charged atmosphere.
In David Wright’s final at-bat, ESPN analyst Jessica Mendoza predicted Royals closer Wade Davis would throw nothing but fastballs to Wright, as he hadn’t made contact with a pitch over 94 mph all night. Predictably Davis threw nothing but absolute heat at Wright and he could not come through as he struck out looking in his final at-bat with runners on the corners. Wright also looked a little slow in the field, as on a ground ball that was hit to him by Omar Infante, he just seemed to be moving slowly and carefully as he fielded the ball, and his throw over to first was ultimately late. Now in Wright’s defense he did not start playing any Grapefruit League games until the middle of March. Wright is still probably adjusting to game action as he could be considered still in Spring Training mode, with as much time as he missed. I don’t think Wright will look that slow in the field all season, and I don’t believe he won’t be able to hit a fastball over 94 mph all season. Wright will be on a strict games limit and he will be monitored heavily for bad body language if his back isn’t cooperating. Wright’s back condition will be one to watch over the first couple of months of the season to see if it is limiting his skills, not after one game, as many Mets fans are already are claiming he’s done.
We’ve seen Yoenis Cespedes make the kind of play defensively he made last night already both last season, and in Spring Training. We all know what kind of player we were signing up for, and I will gladly take the risk with Cespedes in our outfield because his offensive output greatly outweighs the negatives. Cespedes had a great at-bat in the bottom of the 8th when the Mets were rallying off of Joakim Soria, and he battled back from an 0-2 count and drew a walk to load the bases. Lucas Duda was able to come up next and put two runs on the board with an RBI single. His final at-bat against Davis in the 9th with runners on the corners and 2 outs was disappointing. You were almost waiting for that magical moment to happen, such as last August and September when he set the league on fire, and came up big in every big moment he was put in. Cespedes worked the count well, but Davis was throwing him absolute filth and he ultimately went down swinging. With all the money Cespedes is getting paid, we are expecting greatness this year. I believe he will have a great season for the Mets because he wanted to be here, and the fans wanted him back. We shouldn’t turn him into a villain because of the way he plays baseball as we have known the type of player we were getting. I bet Cespedes will receive a handful of situations similar to last night’s 9th inning, and we will judge him based on if he can be that great clutch bat the Mets have lacked. His occasional lackadaisical defense will only be added to his overall judgement if he can’t come up big in clutch situations.
The Royals are one of the toughest teams to play in baseball and they capitalize on every opportunity awarded to them. They aren’t intimidated as other teams are when facing the Mets great pitching, as they have the ability to shorten up on their swings, and simply slap the ball wherever the Mets aren’t positioned. The Royals ran the bases aggressively seemingly always going from first to third, and made tremendous defensive plays in the field. The Mets have another shot tomorrow afternoon, and a 2-game series at Citi Field in June to reverse their fortunes against the Royals. The results in four games this season against the Royals won’t make or break the Mets season, but it is a good measure to see if the Mets have learned from previous mistakes, and if they have found a way to crack the defending champions. Don’t jump off the boat after one game, or even two if the Mets fail to win tomorrow, I promise the Mets will be worth the watch this season.