The verdict on the New York Mets‘ 2014 season may be very well determined over the course of their next two series. It may be crazy to say, but ultimately when you think about it, it’s true. These next two series are in fact the biggest of the year thus far for the Mets. Tonight the Mets open up a four game home series against the San Francisco Giants who they are chasing in the wild card standings. Then the Mets will go on the road and take on the first place Washington Nationals who they trail by seven games at the moment in the National League East.
The Mets are playing their best baseball of the season so there should be no better time to take on the teams that they are trailing in the standings. It is going to be a test, that is for sure, but it is one that I think this Mets team is finally prepared for. I know that it is going to be tough for them to make the playoffs but the season is far from over and there are still plenty of games to be played.
For years the Mets would be in similar situations like this where they would play well for a period of time and then have to play the team that they are looking up at in the standings and it would just end in a total disaster. This time I feel like the result may be different. There’s just something about this team that I like more than any team they have put on the field since 2007.
What is good about the upcoming four game set with the Giants is that it is a home series and the Mets have been doing some serious home cooking as of late. Over the month of July, the Mets have scored a total of 73 runs in 13 home games and their record was 10-3. Who knows maybe Citi Field can be a hitter’s park after all?
After their four game series with the Giants, they will go on the road to take on the Nationals. The road has not been so kind to the Mets this season. They have a 25-32 record away from home and lost two of the three games that they played in Washington earlier this season. The Mets combined record this season against their next two opponents is 1-8, but they can certainly make up for it over the next seven games.
The keys to winning the next two series is simple, the Mets just need to keep playing the way they are playing. Their starting pitching needs to give them a solid six to seven innings each night and their bullpen needs to be as stellar as it has been for the majority of the year. The Giants have some of the best pitching in the league and the Mets will see that first hand starting tonight when they face Ryan Vogelsong. They will also see newly acquired Jake Peavy and All-Stars Madison Bumgarner and Tim Hudson.
Runs will certainly be at a premium in this series so the Mets must take advantage of every opportunity they get and must convert with runners in scoring position. Too often this season the Mets have left guys out there on the bases. If they want to have any shot at the postseason, they have to capitalize in those situations. Lucas Duda and Daniel Murphy must continue their hot hitting and David Wright must get going as he has had a rough go of it at the plate since the All-Star break.
Wright is batting .180 since the break and has only driven in four runs. The Mets need his bat in a big way, he is due to come out of this little skid he is in and there would be no better time than to do it over the course of the next seven games. This seven game span can’t make the season, but it can certainly break it.