EL BARRIO, EL FALLS – Happy Monday.I thought today was Memorial day…. but then discovered we have one more week to go. Well, no rest for the weary, as I get back to discussing sports on this wonderful website. With that in mind, here are today’s topics: Mets Win 5 Straight, Baby Mets and NBA Finals.
Mets Win 5 straight
The Mets have won five in a row. This doesn’t wipe out the rough late half of April and early half of this month, that they’ve had, but it does show signs of life. The Mets are in second place in the NL East, five games behind the Braves, and it looks like they might finally be finding a groove. In this five-game streak they took two out of three from the league-leading Tampa Bay. On paper the Metsies’ budget -actually the budget for the two starting pitchers Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer – is more than the whole Tampa Bay Rays payroll, but this season, the Mets have been underperforming and the Rays over performed. With a couple of key comeback wins and surprisingly good pitching from Tylor McGill and Kodai Senga, the Mets look good. What was even more hopeful was Mets like Pete Alonzo seem to be back in the groove again knocking it out the park, at least these five games. Francisco Lindor seems to be playing well too, I know both their batting averages aren’t great but the key hits at just the right time has been huge. There performance of a group called the baby mats, er.., Mets, who I will get to later, have been big time catalyst with their energy and big hits. I’m not ready to guarantee them a playoff spot yet because they can dip again but if they can find a form that is opposite to what they had about a month ago and win the next five or six series, they have a chance to close the gap on the braves and put themselves in a healthy position for a second half run.
The Baby Mets are Brent Baty, Francisco Alvarez and Mark Vientos. Baty was earmarked as one for the future last year. He was brought up after tearing it up and AAA Syracuse, so he was brought up to add a jolt a few weeks back as the Mets bats were really weak. Alvarez won the starting catch a spot from Thomas Nido and has been starting the majority of games all season. A catcher with a big bat is a plus but the main thing they’re there for is their defense and throwing runners out and helping call a good game. As the Mets have been struggling, you think he wasn’t calling a good game, but it was more the pitchers weren’t getting the pitch where they needed to be. He has contributed with his bat too with timely hits and home runs. It looks like the Mets have found here for the next 5 years, at least. Vientos was called up just last week to replace Pablo Eduardo Escobar. Escobar was a light hitting utility fielder who the Mets kept for his versatility but with everybody else on the team underperforming at the plate, they didn’t have the luxury of keeping a strong glove, weak bat guy. Vientos is essentially a third baseman and dh. He doesn’t even play the field that much third base but what he does bring his contact and power and that’s the Mets have been struggling for from their other DH options. The Mets couldn’t send any of the other DH options back to the minors because it wasn’t in their contract but they could do that with Escobar and that was why he was sent down and Vientos was brought up. The kids aren’t going to save the team but what they have done is added the right amount of energy good hidden and fielding. The key thing is really been their energy and their belief and sometimes when you have a veteran team they forget how awesome it is to just be playing professional baseball and get wrapped up in the headlines and occasionally bringing in a couple of kids reminds them to just go out and have fun. It might be sports psychologist stuff but it seems to have sparked something in the Mets finally so let’s hope it keeps going.
For as much as people say they want to see the little guy win it. According to the World Series numbers when none of the big name teams are in the World Series then the ratings drop. I say that because it looks like the NBA Finals may be the lowest rated NBA Finals ever. In the West, number one seed, Denver, of all places, has steamrolled all competitors and is in the business of doing that to the vaunted Lakers. In the East, the number eight seed, Miami Heat, are about to sweep the Celtics. They keep might be the first team to win the play-in game and make it all the way to the final since the play-in game was created from the East. Not to mention before the play-in game, I’m not sure the eighth seed ever made the final. Each team has a star player in Nikola Jokic for Denver and Jimmy Butler from Miami, however the play of the supporting cast is what has made all the difference. Guys who aren’t household names in their own household have come off the bench to make a difference and starters that may average 10 during the season are at 16 or more. So no Lakers vs Celtics, it will be Nuggets vs Heat.
Thanks for reading and feel free to comment below. Check out Ben Whitney, who will give us his thoughts on Gary Sanchez in a Mets Uniform.
Junoir Blaber is from Ghana but was transplanted to the Bronx as a young lion chaser. Blaber is the Rain Man of Meet The Matts and is a featured contributor on MTM global partner, Rugby Wrap Up. The name "Junoir" is not a cool African name. Instead, Blaber mis-typed "Junoir" on his Facebook page. But proving that two wrongs indeed do make a right, he embraced his new persona - [June-noire]... Manute Bol is his uncle and his teams are the Mets, Jets, Knicks & NY Rangers... And Manchester United. He knows soccer. [Vomit]. P.s... He has webbed toes and came be followed on Twitter here: @JunoirBlaber