By Mike Steffanos
Game 14: Mets 3 - Nationals 2 (14)
It would have been nice if the Mets first series sweep of the year was punctuated by timely and fundamentally sound situational hitting. Of course that wasn't the case, which is why I was still watching this game as the clock crept towards midnight. Still, it was nice to see the Mets rebound from a disappointing weekend with the Brewers and actually win their first home stand of the year (6-3).
It was a shame that one bad pitch to Nick Johnson cost Nelson Figueroa a chance at his second win with all of Brooklyn watching. I think it's safe to say that he's pitching over his head a little right now, but he's still been a nice find for a team that usually rolls snake eyes on fill-in starters.
The offense continues to run in fits and starts. Although he did tie the game in the eighth inning yesterday, Carlos Delgado has failed to keep up his promising start for the first 6 games (.375/.423/.542). Over his last 7 he is 3-25 with two singles and a double. His game-tying hit was his only one in his last 13 AB. Concerns about Delgado's declining skills aren't going to go away anytime soon. Of course, the Mets really don't have a viable alternative right now.
Solid work from the bullpen for 7 innings. Heilman and Wagner were perfect, Sanchez pitched a solid inning and two-thirds, and Joe Smith was sharp. Jorge Sosa poached the win with his two innings of work.
For all of work still to be done, I like this team a lot better than last year's in the early going. They're far from perfect, and they're certainly not dominating their opponents, but I like the approach better.
Of course, with Philly this weekend and then the Braves at home next, I think everyone wants to see them step up their level of play.