Sports

A Tale of Two Boroughs: Mets send Harvey to pen, Didi helps Yankees end early slump

No one predicted the New York Mets to be in the spot they are in right now. Everyone’s predictions had this team second or maybe even third in the National League East behind the juggernaut Washington Nationals, maybe fighting for a playoff spot.

The Mets came into the year with a pitching staff made up of a rotation that, if healthy, could possibly be one of the best in the league, along with a shaky bullpen and a lineup with some streaky hitters. However, New York’s season started differently than everybody thought it would.

The Mets got off to a National League best of 12-2, taking the second spot in the entire league behind the Boston Red Sox; they currently sit at 14-6, first in the NL East. They have already had a nine-game win streak, which included a clean sweep of the Nationals. The Mets’ pitching rotation is led by Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom, who the Mets will rely on heavily if they want to sustain their hot start and make a postseason push. Syndergaard, whose 2017 season ended in April due to injury, has five starts with a 2-0 record, a 3.29 ERA over 27.1 innings and 39 strikeouts.

DeGrom was the Mets’ work horse last year in the rotation and hopes to retain that status this year. His statistics over five starts are a 2-0 record, 2.53 ERA over 32 innings and 40 strikeouts. Both players are the type of pitchers that can throw with the best, like Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer from the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Nationals.

The Mets’ bullpen is one of the biggest surprises for the team this year, and one of the best in the MLB so far. The Mets have been led by their closer Jeurys Familia, who has totaled eight saves in 10 chances and has an ERA of 1.50. In his 12 innings pitched, Familia has 15 strikeouts and six walks.

The Mets have also had great production by Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo, who could sneak into the rotation if there are any injuries. Finally, the bullpen just added a big name: Matt Harvey, the ex-Cy Young winner was moved to the bullpen in hopes of becoming what he once was in baseball.

The Mets lineup is being led by an unexpected name, Asdrúbal Cabrera. In his 79 at-bats, he is hitting .354 with four home runs and 12 RBIs. With Cabrera’s help, the Mets are averaging almost four runs per game. The team’s usual big name, Yoenis Céspedes, has started off a bit cold, only batting .195 with four home runs and 18 RBIs.

His scariest stat right now is that in his 82 at-bats, Céspedes has struck out 37 times, or 45 percent of the time. Jay Bruce is also off to a slow start, only batting .194 with one home run and eight RBIs. If the Mets want to continue their good play, they need these two players to improve their performances.

The Metropolitans hope to continue playing well and giving the Nationals a run for the division this year, in order to make it back to where they were in 2015.

If one travels 10 miles into the Bronx from Queens, New York, they will reach the home of the New York Yankees, whose season has not been the type of start the team was hoping for.

The Yankees currently sit third in the AL East and are 12-9 to begin the year, winning their previous three games.

After the acquisition of reigning NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton, the Yankees’ expectations skyrocketed.

After the deep playoff run last year, no one is expecting less than a World Series appearance. Many are saying that this season for the Yanks is World Series or bust, and their slow start compared to the Boston Red Sox’s very hot start is causing some fans to hit the panic button. However, this should not be the case.

It is still only 21 games into the season and there are 141 games left.

As the days go by and the weather gets warmer, players usually start to bring the heat to the field.

Some key players that hope for this occurance are Stanton and Gary Sánchez. Stanton is the bigger name of the two, and he is only hitting .224 with five home runs and 14 RBIs in his 85 at-bats.

He has 32 strikeouts. However, there is a bit of a bright side to this.

In the Yankees’ 14-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins, Stanton went 4-4 with a home run, two RBIs and a walk.

Sánchez is currently only hitting .192 with three home runs and 15 RBIs. His batting average has been rising in the past few weeks, however, after he started the season going 2-36.

The Yankees do have hot bats in their order. These names include familiar faces like Aaron Judge and Didi Gregorius, along with rookie Miguel Andújar.

Judge has been hitting .325 with six home runs and 15 RBIs, while Gregorius is scorching with an average of .324 with seven home runs and 24 RBIs.

One of the biggest surprises, however, is rookie Andújar, who is tearing the cover off the baseball right now. He is hitting .316 with three home runs and 11 RBIs and has eight doubles and a triple.

Andújar also has a seven-game hit streak where he is hitting .550 with 11 hits, six of those being doubles and two home runs, as well as seven RBIs.

His amazing play is giving him the ultimate opportunity to solidify his spot in a very deep lineup. The Yankees now have 14 games in a row and no off days.

In order to get on the rhythm that they are hoping for, the team needs to continue hitting the ball as well as it has in its current small win streak.

This is a team with massive amounts of potential, and once every player is going strong, the Yankees will be a force to be reckoned with.

April 30, 2018

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Matteo Flamio


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