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The Newest Mets Outfielder

The Newest Mets Outfielder

Chris Young had a down year with the Oakland Athletics last year as a platoon player, but he is a former All-Star with power that could be due for a rebound year with the New York Mets. He has speed, plays solid defense and is only 30 years old. General manager Sandy Alderson may have just found a diamond in the rough.

Survival Guide to Mets Offseason

By Michael Mandelkern

The New York Mets season ended over one month ago, and now baseball is done. While the Mets won’t start the next season until March 31, 2014, offseason trade and free agent acquisition rumors are just starting to bubble.

The Mets have not made the postseason since 2006. Next year is expected to be brighter than recent years, but just finishing the season with a winning record would be an accomplishment in itself.

Despite how far the team is from relevant, Mets fans still miss their team throughout the fall and winter. Making fun of the team and ranting about how bad they are helps ease the pain, but once the players are not out on the field anymore there is less to complain about. The loneliness increases exponentially throughout the winter. Here are a few tips on how to get through the offseason if you are true to the orange and blue:

1) Watch other sports

There are several other New York teams to follow from November to April. The New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets play basketball; the Buffalo Bills, New York Giants and New York Jets play football; and the New York Islanders and New York Rangers play hockey.

Some Mets fans are fortunate enough to root for successful teams in different sports, but for others the fall and winter is just more frustration and heartache. If your main passion is baseball these other sports only fill part of the void.

2) Watch old highlights

The Mets lost 88 of their 162 games this past season, but there were sporadic moments of triumph. It is hard to imagine that Ike Davis hit any home runs in 2013, but the ones that he hit were towering shots and are worth watching again.

Any Mets walk-off victory is an astonishing feat. The Mets came back from a considerable ninth inning deficit to walk off against the San Francisco Giants in mid-September against a closer who led the Giants to a World Series title in 2012.

Oh, and the Mets swept the New York Yankees in Citi Field and Yankee Stadium. That is more rare than a meteor striking Earth.

3) Stir Up the Hot Stove

The Mets need a first baseman, outfielder (or two), relief pitchers and a couple of starting pitchers. Fans have their own opinions of the team’s most pressing needs and best way to improve. Since there are no current Mets games to discuss in the offseason there is plenty of room for debate.

Is Daniel Murphy worth a one-year, $5.8 million contract through arbitration? Will anyone from the minor leagues establish themselves? Will they shock the baseball world with a groundbreaking trade or free-agent acquisition?

Twitter is a great place to discuss these topics. Mets fans are awake at all hours of the day to defend their favorite players and use Mets humor to joke about their daily lives. You are not alone in your unhealthy obsession with the Mets.

4) Take a Tour of Citi Field

If you literally cannot wait until Opening Day to return to Citi Field, you can take a tour. Instead of just sitting in the seats, fans are able to go onto the field, into the dugout, the clubhouse, press box and check out the Mets Hall of Fame.

The walking tours begin on November 9 and last one hour. And the best part is that the Mets cannot lose!

Tickets cost $13 for adults and $9 for seniors and children 12 years old and under.

Where’s the Run Support: The Story of the 2013 Mets Season

By Michael Mandelkern

There is only one household name in the New York Mets lineup, and he is on the disabled list. The Mets offense was a far cry from potent even with David Wright hitting in the three spot, but now it is anemic. As of August 8 the Mets have a collective .237 batting average, .307 on-base percentage and .374 slugging percentage, 28th and 24th and 28th, respectively, in the major leagues.

David Wright carries the bulk of the Mets offense with the highest batting average, most extra-base hits and greatest slugging and on-base plus slugging percentages on the team. The Mets have only scored more than three runs once since Wright was injured on August 2. They particularly need to improve at Citi Field (25-32) where they have a meager .227 collective batting average. Daniel Murphy only hits .254 at home, a significant drop from him season batting average of .278.

One of their crucial shortcomings is an inability to drive in runners in scoring position. The Mets are able to set the table but do not eat most of the time, and this is no surprise considering their .242 batting average with runners in scoring position. Murphy, Wright and John Buck are the only everyday players that hit over .290 in that situation. The chance of scoring a run without one of them at the plate is meager. Marlon Byrd is an honorable mention at .277, but Ike Davis, Anthony Recker, Omar Quintanilla and Justin Turner are all abysmal in the clutch Some hitters, such as Juan Lagares and Eric Young, are decent with runners in scoring position, but too many hitters are practically automatic outs.

The biggest disappointment is Davis. He had tremendous success throughout the second half of last season. Overall in 2012 he batted .252 with a monstrous .602 slugging percentage and 38 extra-base hits in just 68 games hitting in the cleanup spot, with an outstanding rate of a home run every 10.3 at-bats. Davis is not even half the man he was in 2012 when hitting fourth in the batting order this year. He is hitting a paltry .157 and slugging .265 with just five extra-base hits in 26 games from the cleanup spot this season. He has not made many appearances fourth in the lineup because his production has disappeared. Marlon Byrd has filled some of Davis’s void but lacks that level raw power.

The underlying problem with the lack of offense is hard to fix at the moment because it is due to a lack of talent. A majority of the lineup would sit on the bench of a contending team. They often fail to executive fundamentals, such as advancing runners and taking advantage of sacrifice fly and RBI groundout opportunities. The Mets often allow opposing pitchers to last six innings or more and do not pounce when the starter is approaching a dangerously high pitch count. They ground into double plays to keep the opposing pitcher at a reasonable pitch count. The team’s severe lack of pop often results in several singles scattered over nine innings that only add up to a few runs. On top of a lack of power their situational hitting is poor.

Manager Terry Collins started the season with a patient approach, but that was too passive. Now the hitters are too aggressive and often easy outs. He is strict about lefty-righty matchups and shuffles the lineup like a deck of cards on a nearly daily basis. Collins’s approach crumbles in key situations at times because his in-game managing strategy is uniform and often more like checkers than chess.

Collins is unable to turn lemons into lemonade, but it is hard to believe that any other manager would. The majority of players try as hard as they can, but the team clearly needs sluggers, particularly in the outfield, and players who can get hits in key situations. The starting rotation has a bright future but the lineup will need to provide support when they are not perfect.

Strike Davis, Ike Vegas or Ike Davis?

By Michael Mandelkern

The 2013 New York Mets season is two-thirds of the way complete, but there are only a few grains left in Ike Davis’s hourglass. He has deteriorated from his explosive second half of the 2012 season but fans cannot forget about his enormous potential. On the other hand many people are fed up with him and cannot wait to see him go. This is the enigma of Davis, the man everyone hopes will produce but few have faith in anymore.

Davis suffered valley fever throughout the first half of the 2012 season and was on the verge of getting sent down to the minor leagues, but he made a U-turn in early June 2012 and still finished with 32 home runs and 90 RBI. His average was low at .227 but many still viewed him as the power first baseman of the future.

He began the 2013 season in good health to solidify his standing in the Mets core but got off to another slow start this season. The Mets demoted him on June 9. He found success in AAA Las Vegas and returned to the Mets on July 5, going 3-5 with 2 RBI against the Milwaukee Brewer but batted a meager .242 with one home run and 9 RBI in July. His .382 on-base percentage last month reflects his improved patience at the plate, but his power has vanished.

Davis has been anemic in unfavorable counts this season. He is 0-18 with 11 strikeouts and no walks on an 0-2 count and 2-41 on a 1-2 count. His overall batting average, on-base percentage and production numbers for the season are nothing to write home about either: .180/.279/.561 with six home runs and 25 RBI.

Regardless of his struggles, Davis should not be in a platoon with Josh Satin. Even though Satin hit .375 with a .500 on-base percentage in July he has spent the majority of his baseball career in the minor leagues for a reason. He cannot fill the void at first base in the long term. The Mets could have waited to call Davis back up when Satin fell back down to Earth. The “Hail Satin” craze is mainly out of frustration with Davis.

The Mets wanted to see improvement from Davis yet they cut down his playing time. However, Davis has started the majority of games since his return to the Mets and has had ample opportunity all season to prove his worth. It is his fault that he got sent down to the minors and cannot return to his mid-2012 form. But sitting Davis against tough lefty starters only allows Alderson to evaluate him as a platoon player.

The ambivalence on Davis reached a breaking point on July 31 against the Miami Marlins. The Mets were down 3-2 in the top of the eighth inning with two outs and David Wright on third base. Davis was up to bat and the Marlins bullpen countered with a lefty reliever. He was in the midst of a multi-hit game with an RBI-double, but Collins pinch-hit Satin. He flew out. It would be fair to assume that Davis would have struck out, and Satin has better statistics against left-handed pitchers, but only based on a small sample size.

The Mets are at fault for sending Davis back up prematurely and limiting his playing time, but it is entirely his fault that he is falling disturbingly short of expectations. Alderson considered him to be part of the core in early June, after another early slump, which underscores how difficult it is for the manager to let go of someone with 30 home run/100 RBI potential.

Davis has tweaked his swing and batting stance under pressure from the media and his coaches, but his underlying issues seem to be mental. He could still finish the season strong, but chances are Davis will be gone in a New York minute.

Without the Captain the Ship Would Sink

If you ask New York Mets fans which batter has the biggest impact on the lineup they would undoubtedly give the same response. He is known as Mr. Met, Captain America or simply the Captain. He is the leader of the Mets and has the most long-term contract of anybody on the team. He is the reason why fans go to Citi Field. He is David Wright.

He is the only Mets player casual baseball fans have heard of besides Matt Harvey. Wright does not receive as much national attention as Harvey only because he does not have the same appetite for fame as him. When CougarLife.com, a dating website that connects young men connect with older, mature women, reached out to him in June about a campaign to vote him into the All-Star Game he declined. Wright is humble, professional and only wants attention brought upon him if it is based on the Mets winning and his performance on the field.

David Wright has hit third in the Mets lineup more consistently than anyone else in the lineup throughout the entire 2013 season. Wright has a career batting average of .301, on-base percentage of .382 and .506 slugging. He is surpassing those numbers in 2013 so far with a .307/.395/.515 line. Not to mention that he is a two-time Gold Glove winner and has been playing spectacular defense at the hot corner this season.

At age 30 and going into his tenth season, Wright has developed a reputation as the toughest out in the lineup. What is extraordinary about his career-topping statistics is that he has prospered with little to no protection in the lineup this season. Wright is a highly intelligent hitter that generally restraints himself from pitches outside of the strike zone. His opponents tend to pitch him away because they know Wright can attack the strike zone. His patience leads to a high walk rate. He drew a career-high 94 walks in both 2007 and 2008 and already has 50 this season.

Wright has also been a threat on the base paths. He currently has 15 steals and is on pace for about 25 stolen bases on the season. Wright has improved on his running game compared to recent years. He swiped 15 bags last season, 13 in 2011 and 19 in 2010.

David Wright’s power numbers have declined from early in his career, but his lower RBI count is mostly incumbent upon his teammates not setting the table for him when he gets hits. He is still a considerable threat on an 0-2 count because his hitting zone is red hot on a ball down and over the plate, as well as dead middle and up and away, in that situation. His ability to produce on two-strike counts in multiple areas of the strike zone explains his high average

The New York Mets might be a long shot from playoff contention this season, but there is more hope for the future than there has been over the past several years. Pitching prospects Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero will eventually become strong young arms for the rotation, Zack Wheeler recently arrived and Matt Harvey is the ace. Sandy Alderson will finally have a sizeable budget to work with in 2014 and the crippling contracts of Jason Bay and Johan Santana will be off the books.

Wright is not quite as scorching as he was in 2006 and 2007 but he is still highly productive and a difficult out. Many superstars falter in the first year of a long-term contract. The Mets push for the playoffs next season will largely fall on the shoulders of Wright and the players general manager Sandy Alderson surrounds him with. 

The Curious Case of Daniel Murphy

Second baseman Daniel Murphy of the New York Mets is truly a Jekyll and Hyde hitter. He is known to fluctuate dramatically from month to month, but with second baseman prospect Wilmer Flores scorching in AAA general manager Sandy Alderson has to decide soon which one is part of the core.

Murphy hit a convincing .317/.345/.471 in May with 10 doubles, two home runs and 12 RBI. Last month, however, he had an underwhelming .227/.274/.291 line with just two doubles, one home run and seven RBI. He is 7 for 34 throughout the first week of July.

Will he get hotter than July and help Mets fans forget about his recent woes? History suggests he will. After a subpar June 2012, he silenced his critics by hitting .360/.380/.528 the following month with 11 doubles.

Murphy’s batting average went up and down like the stock market in 2009, his first full MLB season, and he missed the 2010 season due to injury. He bounced back in 2011 with a .320 average and .362 on-base percentage and did not fall below a .280 average in any individual month of 2011. He fell to injury in early August 2011 in what arguably could have been his best full season in the major leagues.

Murphy is an automatic out one day and then drives in every runner in scoring position the next game. You can feel the frustration through his facial expression when he is out on two or three pitches. When he gets clutch hits he furiously claps his hands and shouts. He wears his heart on his sleeve.

Lately Murphy looks like he is out before he steps into the batter’s box. He often swings at the first pitch and struggles to hit the ball the other way. When he is at his best he sets the table for David Wright and keeps the line moving. Otherwise he has no impact on offense.

At this point last year he only had 3 home runs and did not go yard until June 27. He already has 6 homers this season. However, he is not a power hitter. His strength is hitting singles and doubles, especially with runners in scoring position. Murphy is dangerous when he is in the zone and uses all parts of the field.

He has also made great strides on defense at second base throughout his career. Murphy by no means has a stellar glove and is sometimes awkward when turning a double play. He will commit errors on occasion, some of them quite costly, and botch plays that a strong defender could make. He does not have a natural talent for playing second base but he gives his best effort. Luckily for him Flores has limited range himself and his defense is also a liability. Otherwise Flores might have been on the big league roster already.

Murphy hustles hard, sometimes to overcompensate for his mistakes and he inadvertently hurts the team. If he ends the season hitting around .270 with an OBP barely over .300 it is hard to imagine Alderson will offer him a multi-year contract, or even one more year. Since he lacks power and is questionable on defense his value weighs heavily on his hitting acumen. He lives and dies by his bat.

If he does not finish the season hitting at least .285 with a .330 OBP (assuming he does not get traded), it will be hard to argue that Murphy is the future at second base. Aside from third base, no Mets position is safe. Even if he plays to his full potential this month Alderson still has to decide if he wants such a streaky player on the team.

This town ain’t big enough for Flores and Murphy. One of them has to go.

Oh How Sweep It Is, Yankees Stunned

New York Mets fans have had little to be excited about this season. The team has already suffered two six-game losing streaks and been amongst the three worst teams in Major League Baseball at the lowest points of its downward spiral. Ike Davis, Ruben Tejada and Dillon Gee, once considered part of the team’s core, have all been, and still are, on the brink of getting sent down to the minors in Las Vegas.

No one would have bet on the Mets sweeping the New York Yankees in Queens and the Bronx. Anyone who did is filthy rich.

My friend and I met in Harlem before the final game of the Subway Series on May 30, decked out in Mets jerseys and caps. Only a few Yankees fans heckled us and vowed that their team would not get swept; the rest seemed oblivious there was even a game. Even people who are not Yankees fans and do not watch baseball at all wear the cap due to its popularity; only actual Mets fans wear their team’s cap. We bought four-dollar brooms on Lexington Avenue and brought them onto the 4 train and into the Bronx. We literally swept the entrance and provoked the Yankees faithful with corny banters. A few snickered and cursed at us, but for the most part they treated us like peasants to a king. You should care if an opposing team comes to your house with such blatant disrespect, but they were too cool for school. The few that responded just boasted their 27 championship rings and higher standing in their division.

True fans root for their team regardless of the standings and time of the baseball season. The Yankees trailed the entire game on May 30, yet some people left during the ninth inning, when their team still had a chance. Some barely even paid attention to the game or left the stadium before the sixth inning. I sat through the entire game last season when Johan Santana got lit up one week after his no-hitter. “If they don’t win it’s a shame,” says the classic “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” song. Only sore losers flaunt their team’s history but do not accept in a gracious. I acknowledge when other teams outplay us, which is often. If you are gregarious when your team is winning you also have to die hard for them during rough stretches.

The Mets-Yankees game I attended on Memorial Day was electric, but the fans I saw at Yankee Stadium had too much pride to admit they were upset. They must have been hurt inside. My section chanted “Let’s Go Mets” at Citi Field on Memorial Day every inning, the Yankees faithful responded with “Let’s Go Yankees” and we countered with “Yankees Suck.” Fans that are passionate about their teams do not tolerate trash talk from their cross town rivals, but the Yankees fans in Section 411 brushed it off like flies at a restaurant.

It was rather lifeless at Yankee Stadium on May 30. No one responded when I turned around with both of my hands open to inform them that Gee had ten strikeouts. They looked disgusted, like I was being noisy at a library. A stadium is a place where you should be free to yell and clap as loud as you please, but most of the Yankees fans did not exercise that right.
I know there are respectable Yankees fans that are as passionate about their team as Mets fans; I have corresponded with them on Twitter, but they were nowhere to be found at Yankee Stadium. The New York Mets ran New York this past week, no doubt, and a true Yankee fan would acknowledge that fact. The Mets are still several games under .500, but that makes the sweep of the Yankees even more embarrassing for them and sweeter for Mets fans. David beat Goliath with a stone.

Yankees fans would have boasted relentlessly if the Empire State Building was navy blue all week, but it was not. At least for one season, and for the first time ever, the Mets can say they swept the Bronx Bombers. We run New York for now, but we will fall hard when the Mets lose. And we would not have it any other way.

It’s Not September Yet, But You Wouldn’t Know It FOLLOW ME @metsonmymind

“Put the ball in play and see what happens,” said Terry Collins in a May 21 interview with Mike Francesa on WFAN. The New York Mets offense is that desperate these days.

The Mets must be praying on errors by the opposition, because weak ground balls and lazy fly balls do not lead to hits. Ike Davis is struggling so mightily that fans and teammates are encouraged if he draws a walk or even hits the ball hard. Collins alters the lineup nearly everyday in search of a winning combination that often fails to score over three runs.

Collins has inserted Rick Ankiel second into the lineup even though he struck out on the Houston Astros so much the team released him. He has batted Daniel Murphy at leadoff on multiple occasions for the first time in four years, and been forced to demote the struggling Ruben Tejada to the eighth spot. Too many hitters carelessly strike out on failed check swings, emphasizing their uncertainty and tentative approaches at the plate. They exude a lack of confidence and opposing starters are like sharks that smell blood in the water.

Tejada and Davis need to be consistent in order for the Mets to contend. General Manager Sandy Alderson once perceived them as the core of the team’s future, especially Davis, but now his shopping cart will be even heavier in the offseason. Even if Davis snaps out of his rut and has a monster game, Alderson must question his dependability in the long term. He continues to look foolish against lefties and is not having success against righties either, even against pitchers on subpar teams with high ERAs. His typically reliable defense has suffered over the past week as well and lost the Mets games. He is worthless if he cannot field ground balls or get on base.

“We got to run these young guys out there,” said Collins to Francesa. The Mets need to develop players that have potential with the team. Although Ankiel has been driving in runs, he is counterproductive to future development. The hot glove outfielder Juan Lagares is being deprived of valuable experience in center field. The Mets are essentially out of contention already, so experience already takes precedence over winning a few more games in a season already torpedoing in a downward spiral.

The vibe in CitiField is a late-September game with the exception of when Matt Harvey takes the mound. But even he is human and is bound to fall down to Earth. “Now he have fallen on our faces,” said Collins.

They have fallen off the deep end, are grasping onto a cliff with their pinkies and hanging by a thread. The slumbering offense only wakes up sporadically. Everyone in the lineup, even David Wright, glances at the ground in dejection and seems reluctant to take an at-bat. The captain has tough waters to tread but is folding under the pressure of a crippled offense around him. He is batting a .228/0/8 RBI at home.

Even when they scored four runs against the Cincinatti Reds on May 22 it was mostly an uphill battle, with the exception of the brief 1-0 lead the Mets held in the first and second innings. The Mets lost 7-4 in part due to a mental defensive lapse by Davis in the ninth inning.

Collins is running out of excuses for his downtrodden team. He attributes starter Jon Niese’s struggles to the cold temperatures he endured when pitching in Minnesota and Colorado in mid-April. If Niese’s ERA does not drop down below four by June, Collins would still be decrying those frigid temperatures. Dillon Gee no longer seems like a fit for the back of any Major League rotation and Jeremy Hefner is only serviceable every five starts. Marcum can pitch well early in a game but cannot go the distance anymore; his career may be over.

Despite more payroll flexibility next season, 2014 does not seem like the breakthrough year for the Mets. If the young core of Duda, Davis and Tejada continues to crumble, the Mets have to start from scratch. Alderson needs at least two quality starters, a first baseman, an entire outfielder and bullpen. Even Santa Claus could not fulfill a wish list this long.

Six Games In, Mets on a Losing Streak With No End in Sight FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @metsonmymind

Rick Ankiel’s first home run as a New York Met tied the game at 2-2 in the top of seventh inning. He brought smiles to a lifeless dugout on May 15 and silenced the St. Louis Cardinals crowd for a moment. And then the Mets bullpen threw the game away in the bottom of the inning. Literally.

The Mets proceeded to lose 4-2, the team’s sixth straight loss and drop to 14-23 for the season. They currently have the most consecutive losses in baseball. Their starters get lit up early in the game; the offense is frozen; the bullpen is a joke; the defense commits crucial errors. Sometimes all of those follies converge into one game and even the most diehard of fans cannot watch.

They lost in a few routs over the past week, but the offense had a chance to win on May 15. Shaun Marcum, who had not pitched beyond the fifth inning in any of his previous starts, delivered 6 2/3 quality innings of three-run ball.

But the Mets gave up two unearned runs on sloppy defense. David Wright dropped the ball when attempting to tag out Cardinals centerfielder Jon Jay between second and third base and Daniel Murphy botched a routine double play. Wright’s error unnecessarily drove up Marcum’s pitch count on a night when he was locked in.

The most demoralizing moment of the game, however, came in the bottom of the ninth inning. Reliever Scott Rice threw the ball in the dirt with runners on first and third base. Cardinals infielder Daniel Descalzo scored and the Mets were retired in order in the eighth and ninth innings. 

The Cardinals took advantage of every opportunity they had to score, whether on defensive blunders by the Mets or getting a hit with runners in scoring position. The Mets falter when it matters most. David Wright had a runner on third base in the sixth inning with Murphy on third base and one out. A ground ball, sacrifice fly or hit all would have scored a run, but he struck out. Ike Davis then grounded out on the first pitch he saw to end the inning.

Captain Wright had a chance to right the ship last night but not only failed to come through in the clutch but also gifted the Cardinals a run. He is the golden boy of the team and can do no wrong in most people’s eyes, but he should not be exempt from criticism. All eyes are on Wright during a miserable offensive stretch in which his team struggles to reach base under any circumstance.

Lucas Duda and Davis are both in brutal slumps, Murphy caught lightning in a bottle in St. Louis but needs to raise his average much higher and Ruben Tejada looks confused during every at-bat. All of these players have shown promise, but they would all be back in the minor leagues on most other teams.

Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Travis d’Arnaud and Wright are the future, but most of the infield, the entire outfield, the back-end of the rotation and whole bullpen staff are in shambles.

The team is already decaying in May, but the silver lining is just a sliver.

The Matt Harvey Show Is Incredible, Rest Is a Channel Changer FOLLOW ME @metsonymind

Matt Harvey possesses the qualities of a superstar pitcher. He can strike out his opponents with an upper-90 mph fastball as well as a changeup or slider. He seldom folds under pressure and has already proven himself against formidable teams, such as the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies.

The best part is that he is only 24 years old and just beginning his first full Major League season. Harvey won NL Pitcher of the Month for April, averaging nearly eight strikeouts per game.

On May 7 he delivered one of the best pitching performances ever by a Mets starter in a regular season, yet he did not win the game. He tossed a one-hit shutout with no walks over nine innings against the Chicago White Sox and left the mound with a no decision.

Harvey could have won if manager Terry Collins kept him past the ninth inning. Collins allowed Johan Santana to toss 134 pitches in his no-hitter last June, and Matt Harvey was only 105 deep against the Chicago White Sox.

Collins had reason to be cautious about his young rising star, but Harvey is a workhorse. Santana was 33 years old and returning from major shoulder surgery. The offense supported Santana with eight runs in his no-hitter, but Harvey could have cut the tension of his 0-0 pitching duel with a knife. Yet he was just as sharp in the ninth inning as he was in the first inning.

Matt Harvey is Cy Young Award caliber; he made a game in which the Mets took ten innings to score a run interesting. The Mets offense makes opposing starters look like multiple-time Cy Young recipients.

The Mets are yet to lose any of the seven games in which Harvey pitched. It is astonishing that despite only allowing seven runs over his seven starts with a 1.28 ERA, he only has four wins as a pitcher. The Mets are 7-0 with Harvey and 6-17 with the rest of the starters.

Jeremy Hefner has tossed 14 1/3 fewer innings and allowed eleven more runs than Harvey in his first seven starts, and still does not have a win. Jonathon Niese, who Collins considered to be the ace at the beginning of the season, has a 4.66 ERA. 

The games are painful to watch when Harvey is not on the mound. Hefner pitched eight inning scoreless innings on April 30 against the Miami Marlins but suffered a loss. Mets reliever Brandon Lyon allowed both of the Marlins runners Hefner was responsible for in the ninth inning to score, and since the Mets only scored one run the Marlins won on a walk-off.

Ike Davis has become useless to the point that Collins replaced him with pinch-hitter Justin Turner on May 5 against the Atlanta Braves with the bases loaded in the eighth inning. That move was inconceivable during the second half of last season, but Turner has been more clutch off the bench than Davis all season.

The Mets have already sent several players down to the minors just six weeks into the season, including relievers Josh Edgin and Jeurys Familia (who is now back on the Major League Roster) and outfielders Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Colin Cowgill. Former Mets starter Aaron Laffey pitched 10 horrendous innings to a 7.20 ERA and was designated for assignment on April 21.

The Mets called up minor league outfielder Andrew Brown, who did not make the big league roster out of Spring Training, on May 3. Collins is desperate for offense, and in turn the outfield has been a revolving door. He plays Yahtzee with his lineup everyday.

Fans should take pride in a lineup almost exclusively cultivated from the minor league farm system, but most of those seeds show no signs of blossoming. Davis, Lucas Duda and Ruben Tejada have not yet established themselves. John Buck, the offensive juggernaut earlier this season acquired via trade, has not gotten a hit in his last 14 at-bats. The rest are bench players.

The team should switch its name to the New York Harveys, because he is the only reason to be excited right now. David Wright has been solid, but nothing extraordinary considering his 8-year, $138 million contract. The state of the team is reminiscent of R.A. Dickey last season, now on the Toronto Blue Jays. Hopefully Harvey is here to stay, no one on the Mets would want any part of him.