The Mets began their road trip in Philadelphia, it was a three game set, and they needed wins since they came into it at .500. The first game Jacob deGrom pitched for the Mets, he was lights out after letting up two in the first, but had to come out after 6 innings due to a high pitch count. Jay Bruce hit a homer in the 4th to cut the lead in half, it was his 3rd of the year. Later in the 7th, Bruce would score from third on a sacrifice fly from Walker to tie up the game. In the 8th, Asdrubal Cabrera came to face the same pitcher that he hit the homerun off last year, and then did that crazy bat flip. Well, the pitcher clearly was trying to send a message when he threw the ball about 3 feet over Cabrera's head. This didn't sit too well with Cabrera as he had to be held back by the catcher. Cabrera would end up drawing a walk and then Jay Bruce came to the plate. Bruce backed up his teammate by taking Edrubay Ramos deep for a 2 run blast. Talk about embarrassing for Ramos, if you throw at a guy and then let up a homerun to the next batter, you played yourself, congrats. Phillies would get a run back in the bottom of the 9th when Brock Stassi took Addison Reed deep. Mets held on to win the game 4-3 to take the series opener.
The second game of this series was one that happens every so often with the Mets. Everyone hit, the long ball was running rampant for the Mets, and the runs were coming in bunches. Yoenis Cespedes had three homeruns in the game that totaled for 5 RBI's. Duda added two solo homeruns to the party. Cabrera and d'Arnaud both got in on the action with homeruns of their own. Mets would put up 14 runs in the game, sometimes living by the long ball leaves you with this kind of result. Matt Harvey also pitched very well for the Mets as he went 5 2/3 innings allowing just 2 runs, walking one, and striking out 6. Mets win 14-4 as they take the second game of the series as well.
The last game of the series rolled around, the Mets were looking for the sweep, and they were looking for a good start out of Zack Wheeler. Wheeler struggled in his first start of the year, that usually happens when you don't pitch in a MLB game for 2 seasons. He looked much better in his second outing, through 5 innings he was basically perfect. In the sixth he was able to get two outs, he also loaded the bases, and Terry Collins would yank him for Hansel Robles. Robles on the first pitch of the at-bat leaves a meatball for Maikel Franco to demolish for a grand slam. Just like that Phillies had turned this into a game. The Mets were up 5-4 at this point since they jumped out to a 5-0 lead prior to the Franco homerun. Conforto hit a homerun earlier in the game, proving once again he should be an everyday starter. Mets bullpen stepped up big time shutting the Phillies down for the final three innings to seal the Mets 5-4 victory and the series sweep. Mets were now 6-3 heading to Miami for a 4 game set.
The first game of this series was an absolute classic, the Mets and Marlins would battle it out in a game that many thought would never end. In the first inning Robert Gsellman dug the Mets into an early hole when he let up a grand slam to Marcel Ozuna. Immediately the Mets are down 4-0 against the Marlins. Right away they'd look to back their pitcher up by getting some runs back for him. With the bases loaded for Travis d'Arnaud in the second inning, he rips a ball down the right field line for a bases clearing triple. Granderson followed him up with a base hit to drive in d'Arnaud and tie up the game. The Mets then started going on a homerun tear, in the 3rd inning Cespedes would hit his 5th homerun of the season and boy did he send it on a ride, a 440 foot ride to be exact. Mets led 5-4. Flores would follow Cespedes's lead and hit a homerun of his own, the second of his season. Cespedes would come up again in the 5th and hit another long ball putting the Mets up 7-4 on track to their 4th straight win. Gsellman seemed to settle in after his awful first inning, but come the 5th it all fell apart again. Gsellman would load the bases, walk in a run, allow a sac fly to score a run, and then he'd be pulled for James Edgin. The score was now 7-6 with runners on first and second. Justin Bour would rope one opposite field off the bottom of the left field wall to drive in two runs putting the Marlins up 8-7. Edgin would then proceed to get out of the inning, although it was too little too late. Mets odds were beginning to look bleak as they couldn't get anything going in the 6th or 7th offensively. 8th inning rolled around, first two batters of the inning got out, and then Travis d'Arnaud would get on base to keep the inning alive. Up to pinch hit was Michael Conforto. Conforto would drill a double into the gap scoring d'Arnaud from first to tie up the game. The game then went into an excruciating long extra inning fiasco that would finally come to an end in the 16th inning. Travis d'Arnaud who was the MVP of the game, hit a homerun to put the Mets up 9-8, and give them the win. Hansel Robles who had pitched in four straight games gave a gutsy performance going two innings, really holding it down for the Mets after giving a grand slam the night before in Philly. Mets extend their win streak to 4 and improve to 7-3 on the season.
The rest of the series with the Marlins was a nightmare for the Mets. You'd think with Thor, deGrom, and Harvey set to pitch the final three games you'd get at least 2 wins, somehow the Mets ended up with none. The second game of the series Syndergaard pitched phenomenal, but once again had to leave with a blister on his hand. The game was tied 2-2 and looked like it was about to go to extra innings once again. Realmuto would hit a double with two strike and two outs to score the winning run from first, putting a dagger into the Mets win streak. This was more of a win for the Mets since their bullpen needed rest and most definitley couldn't afford another extra inning game.
The third game of the series was the most devastating for the Mets. Jacob deGrom let up a homerun to Justin Bour and Marcel Ozuna in the second inning. Besides for that he was absolutely lights out pitching 7 innings striking out 13, tied for his career high, and somehow he still wouldn't wind up with the win. The Mets scored a run in the first off a Neil Walker double and then they added two more in the 7th with a big time triple from Granderson that scored Neil Walker, followed by a Conforto sac fly to score Granderson. The next inning Asdrubal Cabrera hit a bomb to add an insurance run for the Mets and make Terry Collins decision to not send deGrom out for the 8th that much easier. Fernando Salas came in to pitch the 8th, unfortunately this would be the fatal move for the Mets. He walked Rojas and then let up a two run homerun to Christian Yelich to tie the game. As if that wasn't bad enough, Terry Collins left him in to throw to Stanton, and Stanton took him deep to give the Marlins a 5-4 lead. Terry Collins awful managing cost the Mets this one. Should've never taken out deGrom and then just put in Addison Reed in the 9th. If they beat deGrom, oh well he was dealing, no one can complain about that. Salas on the other hand had a dead arm from throwing in so many games this year already, and that's why he got wrecked. Terry being Terry, though.
Finally, the last game of the road trip rolled around and the Mets could make or break the road trip with a win on Easter. Matt Harvey continued his great start to the season giving the Mets six strong inning allowing two runs, although only one was an earned run. Too bad the Mets offense decided to take the day off, through 7 innings the Mets were getting no hit by the Marlins. The starter for the Marlins, Dan Straily, was pulled early into the 6th after walking two straight batters. His pitch count was high, his command wasn't there, and it was the right move by Mattingly topull him from the game. Mets finally broke through on a Walker single in the 8th, but it amounted to nothing in the inning. The 9th inning was where all the action took place. With one out Travis d'Arnaud once again starts the rally with a single to right field. That was followed up by a Jose Reyes strikeout, no surprise there. Now, with two out, Wilmer Flores strike the ball to right field deep into the gap, but the outfielders are playing for no doubles. Stanton misplays the ball, Flores is able to leg it out to second on the error, and now with two outs the Mets having the tying run on second base. Up comes Asdrubal Cabrera to pinch hit. Cabrera drives the ball right back up the middle scores both base runners, and after getting no hit for 7 innings the game was tied 2-2 in the 9th. Mets couldn't score again, giving the Marlins a chance to either walk off in the 9th or go to extra innings. With a man on first Rojas came to the plate, he smokes a double, and Ozuna tries to score the game winning run. Too bad Cespedes throws a dart to home plate to just get Ozuna out by a hair. Two outs, man on second, the Mets were getting a second chance at life, and Addison Reed gets taken deep by JT Riddle for a walk off homerun. The first homerun of the kids MLB career and it's a walkoff, what a way to christen himself into the MLB.
Mets start the road trip hot winning 4 straight and then finish cold losing the last 3. The biggest problem in my opinion was the Mets bullpen being gassed the rest of the way after the 16 inning game. Another thing I took away from the losing streak of the series was in the games they lost, Bruce and Cespedes didn't really contribute offensively. Seems like when those two go the Mets go and when they don't the Mets offense is pretty pathetic. Mets are now 7-6 after the road trip heading into a divisional homestand where they'll play the Phillies, Nationals, and Braves. Look for the Mets bullpen to improve once Familia comes back, which is very soon, 3 games if I'm not mistaken. The starting rotation you can't ask more from really except maybe for Syndergaard, deGrom, and Harvey to start going 7 innings instead of 6 more consistently. The lineup and how they perform will dictate how far the Mets will go this season. And for Christ sake, start Michael Conforto everyday god dammit. Appreciate Terry Collins and all the humorous joy he brings to my life, but boy is he an idiot sometimes.
Djack- Chief editor