Each week, ESPN senior baseball editor Matt Meyers and Mets blogger Mark Simon discuss and debate issues regarding upcoming games for the Mets.
Which are the real Mets? The ones who swept the Rays and Orioles, or the ones who got swept by the Yankees and Reds?
Meyers: As usual with questions like this, the truth lies somewhere in between. The Mets’ offense isn’t as good as the juggernaut we saw in Tampa, but it’s not as bad as the punchless crew that scored five runs in three games against Cincinnati. However, the team has overperformed with two outs and runners in scoring position (.841 OPS in such situation as compared to .718 overall), and as that normalizes, the offense will see some rough patches like it did against the Reds.
Simon: This team has been so strange, so schizophrenic, and so unpredictable all season. I still think they’re closer to the team that got swept by the Reds, but the reality may be that they’re a win-three, lose-three team all season. In other words, this is what they are over the last 12 games: a .500 team that could beat anyone and could lose to anyone.
Where does R.A. Dickey rank among baseball’s starting pitchers?
Meyers: Since joining the Mets in 2010, Dickey has an ERA+ of 132, which is 11th in baseball among pitchers who have thrown at least 400 innings in that span. For reference, that’s even with Cole Hamels and better than Matt Cain, David Price and Jon Lester in that timeframe. Dickey is no fluke, and over the last three years he's proven he is one of the 15 best starters in the game.
Simon: This season, I’d argue he’s top five in baseball, alongside Justin Verlander, Cain, Chris Sale and Gio Gonzalez. Over the last three years, Top-15 seems about right. A few bloggers and media members reminded me recently- the knuckler doesn’t dance as well later in the season when the weather cools off a bit, so I’m not expecting this level of performance to continue over 33 starts.
Make a prediction for the weekend
Meyers: I predict Ike Davis will finally get off the interstate (a batting average that begins with 1). He’s at .190 now, and was at .161 two weeks ago. That’s an encouraging trend.
Simon: Daniel Murphy seems due for something good to happen. He’s 8-for-58 in his last 15 games and was sat against a lefty during the Orioles series in favor of Jordany Valdespin.
Let’s pick Murphy to get a walk-off hit against Rafael Soriano to close out a dramatic 3-2 win against the Yankees on Sunday Night Baseball.