Thursday, April 3, 2014
'Bad dream' for Young, new Mets
By Danny Knobler | Special to ESPNNewYork.com
NEW YORK -- The season is just two games old. There's no reason to get too upset.
"It's like a bad dream," Chris Young said Wednesday night.
OK, so the year could have gotten off to a better start for the Mets. Especially for the new Mets.
Young's assessment, delivered in the wake of the Mets' second straight loss to the Nationals, a 5-1 defeat, referred only to his own problems with a troublesome right quadriceps injury and not to the team's two-games-in predicament. But if the first two games of the season haven't been a team-wide nightmare, they haven't exactly been good.
Curtis Granderson has gone hitless in nine at-bats for his new club.
Young, the new left fielder, has yet to come to the plate, has been able to play just one inning in the field and could be headed to the disabled list. Curtis Granderson, the new $60 million right fielder, is hitless in nine at-bats, with five strikeouts, and has already heard boos from the Citi Field fans.
The Mets also have bullpen questions, after putting closer Bobby Parnell on the disabled list with what could be a season-ending elbow injury, but it was the lack of offense (and lack of contact) that became a bigger focus in the season's second game, as the Mets dropped to 0-2 for the first time since 2005.
The Mets had just three hits and didn't score a run after the first inning. They had just one at-bat with a runner in scoring position after the first inning and just two for the game.
And on the heels of striking out 18 times on Opening Day, the Mets fanned 13 times on Wednesday. The 31 strikeouts are the most ever by a Mets team in the first two games of a season, and the Mets became just the second big league team ever (joining the 111-loss 2013 Astros) to strike out 13 or more times in two straight games to start a season.
"Certainly, we've got to do a better job of putting the ball in play," manager Terry Collins said.
Collins offered up the changing-leagues excuse for Granderson, although to his credit, Granderson rejected that as an explanation. It wasn't too valid on Wednesday, anyway, since Granderson had 16 prior at-bats against Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez (he was just 2-for-16).
"[Changing leagues] is something that has been done, and I can do it," Granderson said. "It's two games in. There are going to be a lot of at-bats over the course of a season."
Young's situation is a greater immediate concern for the Mets. He suffered the quad injury last Saturday in Montreal, but after what amounted to three days off (Young didn't play on Opening Day), Wednesday was a true setback. He ran during the afternoon and was cleared to play, but when he went after a ball in the outfield in the first inning, he felt the quad grab.
At the end of the inning, he told Collins he couldn't run, and he was replaced.
While Young said he still hopes to avoid the DL, the Mets might decide they have no choice but to put him there.
"All I can do is try to get right as soon as possible," Young said.
He's not right. The Mets, two games in, are not right.
And if it's not yet a nightmare start, it's not good.