The Mets head into Atlanta riding high off of their series win in the opening set against the Washing Nationals. These Braves certainly aren’t the Braves of old, and resemble next to nothing of the teams that had Mets killer after Mets killer in the lineup. That being said, they are coming off an opening series sweep of the Miami Marlins, Freddie Freeman is still in town, so all is not safe. However, without the likes of Kimbrel, Upton, Heyward, and Gattis, the Mets should be set up nicely to continue their very early season success.
3 Things 2 Watch 4:
The back end of the rotation (Niese and Gee) needs to step up and prove that this rotation has the depth, 1 through 5, that we have all expected coming into the 2015 season. It wasn’t long ago that Niese was a top up-and-coming lefty on this team, and despite all his injury woes, still should have plenty left in the tank. As long as that nasty Uncle Charlie is still in his arsenal opposing hitter knees will continue to buckle. Gee has been the definition of streaky in his career, and with Montero quickly approaching in his rear-view, we should see some extra motivation to be a consistent back of the rotation guy from Gee, or he won’t be long as a starter on this team.
Despite all of the Braves subtractions (Kimbrel, Heyward, Gattis, Upton x2; just to name a few), they always seem to find a way. Hat tip to the top notch upper management but a warning to those that think this team is going to roll over for anyone one, despite their widely expected 4th place finish in the NL East.
Will Familia run away with his opportunity as the Mets latest closer and further solidify the future of the Mets bullpen? Rumors are already flying out of the Mets clubhouse that if Familia succeeds, Mejia will not be returned to the closer role once he is activated from the disabled list, and Bobby Parnell, yeah, not happening either. Not that this is a bad thing. If Familia locks down the 9th, Parnell, Mejia and Black’s eventual return teaming up with Blevins, Carlos Torres and Montero creates quite the shut down pen to support the strong staff of starters.