By Declan Finn
The New York Mets have won all seven games at home this season, the first time in franchise history that's happened. They haven't had this good a start overall in nearly a decade, as their 10-3 record is tied for best ever with the 2006 and 1986 seasons, years which just happened to end with the Mets winning the NL East. The Mets are currently in first place in the division, went a perfect 7-0 this week, and haven't suffered defeat since April 11.
Yes, the Mets have forced their way into contender status, even if we're only two weeks into the season.
Of course, things haven't gone perfectly, as injuries have piled up at an alarming rate. First, it was Zack Wheeler undergoing elbow surgery and being lost for the year. Then, David Wright went on the disabled list with a hamstring injury. Now, two more key players join him on the sideline, as Travis d'Arnaud and Jerry Blevins both broke bones in Sunday's win over the Marlins, and could miss significant time. There is also Jenrry Mejia's 80-game suspension to deal with.
The setbacks keep coming, but every time the Mets have been dealt adversity this season, they've answered the challenge. They get a day off Monday before playing three more home games against the Braves and then visiting Yankee Stadium for three. Before we look ahead to those challenges, however, here's a look at the best and worst of an eventful week in Queens, with our 3 Up and 3 Down feature.
Lucas Duda: He's answered some early questions as to whether or not he could duplicate his breakout season a year ago. Duda is hitting .347 with seven doubles, a home run and eight RBI in 13 games. He had a five-game hit streak snapped Sunday, going 9-for-21 over the stretch with six doubles and six RBI. Duda's gotten a hit in all but three games this year, and already has five multi-hit games.
Jacob deGrom: In two starts this week, deGrom didn't allow a run in beating the Phillies on Monday and the Marlins on Saturday. deGrom allowed seven hits and a walk in 6.1 innings during a 2-0 win over Philadelphia, and then allowed six hits and no walks, striking out eight, over seven innings in a 5-4 victory over Miami. So far, the reigning Rookie of the Year has had no drop off in his sophomore season, with a 2-1 record and 0.93 ERA. deGrom has allowed just two runs on 19 hits in 19.1 total innings.
Jeurys Familia: Mets manager Terry Collins said Sunday Familia will remain the team's closer for the time being, even when Bobby Parnell returns from injury, and he certainly deserves it. Familia has a National League-leading six saves this season, getting five this past week alone. He's allowed two hits, including a home run, in 5.2 innings since taking over the closer's job from Jenrry Mejia, who was suspended 80 games for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. Overall, Familia has a 2.35 ERA with nine strikeouts in 7.2 innings. Don't be surprised if Familia remains the team's closer the rest of the season.
Travis d'Arnaud: The Mets catcher fractured his right hand after getting hit by a pitch from A.J. Ramos in the seventh inning Sunday against the Marlins. It's a terrible outcome for d'Arnaud, who was on fire at the plate this season, with a .317 average, two homers and 10 RBI, which is fifth best in the National League. He was 2-for-3 with a run scored and RBI before being forced from the game against Miami. More will be known about how long d'Arnaud will be out after he's further evaluated, but a broken bone is never a good thing. The injury did lead to the call-up of catching prospect Kevin Plawecki, who was in Triple-A, but losing d'Arnaud is big for the Mets.
Jerry Blevins: d'Arnaud wasn't the only Met to break a bone in Sunday's game, as just a half-inning earlier, Blevins was hit on the forearm on a ball hit by Dee Gordon, resulting in a fractured left arm. Blevins has been perfect for the Mets this season, retiring all 15 batters he's faced, including getting Gordon out at first after the injury. He has five holds already, but the Mets likely will be without him for an extended period of time. Vic Black, who is on rehab assignment, could take Blevins' roster spot.
Curtis Granderson: Anytime your batting average is lower than Bartolo Colon's, there is a problem, and that's the position Granderson is in this season. Granderson is batting .146 to Colon's .167. Almost amazingly, Granderson has no home runs and no RBI in playing all 13 games this season. He actually had a strong start to the week, going 4-for-11 against the Phillies, but then went 1-for-14 in four games against the Marlins. On a positive, Granderson has walked 12 times and has scored eight runs. But the Mets need power numbers from their supposed home run hitter.