By Brad Carroll
The New York Mets appeared ready to take over as the kings of Big Apple Baseball this weekend, entering the Subway Series with an 11-game win streak and the best record in the major leagues. But after losing two of three to the rival New York Yankees, the Mets will have to wait a little longer to wear that crown. But it's not at all a depressing time to be a Mets fan, as their team is firmly in control of the NL East, with a 4.5-game lead over Atlanta, and still owns the best record in baseball.
Things might have ended on a downer Sunday, but the Mets still put together a 4-2 record this past week and have won 12 of their last 14 games to sit at 14-5 on the season. Here is a look back at which players had the greatest impact in a winning week, and others who didn't do their part, in our 3 Up and 3 Down list.
Matt Harvey: The one win the Mets got against the Yankees was a big one, and Harvey is the one who delivered it. In a game the Mets had to win, as it featured their young star against the Yankees old ace, Harvey was on top of his game, while CC Sabathia was anything but. Harvey allowed two runs on five hits in missing a complete game by one out Saturday, beating the Yankees. He struck out seven batters in the game. Harvey's 4-0 with a 3.04 ERA this season and appears fully back from injury, which is a great sign for the Mets.
Curtis Granderson: After an extremely slow start, Granderson heated up this past week, going 8-for-22 (.364) with two doubles, a homer and five RBI. All those numbers are big for Granderson, as he tries to finally become a fan favorite in Queens. He went 4-for-13 with a home run at Yankee Stadium, where he had a ton of success before joining the Mets. His average is up to .222 this season.
Wilmer Flores: If he keeps hitting the way he did this past week, Mets fans might forget about trading for a new shortstop. Flores batted .364 with four runs scored, a homer and three RBI in the past six games. He also went 3-for-10 against the Yankees, so he didn't wilt under the bright lights of the Subway Series. The shortstop position was something Mets fans demanded be addressed in the offseason, and when general manager Sandy Alderson ignored those pleas, fans weren't happy. But Flores, so far, has made that decision look good.
Michael Cuddyer: This was not a good week for the big free agent signing, as he collected just two hits in 23 bats over the past six games. Cuddyer went 2-for-13 (.154) in his first three games as part of the Mets-Yankees rivalry. After a strong start, he's down to .250 with a home run and nine RBI on the year.
Jacob deGrom: The Mets came into Friday night's game with the Yankees riding high, with an 11-game win streak and every reason to want to beat the Bronx Bombers in their own stadium in the series opener. But deGrom wasn't up to the challenge, allowing six runs on eight hits in five innings. He allowed three home runs and struck out just two in a 6-1 loss. deGrom didn't allow a run in either of his previous two starts, but on the big stage in his young career, he couldn't continue either his or the Mets momentum
Terry Collins: From our Mets-Marlins series preview: The Mets manager made a boneheaded decision Saturday to send Harvey back to the mound in the ninth inning to get what would have been a meaningless complete game victory for his ace. First, there is the obvious limits on Harvey this season, with both innings and pitch counts being watched constantly, so sending him out to increase those in a game with no significance other than it's against the Yankees is just plain dumb. Second, is the Yankees part of it. If Collins is trying to stick it to the Yankees, that just screams he and the entire organization has an inferiority complex, something they need to shed immediately. Third, if Collins was talked into it by Harvey himself, it shows how little control he has of the dugout. It's the manager's job to protect his players from themselves, and if this was the case, he failed. Harvey never did get the complete game, as he was taken out with two outs in the ninth, proving again how wrong the decision was in the first place. Collins needs to be a better and smarter leader. So, it's no surprise Collins shows up in our Down list.