Series Preview: Battle Of The Baseball Headed Mascots

Mr. Red versus Mr. Met, the epic battle of estranged baseball headed mascot cousins. Mr. Red was born a sleeve patch in 1955, and Mr. Met was born a scorecard illustration in 1963. Mr. Met appeared as a live action mascot in the 60s and Mr. Red appeared in the 70s. Mr. Met has been happily married to Mrs. Met since the 1960s. According to the Reds website, Mr. Red’s wife “Rosie Red” cheered the Reds to the 1939 National League pennant and then to the 1940 World Series championship. In other words, she’s even older than Mr. Red. I guess it took the wisdom of an older woman to see through Mr. Red’s ridiculous mustachioed outer shell and find the kind-hearted soul within. That being said, in the photo above Mr. Red is holding a gun and his eyes give the impression he’s on PCP or something. So he may have undocumented character flaws.

I would also like to note for the record that Mr. Met mysteriously disappeared from 1979-1994. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Wilpons bought their first stake in the Mets in 1980. The entire thing reeks of foul play, but the Wilpons refuse to comment on anything related to the Mets so it’s doubtful we’ll ever uncover the truth.

Pitching Matchups:

Game 1: Noah Syndergaard vs. Raisel Iglesias

Iglesias is a young pitcher with an odd delivery. The only person on our team that has faced him is Neil Walker. He’s been very effective so far this season going 1-1 in 4 starts with a 3.09 ERA.

Perfect Game Watch: Noah Syndergaard has been dubbed a video game create a player by David Wright. The Reds have a competent enough offense (they’ve scored more runs than the Mets), but at this point you never know how dominant Thor will be on any given night. Plus he beat the Reds twice last season.

Game 2: Bartolo Colon vs. Brandon Finnegan

Finnegan is another young starter. The Reds got him in the Johnny Cueto deal with Kansas City. He’s a lefthander so we may see Wilmer Flores at second base or first base in this game. Although with Walker’s success batting right-handed lately, maybe Terry will ignore career splits. Yoenis Cespedes, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Alejandro De Aza all faced him at some point when he was with KC. He has a 3.74 ERA in 4 starts this season.

Bartolo didn’t face the Reds last season, but he’s starting on my fantasy team this week so he better fire off a quality start. Other than Thor, Bartolo has been the Mets most consistent starter in 2016.

Game 3: Matt Harvey vs. Jon Moscot

Moscot (not to be confused with Mascot) is another young starter that we’ve never faced. If Matt Harvey is ever going to get his groove back, a home start against the Reds should help do the trick. He had two quality starts against the Reds last season. If a dose of the Reds doesn’t help lower Harvey’s ERA, he should consider Pilates as I’ve heard they’ve done wonders for Jake Arrieta during his inexplicable late career resurgence.

Thing To Look For:

Citi Field Power Outage: The Mets had an absolute power surge on this past road trip. Bombs all day every day. Back to back jacks, grand slams, fan interference reversed home runs and everything else under the sun. We are fifth in the league right now with 25 long balls. But now we head home where we haven’t had nearly as much success with the home run. We need to score somehow. If we aren’t going to score with the long ball then we better start bunching some hits together.

Red Pen: Scoring against the Reds shouldn’t be too much of a problem considering they are 28th in ERA overall at 5.58. The Reds have the second most innings pitched out of the pen so far in 2016 and their bullpen ERA is the worst at 6.26. Their pitching staff overall has been miserable. That being said, let’s get to their overworked pen.

Water In The Knee: Yoenis Cespedes said his banged up leg is feeling better. But the Mets doctors are going to take a look at his knee and conduct tests anyway. Once Ray Ramirez lays a finger on that knee it will most certainly swell up like a cantaloupe. Pray for Cespedes.

Murphometrics: So I think all Mets fans have been praising the middle infield defense of Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera this season. We are all amazed at how easily they make the routine plays and how effectively they turn double plays. When ground balls come their way, they hardly ever go under the glove or off their foot as we’ve grown accustomed to seeing. Anyway, look at what Mark Simon from ESPN tweeted over the weekend.

Wow! Walker and Cabrera still give us below average defense relative to the rest of the league. Honestly that tells you all you need to know about how bad Daniel Murphy and Wilmer Flores were in the field. Mets fans are rejoicing like a starving population being fed for the first time in months. And the truth is we have been defensively starved in the middle infield for years. Even if it’s not top quality defense, Mets fans were so famished for competency up the middle that we are shouting our praises from the rooftops despite being handed the equivalent of moldy bread. But moldy bread sure as hell beats the sawdust that Murph represented.

Phillips, Murphy; Tomato, Tomahto: Speaking of Murphy, wouldn’t it have been nice if Brandon Phillips waived his no trade clause and joined the Nationals so we wouldn’t have to hear the daily Neil Walker/Daniel Murphy comparisons? But Phillips refused to uproot his family for what could be the final years of his playing career. That’s just great. That being said, Phillips is killing it so far this season batting .297. So maybe it’s one of those pick your poison scenarios.

Lefty Sluggers: Joey Votto is off to a terrible start batting around .200. Jay Bruce is supposedly going on paternity leave and will miss some of these games. Hooray! Quite frankly I’m surprised he’s still on the team. How the rebuilding Reds haven’t dealt him yet is beyond me. I would say it’s a lock that he won’t be on the team when we face the Reds again in September.

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