In October of 2009, I attended one of the coldest baseball games in recent memory.
It was Game 3 of the NLDS between the Colorado Rockies and Philadelphia Phillies. I won't talk about how it ended because it makes me sad, but the temperature at the start of the game was 35 degrees. As the game -- all four hours and six minutes of it -- progressed, the temperature dropped into the mid-20s. The three people with whom I attended -- one of which was about three months pregnant -- had the worst time ever, but I wouldn't let them leave. The husband of the aforementioned pregnant woman became ill and would stay that way for two weeks. Think I cared? Nope. Why? Because baseball. That's why.
That is exactly how the New York Mets players must be feeling right now. After spending a weekend full of snow and temps in the high-20s in Minneapolis, David Wright and company probably just want to go home -- or at least spend the duration of their road trip in a hotel room. Instead, like the jerk that Mets' public relations guy Jay Horwitz is making them play in similar weather in Denver.
Why would a guy do something so mean? Well, just as was the case with me in October of 2009, Jay Horwitz has his own agenda. Mine was watching my favorite team play in the postseason for the last time ever because Cheapfartz/O'Dud (right, Denver sports media twits?). Horwitz's is getting hammered off of obscure beverages and buying historical structures. Now he's out there on the world wide web talking about triple-headers? What is this guy's deal?
Anyway, my three companions to that game eventually forgave me. I'm sure the 25 players on the Mets' roster will someday give Horwitz a pass, as well.
Speaking of those 25 players, some of them are off to a tremendous start for the National League's highest-scoring team. John Buck is at the top of that list, leading the NL in runs batted in while sitting in a tie for second with Dexter Fowler in home runs. We know what the 32-year-old backstop is and where he'll likely end up this season, so I won't spotlight him. Instead, there's a much more intriguing guy off to a hot start for New York.
#21 / Left Field / New York Mets
Feb 03, 1986
|2013 - Lucas Duda||.258||.452||.613|
Duda is coming off a rough 2012 in which he hit just .239/.329/.389. However, he posted a .292/.370/.482 line in 2011, indicating his skill at the MLB level is real. Duda is second in the NL in walks, trailing only the superhuman Joey Votto. Duda's batting average leaves a lot to be desired, but there's plenty of time to correct his .278 BABIP.
Fortunately for the Rockies, they'll miss Matt Harvey, who is taking the baseball world by storm with his 3-0, 0.82 ERA through three starts. Harvey has struck out 25 batters in 22 innings after punching out 70 in 59.1 frames last season.
Colorado will see Jonathan Niese and a bunch of other guys who have middle-of-the-road numbers and stuff. Niese at least has a solid groundball-to-flyball ratio; Dillon Gee, Jeremy Hefner and Aaron Laffey are flyball pitchers, which probably won't suit them well even if it's 20 degrees at Coors Field during each of their starts.
For more on the Mets, we bring in Steven Schreiber from SB Nation's New York Metropolitans baseball community Amazin' Avenue. Jeff Aberle answered a few questions for their series preview as well, so be sure to check that out.
Game 1: Monday, April 15 at 6:40 p.m. MT (ROOT Sports)
Dillon Gee (0-2, 7.71 ERA) vs. Juan Nicasio (1-0, 4.91 ERA)
Game 2: Tuesday, April 16 at 6:40 p.m. MT (ROOT Sports)
Aaron Laffey (0-0, 5.06) vs. Jeff Francis (1-1, 5.87)
Game 3: Wednesday, April 17 at 6:40 p.m. MT (ROOT Sports)
Jeremy Hefner (0-2, 6.00) vs. Jon Garland (1-0, 3.75)
Game 4: Thursday, April 18 at 1:10 p.m. MT (no TV)
Jonathan Niese (2-0, 3.57) vs. Jhoulys Chacin (2-0, 1.96)