MAKE A STATEMENT

28 Apr

What is more impressive than a 9-1  home stand against the Cubs, Braves and Dodgers?

Beat up the Phillies in Philadelphia this weekend, that’s what.

Unless you’ve lived under a rock for the past three years, you know the history between these two teams. The Phillies have won the division for three straight years, winning the pennant for the last two and winning it all in 2008. Philadelphia has talked the talk, often at the Mets expense. But they also walked the walk, dominating the Mets and the National League.

Throw in the rivalry between these two fan bases and these two cities and you get a fun baseball weekend.

Entering 2010, Philadelphia acquired Roy Halladay who quickly challenged Johan Santana as the best pitcher in the division. When questioned about who was best, Santana said he was without a blink of the eye.

The Mets find themselves ahead of the Phillies entering Friday’s series opener, and although it is only a weekend in April, this is the time to make a statement.

The most pessimistic of Mets fans will look at this past home stand and see the mistakes of the opposition. Any questions about this team can be put to rest if the Mets can take two.

New York will throw Niese, Pelfrey and Santana. Philadelphia will match these arms with Kendricks, Halladay and Moyer.

Mets fans could hope for one and get out of there. But after this home stand, why not go for two? Why not expect three?

This is a weekend for the Mets to push the big brother back, telling the heavily favored Phillies that this year is different.

While we have heard enough about the Mets problems, the Phillies have their own long list of questions.

They have faced their share of injuries. J.C. Romero and Brad Lidge just returned from injuries and Jimmy Rollins is out for at least a few more weeks. J.A. Haap and Joe Blanton are also injured starters in the rotation.

Philadelphia has Halladay in their rotation, but after the ace comes a great deal of questions.

It is only a matter of time before Moyer turns into the Tom Glavine.  Cole Hamels isn’t Oliver Perez, but he cannot be counted on as their number two. He has the potential to put Philadelphia over the top, but so far this season, he has struggled.

The line-up is excellent, one of the best in the game. They will challenge the Mets this weekend, especially in their home sandbox. The pitchers will find this park to be very different from the spacious Citi Field in Queens.

This series is only a weekend in April. Yet it carries greater weight because of the history, the Mets good play and that this is the first meeting of the year between these two rivals.

Instead of hoping to get just one, this Mets team and their tentative fans should hope for a weekend where the team plays well and fights back. It is an opportunity to send a message to not only the Phils, but to the entire league.

Beat the best and this season can really  get interesting.

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