The Soft Spot of the Schedule – Calm Before the Storm?

Looking at the Mets schedule, something occurred to me: they’re smack in the middle of one of the softest sections of their season. Three games against the Pirates followed by four games with the lowly Padres — a seven-game span of less than mediocre opponents. What makes it all the more intriguing is that this stretch is “the calm before the storm” in that it comes right before perhaps the toughest section of their season — the next 8 series include facing the Phillies, Cardinals (for four), first-place Nationals, Yankees, Rays, Reds, first-place Orioles, and Yankees again. Whew!

Based on that collection of opponents, we’ll have a good idea of what kind of team these Mets really are by the end of June.

What do you think? Is it vital that the Mets take at least three from the Padres this weekend — both to build their confidence and also beef up their won-loss record as they head into that tough stretch? Or does it not make a difference? In contrast, what if the Mets lose three (or four) to San Diego — can we expect them to fare well against more talented opponents? Or am I making too much of this? Post your thoughts in the comments.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. joe bourgeois May 24, 2012 at 3:48 pm
    There’s too much flux right now, I think, for this to be an unusally meaningful series either way. Thole, Tejada, Bay, Young coming soon, for good or for ill. Ike probably going down. = holding pattern for the time being, imho.
    • jerseymet May 24, 2012 at 4:21 pm
      The Padres are ravaged by injuries. If we are good we have to beat the weak teams.
  2. jerseymet May 24, 2012 at 4:00 pm
    We have to pound the Padres. This is a bargin basement team. Thier payroll must make Scott Boras puke blood. Only 8 players on their 25 man roster make more than a million per season. The highest paid player is Chase Headley at 3.475 million. Hey didn’t Sandy use to work there?

    If we are a contender we have to sweep the Padres.

  3. DaMetsman in Washington State May 24, 2012 at 5:10 pm
    A look at these two lineups is not going to inspire all but die-hard Mets or Padres fans to attend or tune-in. Mets need some pop and need it fast. Baxter and Nieuwenhuis have been revelations, but not real power threats. Until Bay returns, why not platoon at 1B (Davis/Turner), LF (Baxter/Rottino) and RF (Nieuwenhuis/Hairston)? Lets see if Torres turns it around, otherwise, DFA is in order when Bay returns. When Tejada returns, Ike can get sent down. When Thole returns, it looks like Johnson is a better backup than Nickeas and an 8th arm in the pen. And wouldn’t the Mets be better off with a 1B platoon of Duda/Pascucci for a while if they want power?
    Wouldn’t Beltran in RF be nice?
    • jerseymet May 24, 2012 at 6:07 pm
      Beltron is gone but Pascucci is in Buffalo. I would love to see his bat in Flushing.
  4. Matt May 24, 2012 at 11:08 pm
    Why is Torres still on the team? They have a .292, great defensive, rookie center fielder. I don’t care if they need to save face on a trade.

    And why not take a chance on Jason Marquis? Are Jeremy Hefner and/or Chris Schwinder or Young any better or more risky options?