Series Preview: Philadelphia Phillies II

grandersonph

Curtis Granderson hit his first home run of the season in Cleveland and looks to keep the bat rolling in Philadelphia.

Headlines

Two outta three ain’t bad: Aside from another start that unraveled on Matt Harvey, the Mets took the series against the Indians in Cleveland. The bats came alive, tallying a total of 17 runs in the series.

Logan’s run: With Jacob deGrom still unavailable as he tends to his (improving!) son, Logan Verrett looks to continue his impressive run as a fill-in starter. You’d think he would’ve earned his Mets cap on his ESPN player page by now.

Travis d’Arnegative: Mets fans were able to breathe a sigh of relief as the MRI results showed no structural damage to Travis d’Arnaud’s elbow after being struck by a pitch this weekend. Kevin Plawecki will get a couple starts while d’Arnaud’s swelling comes down.

Know Your Own

Since we’re already on the second series with the Phillies, we instead turn to a blog that covers our intrepid Mets. Mets Daddy, who covers Mets happenings, as well as the challenges and rewards of raising a child as a Mets fan, kindly agreed to talk to us about the Phils, his son, and a little brewski.metsdaddy

It appears that a little Panic City™ has set in early with the sub-.500 record and offensive struggles the Mets are experiencing. Do you think there’s any merit to the worry, or are we just looking at small sample size?

Look, anytime you lose 4 of 6 to the Phillies and Marlins at home, there’s justifiable concern to worry. There’s a lot of strikeouts in this lineup. Collins is stacking lefties (yes, with his splits, Walker is effectively a lefty), and he’s hitting low OBP guys in front of high OBP guys.  Also, let’s be honest, Collins’ use of Henderson on Wednesday was alarming. He is back to his pattern of overusing certain players while keeping guys in his doghouse (Bastardo).

Of bigger concern is the Nationals have a similar easy start to the schedule, and taking advantage of it.

With all that said, it’s just a slow start. The Mets were not helped by all the off days. It’s hard to get in a rhythm. When all is said and done, this team is winning 90+ games and going to the postseason.

The Phillies starting pitching has been a strength so far (game 2 of the series features Vince Velasquez is coming off 9 Ks against the Mets and a stunning 16 Ks en route to a complete game shutout against the Padres). What do you think it’s going to take to get into the far less frightening bullpen?

I think everyone missed how good the Phillies pitching could be. Velasquez is proof of that. As it has always been, the best way to beat a good pitcher is to work the count and drive up his pitch count to get him out of the game and get into the bullpen. Fortunately, even with the Mets struggles, they have been working counts.
By the way, the Mets have some pretty good pitchers too that can out duel a Velasquez.
 

As your blog title would indicate, you have a Mets fan in training. We’re assuming you’re looking forward to some day games with the little one in 2016? What kind of experiences are you hoping to gain at the park?

With my son, all he needs is to go to the Fan Fest area to hit some home runs, high-five Mr. Met, and sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”  When I take him to the game, all I want is good weather, short lines, and well behaved fans. Yes, I’d love for the Mets to win, but that’s secondary to my son having fun at the game. I’m hoping that this year we get to do the Mr. Met Dash.
I’m sure that would be fun for him and you both! What’s your beer of choice at or in front of the game?

At home, I’ll have a Sam Adams Summer Ale, Blue Point Toasted Lager, or a Mythos. As it gets hotter and hotter, I typically want something lighter.

When I’m at the game, I rarely grab a beer because I drive to the game. When I do get a beer, it’s usually a Bud Lite. I honestly don’t go searching for the better beers, nor am I willing to wait on the lines for it.
Quick story.  One day I went to a Mets game with some of my friends. It was a rough night the night before, so we took the train to the game. As people will tell you, the best cure is the hair of the dog that bit ya. In any event, I signed up for the “Designated Driver of the Game” beer and train ticket in hand. Naturally, I was chosen as the winner. Karma got me back. The prize was a size medium vest which would never fit my XXL body.

Ha! Karmic justice indeed. Granted, having young ones might make this one tough, but do you have a favorite brewery or pub in the area?

Honestly, I haven’t ever drank anywhere near Citi Field. Growing up, we always drove so that pretty much eliminated that option. I still drive to games, and with my son, going out after a game is not an option.
With that said, I will say I do enjoy the Blue Point Brewery on Long Island. However, my favorite current brewery is Troegs, which is near Hershey, PA. I highly recommend the Troegenator, which coincidentally, I know is available in cans at Citizen’s Bank Park.
Thanks again to Mets Daddy for a welcome look into a fellow Mets fan’s opinions!

Standings & Probables

Nationals 9-2 .818
Phillies 6-7 .462
Mets 5-6 .455
Marlins 3-7 .300
Braves 3-9 .250

Monday, April 18 Noah Syndergaard (1-0, 0.69 ERA) vs. Jerad Eickhoff (1-1, 1.50 ERA)

Tuesday, April 19 Logan Verrett (0-0, 1.29 ERA) vs. Vince Velasquez (2-0, 0.00 ERA)

Wednesday, April 20 Bartolo Colon (1-1, 2.13 ERA) vs. Jeremy Hellickson (1-1, 4.30 ERA)

Beer From the Good Guys

In the spirit of doing a Q&A with a Mets blog, it’s only appropriate that we take a look at a New York beer this time around.

Shmaltz Brewing Co. He’brew Hop Manna IPA

The back of the label talks about manna in the context of the Old Testament (it is Shmaltz Brewing after all), which was said to combine the tastes of everything most delicious to each individual. With that kind of framing, it’s potentially difficult to live up to the billing. I’m happy to report – mission accomplished.

Pouring a hazy golden amber, the nose runs contrary to the labeling; there’s a marked green, wet-hopped kind of hop aroma to it, despite, in point of fact, being dry hopped with Centennial, Cascade, and Citra. The hops are forward, but mix well with the grain. Interestingly, on paper, the hop blend is not immediately indicative of beer this mellow, which points me to the malt. The beer itself is maltier than your usual IPA (which always earns points in my book), with wheat and caramel malts bringing it to solid medium body territory. The finish is clean, with light hops diminishing.hopmanna

Scouting Report (20-80 scale)

See: 60

Smell: 65

Taste: 70

Feel: 70

Overall: 70

Hop Manna is an excellent beer for curling up on the couch, relaxing, and watching the game. The texture, balance, and body are all executed quite well, providing a mellow, refined trip down the glass. Color me impressed. LGM!

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2 thoughts on “Series Preview: Philadelphia Phillies II

    • Ha! So true, David.

      You know, I’ve seen the He’Brew line for a couple years on the shelf but I never really gave it a fair shake because it felt kinda schticky to me. If Hop Manna is any indication, I was dead wrong, and clearly will have to grab a few more moving forward.

      Like

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