By Joe Davis
As we come back from spring break to finish out the rest of the Spring 2015 semester, sports fans here in the city have a lot to be happy about.
The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs are underway and both the Rangers and Islanders are in. In baseball, the Mets are having one of their best starts in years—an eight game winning streak as of this writing. The Yankees are doing better than expected with Alex Rodriguez playing like he hasn’t lost a step. The NBA Playoffs are underway too and the Brooklyn Nets—well they’re trying really hard for an eighth seed.
The biggest story in New York sports right now is the Mets and the amazing start they are having to the 2015 season.
Many Mets fan felt that this would be a good year for the team but I don’t think most expected them to rocket right off the bat. The Mets currently stand 10 and 3 on the season. The Mets have started a season 10-3 only two other times: in 2006 and 1986. Only the Detroit Tigers have a better record at 10 and 2.
Usually April is a slow start for the Mets and they find themselves somewhere in the middle of the pack with the National League East, but this year something feels different. Ask any Mets fan and they will tell you this.
For years, the Mets mantra has always been “You Gotta Believe” and with this start it’s hard not to.
A few miles away in The Bronx, the Yankees currently sit in third place behind Boston and Baltimore in the American League East.
Currently, A-Rod is batting .316 with four home runs and 11 runs batted in to start the season. In an earlier article, I said if A-Rod batted somewhere around .280 with 20 HR’s and 80 RBI’s that would be a really amazing year, defying most people’s expectations. I might have to adjust those numbers.
He could very well be on his way to a 30 plus home run season and over 100 RBI’s. Considering most figured the Yankees would be doing a lot worse to start the season, .500 baseball is actually above expectations.
The most exciting thing has to be the Rangers and Islanders in the playoffs for the first time together in years. The Rangers had the best record in all of the NHL this past season and look to continue their winning ways against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Islanders are closing off their run in Nassau with actual wins.
I’m sure some Islander fans are a tad bitter that the team decides to start winning now that they are moving east to the good end of the island, but the odds are high right now for a potential Rangers/Islanders semi-finals that could produce some of the best hockey seen in this area in ages. Personally, I believe if that happens, we will see the Rangers win in seven games, but it would be an amazing seven games to watch.
If there were one downer to the good times, it’s the Brooklyn Nets.
Yes they pulled off a bit of a last-minute miracle by winning their way into the NBA Playoffs at the literal last moment thanks to a win and Indiana loss. However, being the eighth seed means they are up against the number one team in the east. The Atlanta Hawks.
The first game just happened and at first it appeared Atlanta would beat the Nets by possibly 20 points. The game ended up much closer with the Nets losing 99-92. No one is expecting any upsets in this series. Barring a monumental collapse on the part of Atlanta, if the Nets win one or even two games most would probably consider that a success for them considering they barely made it in to begin with.
This is a great time to be a fan of New York sports. The biggest ‘what if’ will be whether or not the Mets can continue their winning ways.
That eighth straight win came at a huge cost with injuries to two key Mets players. They lost relief pitcher Jerry Blevins to a fractured forearm after being hit by a comebacker to the mound and star catcher Travis d’Arnaud to a fractured right hand after he was hit by a pitch while at bat.
With a series against Atlanta coming up this week, that white-hot start might be in jeopardy since the Mets started 0 and 2 against the Braves in the first two games of the season. The Mets have been winning because of timely hitting and if they continue that trend things will look up for them despite this early setback.
Overall it is a great time to be excited for New York sports. Let’s hope the good times continue to roll.