Well, if anything was proven this past weekend, it’s that the talent gap between the two New York teams is as wide as ever. While it’s been a fun year so far in Met land, it has become clear that they can’t quite compete with their neighbors to the north. If someone told you Johan Santana would be pummeled, but the rest of the starting pitching would be pretty good, you might take it. Not this weekend. Dillon Gee and Jonathon Niese acquitted themselves admirably during the siege, but all the other weaknesses were baldly exposed. The Yankees destroyed the Mets’ bullpen – such as it is – and the offense reverted to 2010 form, scoring just enough runs for the pitching to give them right back. The Mets were simply outclassed on the Yankee Stadium grass, with no bleating from me about the dimensions or Nick Swisher.

The Yankees are simply the better team right now. Their talent is established, their confidence is high, their performance is catching up to their reputations. It’s taken a little while to warm up this season, but with a few exceptions, the Yankees are playing up to the backs of their bubblegum cards. Hats off, much as it galls me to say it. The Mets simply cannot compete, talent-wise. Yes, they have some wonderful-looking players. Yes, they have all the exuberance you’d expect from a team this young. Yes, they fight until the last out – why Friday’s (6/8) game was 9-1 instead of 9-0. Yes, good times are visible on the horizon. They’re not here yet, though, and that horizon still appears a ways away. In the past, I would have taken this little fact as a referendum on my existence. I would have railed at cruel fate that the Mets will forever play Salieri to the Yankees’ Mozart. I would have fought against the tide and tried to insist the Mets are actually better than they’re being given credit for. I would have gotten into an ultimately pointless talent debate. No more.

Clear-eyed, I can safely say the Mets are pretty good. I can also safely say they’ll probably finish third in the NL East and just about crack .500. You know what? That’s not a crime. That’s where the Mets are in success cycle at present. Once NL play resumes, there’s a very good chance they’ll get back to at-least-eight-games-over-.500 status again. If that’s the tally come September 30 – and they’re ahead of Miami — the season will be a satisfying one. This year is not 1969, 1973, 1986 or 2006. It’s 1984 or 2005: the seeds have been sown, the growth is apparent, you can make a case that they’re “close.”

They’re just not “there.” Yet.

Follow me on Twitter @CharlieHangley

5 comments on “2012 Mets Not Quite “There” Yet

  • Chris

    Charlie, thats dead on. In various posts here at Mets360 Ive tried to say the same thing. And there is no shame at all in what we are seeing. This team is not in a playoff fight—something we wouldnt even wish to start talking about until labor day anyway (has anyone looked the schedule over?)–but is showing us exactly some of the bright spots for next year and the year after. That we are doing as well as we have, and that this success has reminded us what tasting the “sweetwater” is like, should be a celebration. This team is not the Twins, Pads, Cubs etc. Hell, this team is not the team that scraped the bottom of the table in Spring Training. I couldnt have been the only Mets fan dreading an opening series against the Braves? About the time of the first game, I sent a note to a dear friend and fellow Mets fan, outlining what success this would be for me. Playoff contention wasnt anywhere near it. But there are things this team can do to show progress, real progress, proud progress from the past couple. We’ve seen quite a few of those elements, and big surprises coming out of the minors that make me confident this team is going the right way. If we finished .500 and had a winning record at home and had a 20 game winner (RA), and a no-hitter, and accomplishments from the new guys and some spectacular wins, and winning half of the NL series we play, I’d call that a GREAT season. Good things are coming for the Metsies. Lets celebrate each of those elements individually under the realization, there is a solid collective in the near future.

  • Frank

    It really isn’t that bad for the mets as people are making out to be. Yes, of course the scrunity is increased when it is the subway series but this was just an instance of a really hot Yankees team which has almost everything going right now versus a pretty cold Mets team with a lot going wrong right now.
    It is also shows that the Mets couldn’t play up to the AL style of baseball(rather boring and dull in my opinion). The Rays series will be a better test as the rays play more of a NL style of baseball.

    Again, to summarize, people are making too big a deal out of this. It was simply a hot team playing a cold team.

  • Metsense

    I thought this team was better than last year’s version but I actually thought 75 wins was all that was attainable. The Mets have been riding their starting pitching because they have two aces this year but both Niese and Gee still pitch below league average. Both have an upside but the minors have the real upside. I envision the rotation to consist of 5 above average starters by 2014. If they have gone this far on their starting pitching then the future is bright. Today the Mets are two games out of a wildcard and I’m not ready to give up on this dream yet (but don’t do anything rash). Get some bullpen help, get Tejada back,cross our fingers and enjoy.

    • 7train

      To me success has been Johan, Dickey, Wright, Kirk, Parnell, Baxter, Beato, Edgin, Mejia, Wheeler, den Dekker, E. Ramirez, A. Rosario, Campbell, McHugh, Armando Rodriguez, Flores, Marte, Tovar, Forsythe?, Pena?, Kyle Allen, Bennett, Cuan, Hutchingson, Kolerak, Mazzoni, Leathersich, Maron?, Camerena, Chism, deGrom, Fulmer, Tapia, Montero, Pill, Taijeron, Vazquez, Verrett, and Walters.

      Very heavily weighted in performance by minor leaguers and the SS teams haven’t even started up yet and while some of these guys will go by the wayside, others will pick up their pace and it’s not totally about performance in the minors either but the fact that so many prospects in A- and A+ and a few above those levels are performing so well bodes very well for us. Lots of future Major Leaguers in our system and a lot more that are very close to being considered a success so far in 2012 and more on the way.

      Wouldn’t quite call it 1984 yet, feels more like 1982-83 but even having to wait another couple of years for a 90 win season is fine with me as this kind of buildup led to six of them as the original 90 win season wasn’t achieved at the expense of future teams.

      Rather take my lumps now if need be and experience a good long window of World Series caliber teams but if the Major League squad is fun to watch and competitive so much the better.

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