The New York Mets have been dubbed the biggest story of 2015 by many sports writers, and rightfully so. This season, the Mets have gone from the best team in baseball, to one of the worst teams, and back to one of the best. The Mets’ recent success is mostly due to the additions made by General Manager Sandy Alderson in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline. During those weeks, the Mets acquired Juan Uribe, Kelly Johnson, Tyler Clippard, and Yoenis Cespedes. The team also acquired Sean O’Flattery last week, and they have used all of these players to help them take first place in the National League East from the Washington Nationals. To no surprise, the Nationals are not happy with the current situation, and some of the players have even spoken out about it. Neither the Mets nor the Nationals seem like they will end up running away with the division anytime soon, which leads to a very important question: do the Mets have what it takes to hold off the Nationals in the NL East?
If recent games are a sign of what is to come for the rest of the season, the Mets should not have a problem holding off the Nationals and claiming the division. However, that is not how baseball works. Both the Mets and the Nationals will go through streaks of good and bad pitching/offense, so it is important for the Mets to keep their heads held high for the rest of the season. Neither team will probably make any moves before rosters expand in September, so the division results will truly come down to the last few weeks. Assuming this is the case, the Mets should have an advantage over the Nationals, because they seem to have the better farm system.
The Mets and the Nationals have had their fair share of injuries thus far in 2015. The Mets will see the return of Steven Matz and David Wright in the next few weeks. Both of these players will give the Mets a huge boost, because they are vital parts of the organization. Matz has only made a few starts in his rookie season, but he truly impressed the world during that small sample size. When he returns, he will give the Mets a sixth man to add to the rotation, which will limit the number of innings the Mets’ starters pitch before entering the post season. As for Wright, he also has only played a few games this season, but just the overall idea of his return will help the mental factor of all the players in the organization. As the captain of the Mets, Wright will give an offensive and defensive boost to the ballclub, and should be a stable part of the Mets’ post season run.
There is no saying what is going to happen within these next number of weeks, but the Mets will most likely have a rough time holding off the Nationals. However, it is not impossible for the Mets to eliminate the Nationals from contention. The Mets will be getting a large boost from two of their biggest players coming off of the Disabled List, and the rest will just be a mental challenge. Terry Collins will have to make sure that his young squad stays in a positive mindset, which will not be easy…but he certainly is the man for the job.