The 2017 season has been quite the elevator ride for the Mets. After riding a five- game winning streak to a 7-3 record the team proceeded to lose the next three in a row and currently sit at 7-6. There have been many positive signs for this team so far, as well as some troubling ones.
This year the team is hitting with runners in scoring position. A major sore spot for the Mets the last couple of seasons was their heavy reliance on the long ball for run production. Last year the team scored 51 percent of their runs via the home run. This season they have hit their fair share of home runs but have also been coming through in clutch situations.
A couple of players who had rough seasons last year are off to hot starts. Michael Conforto has gotten off to a scalding start hitting .353 with 2 HR and 6 RBI in 17 at bats with 5 runs scored. Travis d’Arnaud has had a strong start to his season hitting .323 with 2 HR and 9 RBI. He has an OPS of 1.062 in 10 games so far, this season including catching all 16 innings of Thursday night’s game in which he had 4 hits including the go-ahead home run in the 16th.
Jay Bruce has also made Sandy Anderson look wise for holding onto him this offseason. The right fielder has started the season strong hitting .271 with 4 HR and 8 RBI. This has created a good problem with the Mets with the entire outfield outside of Curtis Granderson off to hot starts. Conforto has managed to keep a spot on the big- league roster and force the team into finding him more at-bats.
With the good news, there has been some bad as well. Fifth starter Robert Gsellman has gotten off to a rocky start going 0-1 with a 9.28 ERA in 10.2 innings pitched giving up 11 earned runs.
The bullpen has also gotten off to an uneven start, though a lot of the blame could be from overuse in the early part of the season. This coupled with closer Jeurys Familia’s suspension have led to some disappointing early season losses for the club. Fortunately, Familia’s suspension is over following Wednesday’s game and the team finally had an off day on Monday. This should help to alleviate the strain on the bullpen.
The Mets have also been fortunate that the Nationals have not gotten off to a hot start either. Their biggest division rivals currently sit at 7-5 tied with the Marlins for the division lead, a half a game ahead of the Mets. The Mets will face the Phillies in three home games this week before facing the Nats for the first time this season at home.
Though the Mets are not in as good of a position as they could have been they are still in an advantageous position to take control of the division with a strong week of play.