Don’t look away – the Mets are about to turn it around

After a 10-14 opening month filled with injuries and slumps, we thought things couldn’t get worse. Now 6-9 in May with new injuries, slumps and drama added to the mix, here we are, at 16-23. Fans and writers are talking about selling off in July, about a season going down the tubes. Relax, fellow Met fans. The season is young enough to turn it around, but it won’t be easy.

Mark June 12 on your calendar. That’s 21 games from now and when we’ll kick off a seven-game home stand against the Cubs and Nationals. If we keep on losing up until then, that could be the nail in the coffin. But it won’t be. The key is to play really well over the next 21 games. Sounds crazy? Stay with me.

The schedule is favorable. The next six are at home against the Angels and Padres, followed by a three-game series in Pittsburgh and then another seven at home against the Brewers and Pirates. Then we hit the road for two against the Rangers and three against the Braves. If we can manage to go 14-7, it would bring us back to .500. Suddenly, the season is not lost and we’re just a month away from a trade and/or the return of our ace pitcher.

Yoenis Cespedes is coming back. The offense has been pretty good without him. Inserting Cespedes into the lineup not only gives us a big threat in the middle and makes hitters around him better, but it forces Terry to not play the struggling Curtis Granderson every day. Remember how Cespedes’ return from injury sparked this team last summer? Travis d’Arnaud, Asdrubal Cabrera and even Brandon Nimmo will all be back in the next week or two so we might actually have a full-strength lineup for the first time all year – not counting David Wright, of course.

Steven Matz and Seth LugoBoth injured pitchers are working their way back to Queens. At first blush, it would seem Matz would join the rotation while Lugo helps stretch out the bullpen, but the smarter play might be to put them both in the rotation, replacing not just Tommy Millone, but also the struggling Robert Gsellman, who still has options and could use a little fine tuning in Las Vegas. Meanwhile, Zack Wheeler has looked better with each start, Matt Harvey showed signs of life in this week’s start, and Jacob deGrom seems like he’s thisclose to going from good to great again.

Is this writer optimistic? You bet. But it’s a long season and pessimism will get us nowhere.

 

10 comments for “Don’t look away – the Mets are about to turn it around

  1. alizarine
    May 19, 2017 at 9:22 am

    Totally agree. I was just saying this to a fellow Mets fan last night. If we can hold on until Matz and Lugo are back, I think we can really turn things around. We need to Matz to stay healthy until Syndergaard is back (fingers crossed he’s actually healthy the rest of the season) and then we’ll have a *hopefully* more rested bullpen. I don’t know why given what’s gone on…but I’m not down on this team.

    One caveat – the starters have got to start giving this team some innings. Since they’ve only managed to pitch roughly 5 innings a game so far, they should be in good shape to be pushed a bit further later in the season.

    Editor’s Note – Please do not capitalize words in your post, as that is a violation of our Comment Policy.

  2. BK
    May 19, 2017 at 10:08 am

    Completely agree. They’re not out of it yet, but the next 21 games will go a long way in dictating how their season will go.

  3. MattyMets
    May 19, 2017 at 10:45 am

    Another reason to watch the Mets this weekend is it will be fun to see Mike Trout and Albert Pujols at Citi Field. Trout is pretty much the unanimous best player in the game, a title Pujols carried a few years back. Pujols, while not the player he once was, is marching toward some really impressive career numbers (4 more HRs for 600) that make him a lock for the HOF. If he stays reasonably healthy, Pujols isn’t that far off from 3,000 hits (135 shy) and 2,000 RBI (151 shy). How many players are in the 3,000/2,000/600 club? Two – Hank Aaron and Alex Rodriguez.

  4. Jimmy P
    May 19, 2017 at 11:18 am

    Good post, and a realistic scenario. Likely? Not exactly. I don’t fixate on the timetable. The key is to get to .500. Six hot weeks gets you to the WC these days. Not betting on it — but hope is free. However, it’s time for this team to make a statement, show us who they are.

  5. Chris F
    May 19, 2017 at 11:51 am

    Can always count on you Matt to find a ray of sunshine in a hail storm!

    Signed, Mayor, Panic City

  6. holmer
    May 19, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    A breath of fresh air. Thank you.

  7. MattyMets
    May 19, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    Distance may make the heart grow fonder, but optimism makes the season last longer.

  8. May 19, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    Except that the Angels are playing fairly well right now (better than the Mets) and the Brewers are in first place. Also, with the exception of Cespedes, none of those players you’ve listed are all that good and none of them will be here until at least June1.

    The Mets will be lucky to be 6-6 in the games they play until then. They’d need to go 8-1 over the remaining stretch of games you’ve outlined to get back to .500.

    They still have a good core, but are in need of a transfusion from players currently not on the roster. Not happening this year.

  9. MattyMets
    May 19, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    Dan Capwell – for how many years have you been a Mets fan? Does the term “Ya Gotta Believe” mean nothing to you? Come on, man, stick with the orange and blue. What’s the worst that can happen? You’re so used to heartbreak that winning tastes that much sweeter. Sure, being a Yankee fan would have been easier, but do they get coaches in mustache disguises? Dildos in the locker room?
    This is the team of Tom Terrific, Dr. K, Thor, and the Lion King and the greatest bunch of fans in professional sports. You chose the path less traveled and it may be bumpier, but it’s so darn entertaining.

  10. Steve S.
    May 19, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    Mid-June (after Super-2 deadline) they’ll bring up Rosario.

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