Mets fans, keep your chins up

It feels like the third or fourth year in a row I’ve written this piece. The Mets have hit a rough patch and fans are despondent. It’s a familiar refrain – the crushing disappointment of injuries, underperformance, losses, and clubhouse drama while the crosstown Yankees are tearing it up and some of our division rivals are starting to heat up. Say it with me, it’s a long season.

Yes, it could wind up like last year with mounting injuries and a big summer sell-off. Or, it could wind up like 2015 where the team plays well enough to warrant a few in-season acquisitions, everything falls into place in August and we make a playoff run. Since it’s still May and we’re over .500, the latter seems like a better outcome to hang our hats on.

We’ve been lousy lately, there’s no denying that. Thankfully, a hot early start has kept us from really falling out of the race early. We’re a little banged up and have a few guys fighting through slumps. It happens. We still have a great 1-2 rotation punch, a deep bullpen and a solid nucleus of bats, once a few more of them come around. And things are starting to look up. Thanks to some off days and rainouts, our bullpen is a little more rested. We have a new catcher who our pitchers seem to like throwing to, and, get this, he gets a hit every now and again. Michael Conforto, Amed Rosario, and Wilmer Flores are starting to hit. Juan Lagares is hot. Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler are both healthy at the same time. The Matt Harvey distraction is behind us. There’s even talk that David Wright may soon resume baseball activities. Imagine the boost of adrenaline even a few at bats from the captain would give this bunch?

Have faith. As Ron Darling always says, players eventually revert to what’s on the back of their baseball card. Jay Bruce and Yoenis Cespedes will combine for 60 or 70 home runs. And with an effective Conforto in front of them, this crew will get back to scoring runs. Jason Vargas has been effective for too long to be this bad. He’ll get it straightened out. Same goes for Jerry Blevins and AJ Ramos. With Mickey Callaway and Dave Eiland working with a reasonably healthy pitching staff at least one of Matz or Wheeler has to turn the corner.

A closer look at our division rivals shows cracks. The Braves and Phillies got hot, but they don’t have the depth or experience to sustain it yet. The Nationals, while more talented from top to bottom, are already fighting through lineup injuries which they can overcome, but inevitable rotation injuries will spell doom as they no longer have any depth of arms. And that brings us to the number one reason why the Mets will turn this around.

If Vargas doesn’t straighten out and/or Matz or Wheeler can’t turn the corner, we have two effective, proven guys ready to step in with Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman. With Anthony Swarzak coming back and plenty of reliever depth in AAA, the Mets will soon have the option and luxury to push one of them into the rotation.

By the end of June we’ll know where this team stands and if we “qualify” for trade deadline shopping. There’s a whole lot of baseball to be played between now and then, so keep rooting and don’t despair, at least not yet.

7 comments for “Mets fans, keep your chins up

  1. May 18, 2018 at 9:17 am

    Until you can show me that Thor can go beyond 5 innings I don’t think your argument holds much credibility in your 1-2 punch. All teams have holes and injuries. The Mets will win a few and lose a few. Too much depends on 3,4 and 5 becoming “pitchers” for the Mets. The Braves signed Jose Bautista to play third base. Talk about thinking outside the box! The Phillies are learning how to win and don’t let that Carlos Santana signing go under the radar. As you say and I agree there’s a lot of baseball left in this season so Lets go Mets!

    • May 18, 2018 at 12:06 pm

      Syndergaard has averaged around 6+ innings in his career, and even with his inefficient ways this year he has a fip under 3, and an excellent K rate and strike out to walk rate, he’ll be fine. The back of the rotation is the issue and I think putting Lugo in the rotation would help.

    • Name
      May 18, 2018 at 1:01 pm

      Noah has only gone more than 6 innings just once this year, but a lot of that has to do with the rat they call Mickey.

      He’s made 9 starts. 3 of them were less than 6 innings. 5 of them were exactly 6 innings. One was greater than 6 innings.

      Opening day. 6 IP. 85 pitches. Big lead. Ok i understand pulling him.
      4/4. 4IP. 92 pitches. Tied game. But he was PH…. why?
      4/9: In Miami 6 IP. 90 pitches. 3-2 lead, had given up runs in the last 2 innings. Pulling him was defensible.
      4/15 5.1 IP. 101 pitches. Hadn’t given up any runs. But was pulled in the middle of inning because he hit 100 pitches. Could have tried to finish the inning.
      4/20 6 IP. 103 pitches. Struggled most of the night. Pull made sense
      4/26 7.1 IP. 101 pitches. Same crap as on 4/15. It was a nice sunny warmish day game too so the weather excuse couldn’t be used here. Could have kept going
      5/1 6 IP. 91 pitches. Struggled in the 1st but scoreless last 5 innings. Pulled solely because Mickey wanted Blevins to face Freeman with the bases empty… No sense
      5/6 6 IP 95 pitches. Tie game. Pulled for the same reason as the start above. No sense
      5/15 5 IP. 103 pitches. Big lead, struggled with command all night.

      • Metsense
        May 18, 2018 at 4:32 pm

        Good summary of Noah’s pitching log. Noah is not the problem Callaway is.

  2. May 18, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    Thanks Name. I guess its just as much the managers fault for not allowing him to go further into games. But then does this mean we’re hoping for fresh ideas from our Cleveland prodigy?

  3. Mike Walczak
    May 18, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    Too old, too slow gents. Mets are 28th in runs scored. 3,4,5 are too erratic. Vargas could be out soon. May and injuries already. September will be the killer, when innings limits may be hit. Relying on the home run is not a good strategy, especially when you start hitting a lot fewer of them.

    But, as always, it is a long season. I would love to see a turn around, but lets see what happens. I like that Guillorme is getting a shot and that Nimmo is playing regularly.

    Again, I am an impatient fan. I will clamor too for Alonso to come up. San Diego just brought up Franmil Reyes, who wasn’t really on the radar, so why not Alonso.

    Sorry, but I would like to see a new GM, who is much more modern and aggressive. Maybe we could get Theo to do his magic for the Mets. Hey, we could all dream. That is what makes baseball so much fun, it is the what ifs and dreams.

    Maybe we should call this ramble on Fridays.

    • Name
      May 18, 2018 at 4:14 pm

      “Mets are 28th in runs scored”

      Since the Mets are tied for the fewest games played this year (so many off days early in the season), that’s a reason for their low raw total. Overall, they are actually 18th in runs/game (7th in the NL) but most of the came in April as during May they are 14th in the NL for runs/game

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