The New York Mets have not always been known as an opportune franchise. The 2019 season is no exception, as they will miss the post season for the third consecutive season. Although they will finish above .500 for the first time in that three-year span, it is difficult to see a silver lining in the season. Call me a pessimist but finishing above .500 is not an accomplishment unless it also means that you make the postseason as a result. Sure, it looks nicer in the history books, but that’s about all that it is good for. This result is especially frustrating, considering some of the performances they received this season.
It goes without saying that, as usual, Jacob deGrom was spectacular on the mound. Coming off of a Cy Young season and a lucrative contract extension, deGrom again put in a spectacular season for a team that has given him two trips to the postseason in his six years with the team. The consensus across the league is that deGrom has a great chance to win his second straight Cy Young, and he would become the first Met ever to do so. His last start against the Marlins, seven innings with only two hits allowed, only helps his case. Of his 64 starts over those two seasons though, deGrom has only won 21 games. This is due to the Mets giving him hardly any run support. It is hard not to be worried that deGrom is wasting his best seasons of teams that miss the playoffs. He is 31, and the strong run of pitching that he’s been on could end at any time.
Not only have they wasted historic pitching performances, but the Mets also let two fantastic offensive seasons go to waste as well. Jeff McNeil was on top of the NL batting average list for a long stretch of the season. Although his season ended with a hand fracture, McNeil still finished with sparkling numbers. A .318 average with 23 home runs and 75 RBIs from mostly the leadoff spot, McNeil showed that he absolutely belongs on the roster. It will be interesting to see how he fits in with both Robinson Cano and Jed Lowrie next season, but the fact of the matter is that he has to be in the lineup.
The most exciting player this season, Pete Alonso, is close to history. Friday night he tied Aaron Judge’s rookie record for home runs in a season with 52. Barring a power outburst from Eugenio Suarez, Alonso should wear the crown as home run king for the season. That feat should garner him Rookie of the Year, a feat that was done by his teammate deGrom in 2014. This is remarkable for Alonso, and for the team, considering Alonso had to fight for the starting spot during Spring Training.
So, if you’re keeping track, there were three fantastic individual performances this season, and they should not be overlooked because the Mets missed the playoffs. That is without mentioning the emergence of J.D. Davis, or the strong ending to the season for Marcus Stroman. It is still hard to call the season a success however, considering how many great contributions the team received and they still missed the playoffs. The saying always says that “There’s always next year,” but it is going to be difficult to expect the same type of performance from the aforementioned players.