A pessimistic view on 2019

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.

6 comments for “A pessimistic view on 2019

  1. Pete from NJ
    September 28, 2019 at 9:11 am

    There’s reasons for pessimism but also optimism. Of course here’s the variables.

    But first the post from 9/2/15 by Dan Kolton. His take and the reader’s reviews were that Matt Harvey was superior compared with Jacob deGrom. Why do I say that? Because who knows.

    There so many variables for next year. Rebounds from some players(ie Cano, Familia, Diaz, Cespedes, Syndergaard. ect) add injuries, surprises(see Allonso)regression and some player transactions.

    We’ll be reading, writing talking about this stuff for the next six months.

  2. Mike W
    September 28, 2019 at 10:32 am

    I think we can sum it up with bullpen, defense and depth. All three hurt us this year. I think we may have to move some pieces and get a true center fielder. And no, not Dominic Smith.

  3. Chris F
    September 28, 2019 at 11:28 am

    Your article is not pessimistic, its realistic. Those events actually happened. Sometimes reality isnt great, that doesnt make us pessimistic. The Mets can win, we’ve seen that. What is hard is the endless Jeckyll and Hyde nature of the team. Extraordinary highs, extraordinary lows keep us all cheering and swearing simultaneously. In the end, its really just the average of all this that really identifies the team as basically middle of the road as assembled.

    In my personal opinion, I believe the team is unbalanced and until it realized the need to be competent across all aspects of the game, including defense, running, throwing and even bunting.

  4. TJ
    September 29, 2019 at 2:32 am

    I basically agree with Chris F. The 2019 season was a failure based on what happened combined with the objective. The GM said the Mets were as good or better that any team in the NL East. Reality proved otherwise, as they will finish over 10 games behind the division champs, were unable to quality for the wildcard, and were mid-league in for and runs against. That’s reality, like it or not.

    So, baseball is a team sport based on individual performances, and there were some incredible individual performances. Those were entertaining and a pleasure to watch, and to some degree made the season more enjoyable despite failing to make the post season.

    Overall, given the play and/or emergence of numerous players, I am more optimistic about the next season than I was at this time last year. There is more quality mass at the MLB level, which is good. Now, most every team that isn’t punting is in a similar situation more or less, so the off-season is absolutely critical given the lack of solutions at AAA for the varsity team’s shortcomings. The Brodie and Jeff show does not give me a warm and fuzzy feeling, but I certainly can hope they make the right choices and moves for 2020 without selling out 2021 and beyond.

  5. MattyMets
    September 29, 2019 at 10:39 am

    Between Cespedes and Lowrie we had $30 million of our payroll on the IL all year, and that doesn’t count how ever you factor Wright’s remaining salary.

    We have no idea what to expect of those two, or how exactly they’ll fit in with the 2020 lineup, but surely they’ll give us more than this year. They’ll essentially be replacing Lagares and Frazier so the bar is not set real high.

    • Mike W
      September 29, 2019 at 1:12 pm

      The good news is that they are the books after next season.

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