This season sucks.
There’s no way around it. When you take the lead late in the game you expect to win.
It doesn’t always work out. Every once in a while you give the lead back and lose the game.
Everyone fights on Twitter and Facebook. People yell on sports talk radio for a day and that’s the end of it.
When it happens a few times a week? In Atlanta? In Philadelphia?
That will suck the life out of you.
In the month of June, going into yesterday’s game, the Mets had allowed 19 unearned runs. (The Mets added to that total yesterday during their atrocious 8th inning.)
The Mets have lost 12 games this year when scoring 6 or more runs.
Last season when the Mets scored 6 or more runs their record was 55-4!
So what has gone wrong? What is going wrong? And how can it be fixed?
Hmm. Where to start.
Ah. The World Baseball Classic. Our electric closer lying in a heap on the field after suffering a injury during a team celebration.
That’s obviously going to take a toll on even the very best bullpen. The loss of Edwin Díaz has been brutal. Buck Showalter has made it ten times worse.
Every night seems like he is sending Ubaldo Jimenez to the mound so he can save Zack Britton. (Sorry Baltimore fans.)
Here’s a few examples. On Father’s Day, Buck sends David Robertson to pitch the eighth inning against the bottom of the Cardinals lineup. (You can make the argument that Robertson is our only reliable relief pitcher.)
Then he inserts Adam Ottavino to pitch the ninth inning against Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt. Anyone want to take a guess how that ended?
Yesterday. The game is slipping away in the eighth inning. Bases loaded. Batters are being hit. Batters are being walked. Mets cough up their three run lead.
David Robertson is seen warming up in the bullpen as the Mets attempt a ninth inning rally.
Buck’s explanation? He was saving David Robertson for the ninth inning.
Guess what? There wasn’t a ninth inning to pitch.
Again. Buck doesn’t have the ideal bullpen situation. Granted.
With that being said, Buck needs to be great or at least much better. You don’t have Edwin Díaz? That sucks. Don’t pitch to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. with a base open.
Eppler. You had an atrocious trade deadline last year. You traded how many players for Darin Ruf?
You traded a viable bullpen arm for Daniel Vogelbach.
It didn’t work out. Are you still trying to prove everyone wrong a year later?
Why is Daniel Vogelbach still the DH, let alone on the roster?
Why call up red hot prospects from the minors just to have them rot on the bench?
I don’t put too much stock into coaches in 2023. But is removing Eric Chavez from his position of hitting coach after the team had a terrific approach at the plate in 2022 having negative effects?
Buck got a lot of credit for his Mets winning 101 games in 2022. Does he deserve any criticism for his Mets looking completely flat and literally throwing games away this season?
At the end of the day, the players still have to play, though.
Who could you say has been great this year?
Brandon Nimmo. Maybe David Robertson? Pete Alonso is among the league leaders in home runs and RBI but he’s hitting .220.
I think Senga has been good with some flashes of greatness. I think Alvarez is great just because we don’t need to watch Nido anymore but there are some growing pains, for sure.
McNeil is lost. Marte is lost (although he seems to be getting hot.)
Canha gets hot for three games a month. Verlander and Scherzer have been disappointing when not injured or suspended.
It feels like a miracle if Carlos Carrasco, David Peterson or Trevor Megill get through the third inning.
Oh and our DH who can’t field, run or hit against lefties hits one home run a month.
But hear me out.
The Mets can make the playoffs.
I know. I know. Seriously. I believe the Mets can make the playoffs.
Let’s forget about the NL East. Let’s focus on one of the three Wildcard spots.
Who’s above us? The Mets are currently 8.5 games out. Not ideal. But humor me.
Who’s above us in the Wildcard standings?
The Marlins. Fun team but they will not be around in September.
The Phillies. We literally have to load the bases and hit their batters for them to beat us.
The Brewers(Who the Mets play tonight.) The Cubs. 🙄
The Mets need to get back to .500 and stay there and they will stumble into a wildcard spot.
And in my opinion? It won’t be hard.
Jose Quintana rehabbed in Brooklyn yesterday. Maybe we won’t need an SNY Amazin’ finish every time the fourth starter pitches going forward.(Fifth starter, though? That’s another story.)
Unless Jeff McNeil is good every other year he should be better going forward.
As stated above Marte seems to be getting hot. Lindor seems to always have a good second half.
Can you rely on all these players to hit to the back of their baseball cards? No. But you can’t expect them all to have simultaneous down years either.
Going into the year I thought that the Mets would go as far as Verlander and Scherzer would take them. I believe they will be much better going forward.
Wildcards are Baty and Alvarez. You will take the growing pains if you see the flashes of greatness. (Most fans will deal with the growing pains, I should say. Others have a vendetta against any player born after the year 2000.)
You hope that a left field combination of Canha and Pham in can produce for you. And then maybe we can get a DH who can hit at the deadline.
Deadline. A lot of fans will read that word and say the Mets should sell.
Hey, if they fall flat on their face the next two weeks… Why not?
Mets have the highest payroll. Mets are in fourth place. It’s true. It’s just a little lazy.
Our catcher is on a rookie deal. Our third baseman is on his rookie deal. Our first baseman is still on his rookie deal. Our second basemen is playing under a team friendly extension. You can debate whether they gave Nimmo too much but I think it’s deserved.
On offense, you have Lindor with the long term mega deal and Marte with a 4 year 78 million dollar deal. Again, maybe Marte was overpaid but that contract is not going to kill them.
Max Scherzer. Go back to two winters ago. Out of those free agent pitchers who is pitching well aside from Marcus Stroman and Kevin Gausman?
Seriously. Michael Wacha? I’m sure Mets fans would have loved that reunion.
Also, Max Scherzer was great last year until the last week of the season and his playoff start. Stroman is pitching well this year. He was not good last year. And there were a ton of fans who didn’t want Stroman back.
Justin Verlander. Again. The pitchers that were available last winter? Only Senga, (signed by the Mets) Chris Bassitt, Taijuan Walker are really pitching well. (Quintana, also signed by the Mets is on a rehab assignment.)
Let’s be real. The same talking heads who are yelling “Mets spend money! Mets bad!” would have absolutely lost their mind if the team brought back Bassitt and Walker to fill out their rotation.
Mets have made mistakes. But Steve Cohen inherited a team with no farm system. He also inherited a first baseman. A second baseman. A center fielder. Jacob deGrom. Edwin Díaz. That’s it.
Everyone has the answers, but what should Steve Cohen have done differently? He spent to fill in the holes.
The fan base would have revolted if he did a full rebuild after buying the team for billions of dollars.
Could the Mets have kept Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez? Sure. Lindor has ten more home runs than Gimenez this season in a down year. He also has twice the RBI.
Sure, Lindor is making a lot more money but what would you have done at shortstop?
Let’s think about the free agents a few years ago.
Carlos Correa? Trevor Story? Trea Turner isn’t playing too well, is he?
I just think it’s important to note when talking about the Mets’ largest investment, that Lindor was great last year when the team won 101 games and he’s easily been the best shortstop of everyone who has been available the last few years.
And please don’t say you would have kept Amed Rosario at short.
So, yeah. SELL! SELL! SELL!
Who? Mark Canha. David Robertson. Ok. Fair enough.
Some dopey talking heads are saying sell Justin Verlander. And then what? You’re likely eating upwards of fifty million dollars to replace him next year with who? Kyle Hendricks? Sean Manaea? Maybe Noah Syndergaard?
Mets have a lot of holes. A LOT. Do I think they are capable of making the playoffs? Yes.
Do I think they are a championship team as currently constructed? No.
But I would temper my expectations if you think that this roster can pull in a haul for anyone at the deadline. Unless you’re talking about Pete Alonso but that is a totally different conversation altogether!
I think the best course of action is to beat the Brewers tonight. Then we get back to .500 and grab a wildcard spot. Maybe make some noise and have fun in the playoffs. But most importantly we get back to respectability so Shohei Ohtani will come here next season.