The Mets have been eulogized many times this season. But is this the real thing, or is the team just catching its breath to fight another day…
For the Mets, the week that only a few thought was possible a month ago turned into a disaster. The soaring heights reached when the team swept the Cleveland Indians evaporated with six straight losses to the Braves and Cubs at Citi Field.
Five full games separate the Mets from the Cubs in the National League Wild Card Standings (as play begins Friday, August 30). To paint the picture even more black, the Mets trail Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and now even the Arizona Diamondback before they reach the Cubs. The Mets have finished their meetings with the Cubs, so it means the team will need to rely on others to knock off the Chicago team before any ground can is gained.
Look closely at the table below, though…
Only three games separate the Mets and the Phillies in the all-important loss column. Remember, you can’t win the games you’ve already lost. For Chicago, they look to be in good standing now. But their remaining schedule has the Cubs playing Milwaukee six times and the first-place Cardinals seven times, including the final three games of their season.
Add to the kettle getting whiter the fact the Mets square off against the Phillies and Nationals in their next six, and the suddenly intrusive Diamondbacks follow those games for three at Citi Field. To close out the season, there is good fortune in store for the Mets. The Reds, Marlins, and Rockies are all on the Met’s schedule for September.
Three games against the Dodgers at Citi Field will present a challenge, but the three against the Braves likely will not. By that time, the Braves will be resting regulars and getting their pitching sequence in order.
Are The Mets Finished, Or Just Lying In Wait?
Take your pick, right? Schedules and home-field advantage (which the Mets have) mean nothing — only W’s count.
To reach 87 wins, which should be a good number to stay in contention until game 162, the Mets need to finish 20-9. That’s right, you see it too. That’s a streak similar to the one the team just came off. Do it once. You can do it again.
One thing about this version of the New York Mets is they don’t quit. Even in the Noah Syndergaard fiasco, the team came back to score seven runs.
The Mets will continue to feature their stellar rotation. The hitting has to catch up. No one can say it will, but the entrance of Brandon Nimmo and Jed Lowrie can provide a lift to struggling performers like Todd Frazier, who can still play a vital role as a pinch-hitter and defensive replacement.
There’s no help offensively at Triple-A Syracuse, so even with the call-ups, nothing should be expected there. But Jeff McNeil and Wilson Ramos, a hitting machine of late, show no signs of slowing down.
Pete Alonso is Pete Alonso, in spite of hitting .197 on the homestand. His energy and belief in his team spread far and wide. It’s truth or dares time for Michael Conforto, but he is giving every indication he’s ready for the challenge as well.
And just in case you missed it, there’s Jeff McNeil’s ringing “We love to play for him” endorsement of Mickey Callaway. Oh yeah, there two sides to every story, and if I had to pick one, I’d take the Player’s version of Callaway as a manager.
A prophet I am not. But I’m still tuned in because I believe these New York Mets have something left in them. Do it once, do it again.