The Mets are only what they are – a good team that stands atop the NL East – but warding off challengers as their calling card must continue.
When you look at the Mets 2021 season to date, any authoritative analysis has to suggest – how the hell have they done this?
A roster depleted with injuries from key players, a group of replacements playing over their heads, no help from the Mets farm system, and still, here they are atop NL East Standings.
As the traditional second half of the season begins following the All-Star break, the Mets have key players Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, and Michael Conforto back, with others like J.D. Davis soon to follow.
With Acting GM Zack Scott and his backup, Sandy Alderson working the phones, help may or may not be on the way at or before the July 30 trade deadline.
The Mets Trademark For 2021 Has Been Set
But the trademark for the Mets 2021 season has been set, and the ability of whatever the 26 players suiting up for a game to supersede the odds is the same trait the Mets will need to carry with them into and through the second half.
Add a centerfielder or a proven major league starter at the deadline will help. However, it’s still the other players in the dugout, plus the even-handed guidance of Mets manager Luis Rojas, that will carry the Mets into the playoffs and possibly beyond.
Without the grandness and demonstrative displays of Houston Astros players like Jose Altuve, the Mets leave their celebrations to the privacy of their clubhouse, where their laser-powered dance routines remain within the team.
When you look at the current National League leaders, you will not find a Mets player in any category. That all changes, of course, when your attention switches to pitching stats and Jacob deGrom, but it serves well to remember he pitches every fifth day. And he is only 1/26 of the Mets team.
Barring the infusion of a game-changer like Max Scherzer, Joey Gallo, or any of several others to the Mets at the deadline, the team is likely to “look” pretty much like the team we saw before the All-Star break, and from now on at the trade deadline.
I see no problem with that because I believe the Mets have something else going for them, and it’s locked within a clubhouse mindset – that believes!
Did the Tampa Bay Rays, as an example, have any legitimate right to knock off the Yankees and Astros last year to make their way to a World Series appearance?
Hardly not, but they did it, and the Mets remind me of a team that can do precisely that this year.
Mets: Intangibles Set Them Apart
Intangibles, as much as players on the field, win.
No doubt, Pete Alonso will enter the Mets clubhouse as a well-deserved hero as he did after his first win the Home Run Derby, but again, Alonso is only one piece, albeit a huge one the Mets need to wrap this thing up.
By now, you may have guessed – I like this Mets team, and while any one of the three teams in the NL West may be better than they are (on paper), nothing can replace the grit and determination the Mets have shown in the first half.
Can it continue, of course, is the question that will unfold as the season moves on?
I can’t find a reason that says – why not?
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