Mets: Sometimes, Being Wrong Can Feel So Right

Mets fans liking this team (USA Today)

The Mets shouldn’t have been buried so fast in this space, and Mets fans told me so. Encouraged to dig deeper, this is what I found…

Mets fans were not as much enraged by a story I wrote a day or so ago as they were perplexed at how easily I pronounced the Mets season DOA when six weeks remain the season.

It wasn’t the Lets Go Mets, LGFM, Ya Gotta Believe stuff that did come, as much as it was the thought process contained in many comments that caught my attention.

Thinking they may have a point, my head said I’d better go back and rethink myself.

But first, as the Mets fly home today to begin a homestand tomorrow, let’s take a look at the NL East Standing with this snapshot:

Now, let’s flip over to the National League Wild Card Standings:

Mets: A Look At The Challengers?

I’m still not ready to buy into the Mets winning the Division – not because the Mets are not capable of making a run (as we’ll see later) – but because the Atlanta Braves are the better team in the NL East, and they will continue to hammer that home the rest of the way.

However, what catches my eye in the NL Wild Card Standings is that it’s a race in flux.

Mets And The NL Wild Card Race
Mets And The NL Wild Card Race

There’s a new second-place finisher in the Cincinnati Reds, whose four-game win streak has replaced the year-long holder of that distinction, the San Diego Padres, who are fading fast and losers of eight of their last ten.

The only thing I remember from my high school Physics class is this – “A Body In Motion Will Tend To Stay In Motion,” which is why the Padres, who made no moves at the deadline to strengthen their rotation, will continue to fade, leaving an opening for another team (like the Mets) to jump in.

On the other hand, The Reds seriously challenge that theory, so they need to be looked at in another light: will the real Reds please stand up.

Losers of seven straight, the Reds found themselves in last place in the NL Central on April 26.

Since then, the Reds have had a five-game win streak and now four straight, interspersed with at least two more four-game losing streaks.

St. Louis and Philadelphia are both wild cards unto themselves. Much like the Reds, the Cardinal’s season has been dotted with ups and downs, and after Adam Wainwright, what is there?

Not so with the Phillies, though, as their solid rotation of Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola, Chase Anderson, and Zach Eflin will take them as far as they can go – if it’s enough.

Mets: So, Where Do They Fit In?

Now, I’m not going to get into one of those “which of the above teams has the hardest or easiest schedules” debates – because all that matters is the Mets schedule and what they do with the 38 games they’ll play to close out the season.

So, let’s take a look at the Mets remaining schedule.

  • It starts hard with three games against the unrelenting San Francisco Giants at Citi Field.
  • But after that, the Mets play no one but the Washington Nationals and Miami Marlins for 12 consecutive games that take them through September 9 on their schedule.
  • Because after that, it’s the Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals, Brewers, Phillies, with three games against the Marlins again before the Mets close out the season with three in Atlanta.

Mets: If They’re Going To Make a Run…

I’m trying my best not to be the naysayer, but that schedule tells me one thing, and it’s that if the Mets do not take advantage of those lesser teams in that 12-game span – with a minimum of going 9-3 – at that point the wall becomes almost insurmountable.

But before I close the curtain on the Mets again, I am struck by one thing that seems to be catchy.

The Mets, more than any team I follow or am aware of, are a reflection of their enthusiastic and loyal fans. It’s not high-school rah-rah stuff, but it is visible watching the Mets.

Mets Team Celebration (
Mets Team Celebration (

The team has zero internal issues, they have a manager in Luis Rojas the team follows and believes in, they have an owner who is as much a fan as an owner, and most importantly, the Mets have talent that is yet to be tapped.

As atrocious as the 3-47 mark they left on the West Coast with runners in scoring position is, the fact is they showed they are capable of reversing that in a win over the Dodgers yesterday.

If only it can be bottled because that’s the key to what happens with the rest of the Mets season.

They’ll continue to get decent enough pitching that will keep them in most games, but it will all be for naught if they can’t score more runs than the other team.

To wit, eyes remain focused on Michael Conforto, who is showing recent signs of life, Dominic Smith, Jeff McNeil, and most of all, Javier Baez, to do far more than they have.

Mets: It’s Doable But It Has To Happen Now

I did my homework, and in rethinking things through, these Mets indeed are still in this thing – that being the Wild Card race.

But in researching their upcoming and remaining schedule, it’s pretty much now or never for the Mets to make a run that makes some noise over the next two weeks.

As I’ve tried to show, their challengers all have issues of their own to deal with, but as I’ve also tried to show, none of it matters if the Mets do not take care of their business themselves…

Here’s What Readers Are Saying…

Paxton Schafer If they can go 6-1 to finish August they have a chance. Take 2 of 3 with the Giants and sweep Nats and win the first game against Marlins there is hope. if they go 4-3 or worse it’s over. Just not enough games to overcome a 7 game lead. Hopefully, the yanks put a whipping on the Braves!

Michael Gallo This is why I remain optimistic. It is their hands. .plus they can certain players back.

Steven Hirsch Steve Contursi That’s exactly what I was thinking, for the past week or so. The heck with the NL East title. The Braves are too good. However, as of now, the Dodgers have the NL 1st place wild card. It would take a miracle to overtake them. But the 2nd place wild card is still within reach. LFGM!!!

Justin Parish They have about a 0.0% chance to make the playoffs. Justin Added This later. Steve Contursi okay okay. More pointed. They blew the division at the deadline. The Braves who everyone said we’re done, completely rejuvenated their team and remade their entire outfield. The Mets added a dude who strikes out 225 times a year and a pitcher who’s old enough to play in rec softball for seniors. They knew deGrom was done and sat on their hands and did nothing. The manager is completely soft, and the team has taken on that personality. They lost this division while they were still in first not taking advantage of how poorly everyone played.

Excellent article on expectations for the Mets. I totally agree! I’ve been a Mets’ fan for 55 years. This is a mediocre team. Not terrible; not great! Many Mets’ fans expectations were that this team was going to win the division.
Woh! Hold on to your hat, Sparky. After the past 3 years of the Wilpons and Van Wagonen eviscerating the talent on this team as well as in it’s minor league system, fans expected this team to win the division in Uncle Stevie Cohen’s first year as owner?
How ridiculous!!. Cohen is shrewd and he is doing it the ”Right Way”! I.e., fortify your farm system, before you roll the dice on trading for or signing the player or players who will put you over the top. The core of the team is good. But again, it is not great! The Braves (sadly) possess a much better young core. Acuna, Swanson, Albies, Riley , Fried, Soroka, Ian Anderson, Ynoa plus vets such as Freeman, d’Arnaud, and Duvall/Soler provide a much better core than the Mets. The Braves also have other talented young players in the majors (e.g, Toussaint) and are on the horizon who is going to help this team in years to come.
In the meantime, Uncle Stevie will have a lot of difficult contract decisions to make over the winter. The Mets have young talent on the horizon as well, but still, need to build arms down on the farm.
While discussing arms, Miami probably has the most upside, talent-wise. So while the Braves dominate this division, Cohen is wisely biding his time in fortifying the franchise by adding and retaining young talent on the farm until the Mets are ready to compete (2023 at the soonest!)

Closing Published Comments And Final Thoughts

There’s no better way to close out comments than with the one just above from Lyle.

It’s funny how almost all of the naysayers stayed quiet today. Thanks to all for the read.

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Steve Contursi
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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.