The Mets have had an up and down season so far and this past week was no exception. We saw the returns of Steven Matz, Seth Lugo, and Yoenis Cespedes, but we also saw a heartbreaking loss, a complete blowout and Matt Harvey’s campaign of mediocrity. While those bad things did happen, we need to focus on the good. So let’s get a few things out of the way.
First off, let’s all take a deep, deep breath.
Good. Now for a few inflammatory statements…
A FEW INFLAMMATORY STATEMENTS
1) Mr. Met deserved to be fired for making a lewd gesture in costume. That’s Disney 101. When you are in the suit, you are not yourself. That guy made a critical mistake, and he paid for it. I mean, that’s some day 1 stuff right there. However, the guy who took the video and posted it… come on, dude. COME ON. What’s the point? ESPN’s gonna give your twitter handle a shoutout? Was it worth it? Now, the guy who posted the video now refers to himself as “The Coward who got Mr. Met fired” in his Twitter bio, so he seems to have gotten the message. However, I think you can hear them call him a “motherf***ker” at the beginning of the video… so we’re all having a rough night.
2) If you are calling for Terry Collins to be fired, you’re an idiot. I mean that. Think about what Terry has been dealing with for a second. He’s got his starting pitchers in shambles, he’s dealing with a roster made of glass and he’s got a bullpen that refuses to hold a lead. It gets to a point where Terry’s moves are not the problem, it’s the players involved. Terry could flip a coin to decide who he brings in from the pen and it would still the be the same. So you want to bring in a new head coach and subject him to starting off the bat with those conditions? Are you kidding? Why?
You’re setting that guy up for failure. Why? Because you don’t want to see Terry Collins around for another 4 months? Pull your head out of the sand. The team is not living up to their hype, their potential or their abilities. Terry Collins has remained as advertised. Calm down.
3) Matt Harvey might be the arm to move to the bullpen. The guy has been rough going so far this season and with Gsellman, Lugo, and Matz pitching well, it makes little to no sense to keep Harvey in the rotation. I’m all for trying out a six-man, as long as it makes sense, but Harvey is the weak link in this bunch. Plain and simple. Now with the news of his tired arm coming to light, I would not be surprised if the Mets handle this situation with kid gloves and move Harvey to the bullpen once his arm is back to being game ready. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAND Now he’s out for several weeks.
4) Ray Ramirez is doing a super job. JK LOL LMFAO JK OMG KILL ME
And Now Back to the Main Event…
The season is not over. The season is not lost. However, the time to start winning was yesterday, so it is good to see the Mets trending upwards this past week. As it stands the Mets are 4 games under .500 with a 30-34 record. That places the Mets 10th in the National League and 21st throughout the majors. For the number of injuries, lack of quality play, and the collapse of the bullpen… I think that’s pretty good, you guys. Good in that it’s not too crazy to say there’s still a shot, but the Mets have a lot of ground to make up and it starts this weekend against Washington, who the Mets trail by 8.5 games.
Let’s be bold here and say that games 2 and 3 of the 4 game series are losses, I’m okay with that. Losing to Scherzer and Strasburg are fine, as long as you put up a good fight. That leaves us with a split of the series 2-2, worst case scenario. I like Gsellman against Gonzalez tonight and I LOVE deGrom against Joe Ross on Sunday. It’s not insane to think that the Mets will lose against Scherzer and Strasburg. Mets batters are hitting .185 against Scherzer in the 13 times he’s faced them, while the Mets hit Strasburg a touch better at .203. At Citi Field, the Mets are RAKING at .154 against Scherzer and .183 against Strasburg. These guys are good at pitching, and they are GREAT at pitching against the Mets.
The key for this weekend with be keeping Daniel Murphy and the Nationals offense in check. Murphy has been otherworldly at Citi Field since leaving for Washington in 2016. He’s no different this time around. However, Anthony Rendon and Ryan Zimmerman are literally on fire coming into the weekend. Zimmerman is having the best year of his career… No really, the guy is on pace to have career numbers across the board at age 32 and coming off his worst season ever. I’m going to slowly raise my right eyebrow quizzically. The Nationals have a very good offense but have seen some rough games in the recent future. The Mets will need to exploit that trend and score early and often.
The Mets have to limit the damage early and capitalize on opportunities when they arise. The past series is a great example of how this Mets team both rolls over when they’re beaten, but also how they fight back with vigor. Zack Wheeler gives up 8 runs in 1.2 IP and the Mets get stifled by Jon Lester. Here’s the secret: it’s totally fine that they lost that game. To expect this Mets team to pull out wins against elite pitching is futile. You can light a candle and pray for that, but you might as well just enjoy the game and acknowledge that watching good pitching awesome… It’s something I wish we could see more of.
But in all seriousness, the Mets starters need to lock down early against Washington. Pitchers for the Mets have given up 38% of their total runs in the first three innings, 17% coming in the first inning. That has to change. NOW. This is not a team to play from behind against. The Cubs weren’t messing around, and luckily we climbed back into Wednesday’s game, but this Nationals team will get ahead of your and suffocate you with a pillow.
Although it is awful to watch the parade of Mets to the DL, it has shown us that once everyone comes back we’ve got some solutions. Grandy has shown a little more life these past few games, as has Juan Lagares. In the last month, Lagares has hit .349. I like him leading off and I like him in Center because he’s got a gold glove and I like watching him use it. Grandy on the other hand, got off to a horrific start, as his numbers for the year lie just north of the Mendoza Line, at .215/.306/.405. HOWEVER, in the past week, Grandy has turned a corner, putting up a solid slash line of .400/.526/.867. Grandy is the band-aid we need, and once Yo and Conforto come back, he’s the first bat off the bench…. a $25 million dollar bat on the bench… Sweet Jesus.
All in all, everyone has to get healthy for this team to make a full run for October, but wouldn’t it be nice to have those guys return to a team with momentum. Instead of coming back struggle and turmoil, imagine adding Noah Syndergaard to a team on a hot streak, bringing Conforto back to a team firing on all cylinders. That’s a dangerous team to face. That’s a team on a mission.
Something I haven’t said on this blog yet is that in between jobs I went down to D.C. with my girlfriend. It was her uncle’s birthday and since he is a huge Nats fan, his wife got him a box and surprised him! A great birthday present! This was Sunday, April 30th. Noah Syndergaard vs. Joe Ross…. where the Mets lost 23-5. It was the worst feeling I’ve ever had at a baseball game. I wanted to throw up everywhere. My body went numb. I mean, here we are in a box, right behind home plate, Mets/Nats rivalry, the Mets winning the first 2 games coming off their abysmal losing streak and looking for a sweep.
The first home run off of Kevin Plawecki didn’t sting. It was bound to happen. A position player against Bryce Harper? I’ll take Harper every time. The Adam Lind home run?Completely different story. Nationals Park erupted. It was as if he had hit a go-ahead homer in the 9th. It was loud and boisterous. It was mayhem. It was also 22-5. Then Anthony Rendon goes yard. 23-5. The place goes nuts. I walk into the box and someone makes a “tough day” joke. I laughed and said, “at least we’ve made it out of the first round.” Absolute silence. I had touched a nerve.
Why do I bring this up? Because there’s something about that moment that tipped me off to the psyche of a Nationals fan. This is a team and a fanbase that is nervous, that needs so desperately to win and to prove that they can get out of the first round of the playoffs, that they’ll do anything. No one was used to winning like this, but everyone was living like it would stop tomorrow.
There’s no time for fear when you’re a Mets fan. We’ve all been there. We saw Beltran watch a 3-2 curveball. We saw Jeurys Familia give up every lead in the World Series. We saw Conor Gillaspie’s 3-run homer disappear into the bullpen. There are a thousand moments we’ve been through with this team. We’ve been to the darkness and we’re still here. When this team has their backs against the wall, they fight. This team is made of guts and grit, there’s no room for fear or worry. This team is as hard as nails and they’ll fight. I think we’ll see that fight all weekend. The time to begin winning was yesterday, and the rest of the season starts today.