The Washington Nationals came into Flushing and swept the Mets in a three game series. As injuries and poor performances from key players continue, how much longer can the Mets go without making significant changes?
The New York Mets have lost four straight games. They are currently 1-5 in their nine game home stand and the division rival Atlanta Braves are due in on Tuesday. They lost eight of their last nine games.
At the moment, the team’s disabled list is deeper than its bench. Most importantly, Yoenis Cespedes has been sidelined since Thursday. On top of that, the Mets were badly beaten by the Washington Nationals; the team that most believe will be their chief rival in their quest to regain the National League Eastern Division title.
Following the series against the Philadelphia Phillies, these first three weeks of the season look like the same movie being played over and over: collectively slumping offense, mixed in with little to no run support for strong performances by the starting rotation and injuries that sweep through the clubhouse like the Bubonic Plague.
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Oh, and the constant menacing of a one-time-hero-turned arch villain: Daniel Murphy continues to destroy his former team. Last night, his first inning grand slam proved to be enough to shut the door on the Mets. In 2016, Murphy put up numbers that would have him confused with Ted Williams. It also gave fans miserable flashbacks of his 2015 postseason performance. Even with his month-long heroics, who would have seen this coming?
Now the Mets are reeling. The depth that Sandy Alderson accrued is wearing thin. If not for the surplus of starting pitching, the team’s record may be much worse. Questions are beginning to be raised: should Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith be called up? Should Jose Reyes be released? Should we trade Jay Bruce for bullpen help and let Michael Conforto play every day? In order for this sentiment to be eliminated, the Mets need to quickly turn this around and start winning.
I want to be the optimistic fan. I really do. On one hand, I keep hearing that it is only April 24th. The injured everyday players will be healthy soon and the offense will obviously find its way out of its funk. But, my Mets fan persona continues to view everything in a pessimistic fashion: this team relies too heavily on the home run and injuries will linger. Unfortunately, this train of thought is etched in our minds from years of experience.
On the bright side:
Michael Conforto continues to prove that he belongs out there every day. He went 3-4 yesterday with a home run and highlight reel catch in foul territory. He is giving the Mets something at the top of the order, something they have lacked all season long.
Zack Wheeler settled down tremendously following the grand slam he gave up in the first inning. He gave his team seven innings and kept the game close as the offense attempted to scratch their way back against Max Scherzer.
Ultimately, the Mets need to find their way and soon. I believe that that this team is too talented to continue playing like this. I say to let the injuries to Cespedes, Duda, and Flores subside and hopefully we can see this team run on all cylinders.