A few weeks ago in this very column, fans were looking at hope and optimism (this writer included). Now, that hope has dwindled as the Mets limped into the All-Star break
A few weeks ago, the Mets had just swept a very bad San Francisco Giants team and were going into a 12-game stretch where they would play division rivals Philadelphia, Miami and Washington and then three games against the Cardinals into the All-Star break.
At that time, just after the Giants sweep, the Mets were 34-41 and 11.5 games back of the Nationals, so this was make or break time for the Amazins’.
Fast forward to today and the Mets went 5-6 on the 12-game stretch, which included one rain out (probably thankfully to fans) with the Nationals.
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At 5-6, that leaves the Mets 39-47, and now 12 full games back of the Nationals, good for fourth place in the division.
Now that’s not a .500 record, but rather eight games below .500. But if you look at the numbers, it’s easy to see why the Mets won’t be any better than a .500 team this year — and that’s being hopeful.
Fielding? 8th best in the National League in fielding and ranked 19th in Major League Baseball.
Pitching? Ranked 14th (out of 15 teams) in the National League in pitching, 28th in Major League Baseball.
Hitting? 8th best in the National League in hitting and ranked 16th in Major League Baseball.
These are the easy stats, the known stats — but what has crippled the Mets this season is the “i” word: injuries.
The Mets have had 19 different players on the disabled list this season, according to Spotrac.com.
19 different players.
Please soak that stat in before reading further.
Even if they improve in pitching, improve in hitting, improve in fielding, and get players back from the DL after the All-Star break, a miracle run is needed.
For the optimistic fan, here is your bottom line scenario. The Mets have played 86 games, going 39-47 while the Nationals have played 88 games, going 52-36. In order for them to finish ahead of the Nationals, fans need to look at two hopes:
- Hope for the Nationals to play .500 baseball and go 37-37 in the second half.
- Hope for the Mets to play .666 baseball and go 51-25 in the second half.
That’s how bleak the chances are for the Mets, and how important those last 12 games were for the season. It was a chance to move in the division and move in the standings and the they have lost ground on both.
As the great Bill Parcels once said – you are what your record says you are. The Mets are a .500 team (sort of) and fans can’t hope for much different this season.
BITES OF THE APPLE …. Michael Conforto is the 58th different Mets players to be selected as an All Star game …. The Mets ranked 22nd in ESPN.com first half MLB Power Rankings … The Mets rank 14th in Major League Baseball home attendance this season, averaging 31,368 fans per game