Playoff hopes for the New York Mets feel like they’re slipping away in May. However, in a division that has underperformed so far, some major changes could help them stay in the hunt.
The National League East was supposed to be better than this. The Atlanta Braves are the defending champions after a stellar 2018 campaign when they blew the rest of the division away. The Philadelphia Phillies added Bryce Harper and several other key pieces to the roster. Let’s also not forget the Washington Nationals and their decade of competitiveness. Much like the New York Mets, all teams in the National League East have underperformed.
The Braves and Phillies have had their moments, but neither is an all-time great squad. They have their weaknesses. While the Mets are in an early hole, nothing is near over yet.
Other than their recent beat down of the Mets, the Marlins are a carpet in the division. I also suspect the Nationals will fall out of the race rather quickly and have a fire sale midseason which will only make them an easier opponent after the trade deadline. It’s games against those two squads the Mets have to win. Unfortunately, they haven’t done so recently.
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It may feel like the Mets are buried already. This couldn’t be further from the truth. One hot streak and one cold one to the Braves and Phillies could put them in first place.
Now that I got my required optimism of the day out of the way, let’s be real: the Mets aren’t winning anything until they make major changes. Does this mean firing the manager? Does it require them to make a significant roster move? They don’t have many options with the latter choice. This likely means parting with Mickey Callaway if only to shake things up and get a new leader in place.
In early July of 2015, the Mets were at .500. It wasn’t until August when they said goodbye to this even record for good thanks largely to the culture change which took place by adding Yoenis Cespedes. Sure, Cespedes’ play sparked the team. Just ask Mike Trout if one player can carry a lineup.
The Mets played better as a team that year when he arrived for a multitude of reasons. I’m not saying this team can do the same. I don’t know if they’re capable of such a feat.
What we can agree on for sure is how much talent is wasted right now. Early in the season, we saw the best of this offense. We know they can score runs in bunches. Casual fans are aware of how utterly dominant this pitching staff can perform, too. They just haven’t put it together.
In each loss, it feels like the offense takes too long to heat up after the starting pitchers were a little too cold. They’ve lost more games they should have won than I can count. Rarely, does it feel like they’ve snuck away with a victory that didn’t belong to them.
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The MLB season is long. While no team has yet to be mathematically eliminated, many know their fate to end after 162 games. The Mets haven’t definitively answered how far they can go. If they want to go beyond 162, it’s going to require something different than what we’re seeing right now.