The New York Mets continue to put together starting lineups on Sunday which take away their ability to win games. In the finale against the Chicago Cubs, it makes less sense than usual.
The New York Mets are known for many things. One of those fixable reputations they could fix is how poorly constructed their Sunday lineups are.
The finale on July 23rd against the Chicago Cubs already looks like one of those “punt” lineups. With Jacob deGrom on the mound against lefty Cole Hamels, the Mets are sitting Michael Conforto and Jeff McNeil. Instead of having the best outfield possible, the team will go with J.D. Davis in left field, Juan Lagares in center field, and Carlos Gomez in right field.
I understand the match-ups to favor the splits, but with Robinson Cano back in the lineup at second base, I have to question the logic. Why sit the lefties who are hitting well this year and allow one of the biggest slumpers to play?
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Though it’s not all on the offense, the Mets have once again performed poorly on Sundays this year. They are 3-9 in the first 12 weeks. Noah Syndergaard’s 2.84 ERA leads the starters. However, he also has more losses than anyone else with two. We can only pin one of them on the lineup.
This particular Sunday against the Cubs should be treated differently from most. Because Wrigley Field loves it traditional day games, this is the third in a row the Mets are playing. In which case, why not spread out the off-days a little better?
Furthermore, why keep the lefties out of the lineup entirely? If you have a deep outfield with a righty who matches up better, it’s understandable. The Mets don’t have this when Conforto and McNeil are on the bench. Lagares is having a career-worst season and Gomez isn’t far behind.
I’ve learned not to complain about a single lineup. When the Mets inserted J.D. Davis into the cleanup spot early on this year, I definitely objected. Then he went out and smashed a pair of home runs against the Washington Nationals.
These Sunday lineups are different. Even if the Mets manage to escape with a win and the series victory, they aren’t fielding the best lineup possible. It seems to happen every Sunday. This week, it’s at its most egregious.
You can’t argue with results. Though many teams will sit starters on Sunday, the Mets take it to a new level.
Up against the reigning National League Cy Young winner, the Cubs go into this game without any obvious lineup crimes. Kris Bryant and Javy Baez both hit right-handed and will take their spots in the lineup at number two and four respectively. In fact, the only non-regular they’re going to battle with today is backup catcher Victor Caratini.
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I hate to criticize the Mets for something so obvious. With an opportunity to snatch only their second road series win of the year, it’s incomprehensible how this team continues to put together the same weak lineup card.