New York Mets offense will need to power them into a playoff spot
By Tim Boyle
If the New York Mets want to make the 2020 postseason, the offense will need to carry them there.
The New York Mets offense might not have the consistency we want, but they have shown us over the last week how capable they are of putting up NFL scores on the board. They scored 14 runs against the Philadelphia Phillies and followed it up with 18 in their opener versus the Toronto Blue Jays.
All of these runs came in a game started by ace Jacob deGrom. The best pitcher in the league didn’t need all of this overdue help, but it was certainly appreciated.
As the team plays out the final two weeks of the season, it will be their bats that will ultimately determine whether or not they make their way into the playoffs. The pitching and defense will play a role. However, it’s their bats that will be the x-factor in determining their fate this year.
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The Mets have had one of the better offenses all year long with one exception—they haven’t hit well with runners in scoring position. This trend has been a thorn in their paw. The trend of stranding an excessive number of runners on base seems to have dissipated.
The reasons for this are pretty obvious. And no, the addition of Todd Frazier isn’t one of them.
Michael Conforto is now a serious MVP candidate. Homer fans that have consistently predicted this at the start of every season may finally have their payoff. He’s slugging home runs, driving in runs, and as an added bonus has added some spectacular defensive plays.
Dominic Smith has been equally as great. He’s another member of this roster right there with the rest of the MVP candidates. It seems like months ago when there was still no easy way to get him into the lineup every day. Now it’s impossible to find a legitimate excuse to sit him.
This isn’t just a two-man wrecking crew. Brandon Nimmo and Jeff McNeil have continued to do what they do best. Pete Alonso, despite having a down year, is still knocking home runs.
Then there’s Robinson Cano. Last year’s big hole in the lineup has found his younger self at the plate. Even though he has slowed down of late, Cano remains a capable hitter.
One change to the lineup that has paid off is the frequency Andres Gimenez has gotten starts over Amed Rosario. Gimenez’s speed at the bottom of the order plus his lack of rookie jitters has helped give the Mets an offensive boost at the shortstop position.
Outside of the catcher spot, the Mets are hitting up and down this order in some way or another. On any given night, you can also find Luis Guillorme and Jake Marisnick on the bench. Each has hit well in their limited opportunities this year. They provide the club with a nice safety net if anyone needs a day off or finds themselves injured.
I don’t expect the Mets starting staff to lift this team up and carry them to a playoff spot. Those struggling this year will probably continue to do so.
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The same can be said about the bullpen and their success and struggles. Games can be won and lost from the mound, yes. This year, with the bats alive and well at the moment, it will be the bats that determine whether or not we get some extra Mets baseball.