Just smile. The New York Mets got this.
It’s the message Pete Alonso gave to the fans last Sunday just as everything appeared to be peeling apart. I appreciate the positive spin. Saying “we stink” isn’t going to help the club at all.
While it does feel like the Mets only recently fell on black days, and I don’t just mean the jerseys on Friday night, the truth is, they’ve been looking Minnesota and feeling California all year long. There’s no feeling outshined despite some regular poor play. Confidence is abundant with this club.
If you’re a little lost right now, you might want to listen to some Soundgarden before you continue.
The 2021 Mets have never been Ultramega OK
How did the Mets get to where they are right now? No longer comfortable in first place, only occasionally glaring over their shoulders, the problem isn’t so much that they’ve changed drastically as much as it is they lost the excellence from the first few months of the year.
Scoring runs is the main problem facing this club right now. An issue all season-long, the problem with the lack of runs is that it isn’t complemented by All-Star pitching.
The trio of Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman, and Taijuan Walker held this club together early on. Add in a bullpen performing well above-average and there was little need to outslug the opponent. Instead, the Amazins found a way to win tight games with few runs and clutch hits.
The Superunknown of the final months can change the ending of this story
The great superunknown for the Mets isn’t much different this year than many others. How many of their injured players are able to return on time to help get them into the postseason?
Losing deGrom was a blow to the team, but not the end of the season. A starting pitcher shouldn’t have this much sway in how a team performs. He can only contribute once every fifth day.
The larger injury that seems to have pointed the season in a different direction is the loss of Francisco Lindor. When he went down in July, I think we all felt like this club could get through it. Lindor wasn’t hitting amazingly well. Of course, they could survive without him.
This has not been the case. Even after adding Javier Baez to the roster, the Mets have looked more lost than ever. He, too, is now on the IL.
Sweeping the Washington Nationals helped but they were a depleted team post-trade deadline selloff. Winning three out of three at home was a must if the Mets have any shot at the postseason.
As much as the drop in performance from the starting pitchers has made it tougher to win games due to a lack of offense, some of the roster’s best hitters have also sunken. It’s difficult to find a single batter on this team exceeding or even meeting expectations.
On the contrary, there is an abundance of men who are underperforming.
Through it all, the Mets have felt positive about where they’re at. They got this. They’re full-blown feeling California.
In actuality, they’ve been in a dangerous spot all year long. Never able to take a large enough lead in the National League East with an array of poor performers on the team, they’ve been looking Minnesota since almost the start.
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I won’t look down on the upside but rather up on the downside. The Mets remain right in the thick of a tight three-team race for the National League East. I fully expect the lead atop the division to change hands several times before it’s all said and done. Maybe by the end they’ll look exactly how they’ve been feeling.