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NY Mets: 3 things that need to happen to make the playoffs

Aug 12, 2021; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets right fielder Michael Conforto (30) hits a double during the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 12, 2021; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets right fielder Michael Conforto (30) hits a double during the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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Aug 10, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets injured shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) works out on the field before a game against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The 2021 New York Mets season has not been one the fans, players, front office and brand new owner hoped for. Heading into the season, making the playoffs would have been meeting expectations, and anything less than that would have been a disappointment.

For a while, the Mets looked to be on the right track. After all, the team spent 90 straight days in first place despite suffering an incredible amount of injuries and the offense generally underperforming. Eventually, though, the Mets couldn’t keep pulling wins out of a hat, now, they’re on the outside looking in.

If the Mets want to fight their way back, if they want to fulfill expectations on the season, things need to change, and soon.

The Mets need Francisco Lindor back and playing like who he was in Cleveland

Lindor suffered a right oblique strain on July 16 and hasn’t played a game since. In his absence, the Mets are 13-19 through Aug. 19.

Yes, even when he was healthy, he wasn’t hitting. He wasn’t the worst in baseball — but he was statistically below average and far from the player he’s been in the past.

However, Lindor was the lifeblood of this Mets team. The impact he had outside of the batter’s box has been documented time and time again, from his stellar fielding to his leadership on the diamond.

In the first half of the season, the Mets were winning because of three main things: Pitching, defense and good vibes. I know how silly that sounds, but it’s true. It’s the reason the Mets didn’t want to make a trade that would move one of the guys on the major league roster because they didn’t want to upset what they viewed as special clubhouse chemistry.


Lindor, realistically, was a big part of all three of the ways the Mets would win games. His defense speaks for itself, as well as the chemistry component. As for the pitching, while he was obviously never on the bump himself, his leadership and calming influence on the pitchers — especially Edwin Díaz — can’t be understated.

With him gone, the Mets have suffered. They need him back.

At this point though, pitching, defense and good vibes won’t be enough. Now, the Mets are playing catchup. When Lindor comes back, they need him to find his swing in a way he hasn’t all season. He’s had bits and pieces of success at the plate, but if the Mets are going to make the playoffs, Lindor needs to be consistently good.

Best case scenario? Lindor comes back and leads this team to the playoffs much like Yoenis Céspedes did in 2015.

The Mets haven’t hit this season, and we’ll talk more about that later, but for now, the focus is on Lindor. When he comes back, hopefully soon, the Mets absolutely NEED him to play like the player they traded for and extended.

Who knows, if he does, maybe that will jumpstart the rest of the offense.

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