The New York Mets came into the 2021 season with high expectations. Steve Cohen just bought the team. They traded for and extended Francisco Lindor. Supposedly fixed the catching issue by signing James McCann. They got guys like Carlos Carrasco, Taijuan Walker, and Marcus Stroman to fortify the rotation. On paper, this Mets team should have at least been a Wild Card team.
This did not happen and it is unacceptable.
After being in first place in the National League East from May to August, the Mets are on the brink of elimination as they have collapsed in the second half of the season. What’s really frustrating is it seems to be the same story every night. The pitching keeps the Mets in games while the hitters cannot come through with runners in scoring position.
The Mets are 27th in the majors in runs per game at just 3.96 ahead of only rebuilding teams. They are sixth in runs allowed per game at 4.09. This season I was expecting things to be the opposite. I thought the offense would be the bright spot with the pitching being this team’s downfall.
When looking at the lineup, pretty much everyone other than Pete Alonso and Jonathan Villar has either missed considerable time or disappointed at the plate. Guys like Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, and Dom Smith have had just terrible years offensively. James McCann has been so bad he was pinch-hit for with the game on the line in favor of the third-string catcher Patrick Mazeika.
Brandon Nimmo has been the Mets’ best and most consistent offensive player for much of the year but he has missed nearly half of the season. J.D. Davis has put up good numbers as well but he has missed even more time and doesn’t even have a spot in the starting lineup anymore.
Jonathan Villar is second on the Mets with 18 home runs, Kevin Pillar is fourth with 15. The Mets are tied for 24th in the MLB in home runs. When they don’t get hits with runners in scoring position or hit for power, it’s pretty much impossible to score runs.
This season has been so disappointing because the division was handed to the Mets on a silver platter.
The Marlins stunk after making the playoffs last year which was expected but not a foregone conclusion. The Nationals underperformed and then proceeded to trade everyone recognizable not named Juan Soto at the deadline.
The Phillies have been a .500 team pretty much the entire season due to their awful bullpen and team defense. They are not a very good team. The Braves have been without one of if not their best pitchers all year in Mike Soroka and lost their best player, Ronald Acuna Jr. for the season in early July. Despite that, they are sitting in first place in the National League East.
A big reason for that is what they did at the deadline. The Mets actually landed the biggest name in the division in Javier Baez and he has played very well for them. The Braves made more minor moves but they have paid dividends more than anyone would’ve expected.
The Braves landed Adam Duvall, Jorge Soler, Eddie Rosario, Joc Pederson, and Richard Rodriguez at the deadline. They traded little to nothing for some quality veteran power bats and a really solid reliever in Rodriguez. Moves like that lengthened their lineup and just made them a better and more formidable team. If the Mets had someone like Adam Duvall in the outfield while Nimmo was hurt I bet they would’ve scored more runs than they did playing Kevin Pillar every day.
The Mets did make some moves acquiring Rich Hill, Trevor Williams, and Javier Baez, but more had to be done, that’s pretty clear now.
On paper, even without doing more at the deadline, the Mets are clearly the most talented team in the division on paper, especially with all of the Braves injuries. Being unable to take advantage of that and give these fans what they deserve is extremely disappointing.
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This division really felt that it was the Mets to lose all season especially after the Braves lost Acuna Jr. The Mets just didn’t play well enough and couldn’t stay healthy enough to get the job done.