The 2021 New York Mets season was a failure in so many ways. The Mets were expected to make the playoffs — and even spent 91 days in first place of the NL East.
Yet, the playoffs came, and once again, the Mets were just spectators watching on TV, just like you and me.
Not every reason can fit in this article, but here’s a small sample of 2021 reasons why the Mets failed in 2021.
92 — The number of innings pitched by Jacob deGrom
There is no pitcher in baseball better than deGrom. There is no player on the Mets better than deGrom. He is simply the best, no ifs ands or buts about it.
deGrom was in the midst of a historic year when he got hurt, putting up a 1.02 ERA and 0.554 WHIP in the first half of the season. The problem was, it was only the first half. He made just 15 starts, threw just 92 innings and didn’t step on the mound after the All-Star break. When he last pitched on July 7, the Mets had a 4.5 game lead in the NL East. A month later, they were one game back. Just a week after that, the Mets were in third place, and the season was realistically all but over.
The 2021 Mets went as deGrom went. When he went down, so did the Mets.
2 — The number of games started by Noah Syndergaard
Syndergaard was never expected to pitch a ton in 2021, but he was still expected to at least be somewhat of a contributor. Instead, he threw two total innings — that’s it.
It’s not his fault, he simply took longer to recover from his torn UCL than was expected. It happens, everyone recovers differently, and you can never really know how any person’s body will react.
Unfortunately for the Mets though, they needed Syndergaard badly. The team was ravaged by injuries (see above and below), particularly to the starting pitching. If Syndergaard was healthy, he could have been a huge part of this team. The Mets could have really, really used Thor. Unfortunately, it just didn’t work out that way.
19 — The number of different pitchers who started games
Ah yes, more injuries to the starting pitching. I’m sure everyone remembers the four games Jared Eickhoff started, but did you know he was just one of 19 different people to start games for the Mets in 2021?
Seven different people reached double-digit starts, with Marcus Stroman (33), Taijuan Walker (29) and Tylor Megill (18) leading the way. There were a halful of relievers who were used as openers, with Aaron Loup and Miguel Castro being the only primary bullpen arms to do so more than once.
Some other people who made starts for the Mets that you might have forgotten about Corey Oswalt, Jordan Yamamoto and Robert Stock, the last of whom has a really great Twitter page, highly recommend.
At the end of the day, the Mets had little to no consistency in the rotation. It’s hard to win with that.
421 — Combined days spent on the injured list from the opening day starting 9
Ok, this is the last part that has to do with injuries, I promise.
Of the nine players who started for the Mets on Opening Day — the eight fielders and the starting pitcher — they spent a combined 421 days on the IL, and not one of them had an injury-free season.
Here’s a reminder of the lineup the Mets trotted out on Opening Day, and how many days each of them spent on the IL: Pillar (14), Lindor (39), Conforto (38), Alonso (13), Davis (95), McCann (19), Nimmo (73), deGrom (94).
That’s not even counting every single other player who was hurt this year. It’s … not ideal, to say the least.