How the Mets can replicate the success of the last two National League pennant winners

More work must be done to ensure this.
New York Mets v Washington Nationals
New York Mets v Washington Nationals / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages
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The New York Mets are suddenly winning again and they are getting fans to invest time and money in the team again. Given that the Mets are in the slightest conversation for a Wild Card spot in the National League this year, this gives them reason to believe that anything can happen, no matter how improbable this season has been up to this point.

The last two National League champions, the Philadelphia Phillies in 2022, and the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2023, were the No. 6 seeds in the league playoffs, yet made unexpected trips to the World Series. So how can the Mets duplicate their runs in 2024? There must still be improvements, but the fixes are simple, yet with complicated solutions.

The Mets pitching staff must cut down on the walks.

The Mets have issued 3.9 walks per nine innings this year, which the highest in the National League this year. The walks have been a big issue and perhaps the reason why the Mets have made so many pitching changes this year, leading to a worn down bullpen that cost the team a lot of games in May.

When the walks are down, it means that pitchers are not afraid to challenge hitters by throwing strikes. And it also means that they can be more efficient in doing their job of getting outs. Carlos Mendoza can then manage his bullpen the way he wants to.

In the interim, there are two good pieces of good news. The Mets have issued fewer walks with Francisco Alvarez and Luis Torrens behind the plate than with Omar Narvaez and Tomas Nido. Alvarez's leadership behind the plate makes it easier for the pitchers to calm down and throw strikes under his guidance. Also, the Mets have every regular reliever healthy except for Brooks Raley, who had Tommy John surgery in May.

If the Mets want to get to the World Series, they will probably need to add multiple relievers that don't have control issues.

The 2022 Phillies and 2023 Diamondbacks issued 2.9 and 3.3 walks per nine frames, respectively, which are generally seen as good marks to have.