Monday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals was a great example of the good and the bad about the New York Mets. It’s mostly good. The starting pitching looks like a group of aces. The starting lineup looks solid, too.
But we did see those few weaknesses appear. Out of the DH spot, Robinson Cano went 0 for 4 and saw his batting average drop to .184 on the season. Tomas Nido caught for James McCann and struck out in all three of his at-bats. Cano and the catcher spot regardless of who they put in are two gaping holes in the lineup.
The Mets even saw Trevor May nearly spoil a gem by Max Scherzer which had already gone somewhat to waste because the Mets bats decided to show up in the ninth inning, finally. However, the strength of the Mets, a no-quit attitude, made the trip to St. Louis as well.
Strengths of the Mets are able to help the club overcome their weaknesses
Let’s talk about the strengths of the Mets, shall we? Aside from the broad and hard to define quality of “having a lot of heart,” the team does have a starting bat on the bench every day. You may argue against this if you don’t consider J.D. Davis or Dominic Smith a starter. I do.
The Mets roster isn’t built perfectly. However, they were able to wiggle through until the ninth inning and keep their best pieces on the bench and ready to make a late run.
Travis Jankowski pinch ran for Mark Canha and was able to come around and score. When it was Nido’s turn to hit, the club had Smith available to pinch-hit for the slumping right-handed catcher. Despite the presence of the DH in the National League, there is still a chance to play chess late in games this year. You just need to put the other team in check at the right time and not leave your best pieces exposed too soon.
The Mets wouldn’t have been in a position to win if not for Scherzer tossing seven dominant innings. Even a single run allowed could have changed the entire outlook of the game. Instead, the two clubs did what they did because they were all tied up late.
New York even took advantage of a bad night for star third baseman Nolan Arenado. He didn’t pick up a hit and made a crucial error in the ninth. Past Mets teams may have let him get and the Cardinals get away with it. The 2022 team feels different.