The New York Mets face a grim reality as they received news that pitcher Max Scherzer has a moderate to high grade oblique strain, and is expected to miss six to eight weeks. It is a tough blow for a team that has been winning games in a lot of different ways, and Scherzer’s status as one of the best pitchers in baseball proves that.
And that’s not all that the Mets are facing: 31 of their next 53 games leading into the All-Star break are on the road. And that includes matchups against tough opponents like the Giants, Dodgers, Padres, Angels, Astros, and Marlins. Yes, the Marlins are not an easy out this time.
But with a seven-game lead in the National League East, the Mets simply need to follow a blueprint of three requisite elements for success without Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer in their rotation.
1. The Mets need to trust the culture.
When was the last time Mets fans could legitimately say the team culture is great? That’s the genius of the Buck Showalter hire. Showalter’s blueprints on culture have been evident everywhere he has been, setting teams like the Yankees and Diamondbacks up for championship success the past quarter of a century.
And it is quite obvious the feel is different with this year’s squad, as many of their league-high 26 wins have come as a team. Lots of different players are contributing off the bench, like Luis Guillorme and Patrick Mazeika. And everyday players have improved from disappointing 2021 campaigns, like Jeff McNeil and Francisco Lindor.
Then you have relievers stepping up to contribute like Chasen Shreve and Colin Holderman, the latter with three scoreless innings in three scoreless outings. This goes alongside having Drew Smith and Edwin Diaz pitch in big spots. Speaking of Smith and Diaz, the Mets are 14-2 and 17-0, respectively, in games they pitch.
This team has an “it” factor that they never had under Mickey Callaway or Luis Rojas. The attention to detail has been outstanding, making the opposition earn 27 outs a night, staying heads up, fielding their positions with care, execute situational hitting.
The Mets will find sustained success as long as they believe in themselves and each other.