Seeing the New York Mets in second place isn’t something fans are accustomed to seeing. Well, it finally happened. The Atlanta Braves caught the Mets on a day when they shouldn’t have.
The Mets opened up a series against a very bad Miami Marlins team while the Braves had to travel to play against a strong American League wild card club, the Seattle Mariners. It should have been a win for the Mets and there was a good chance the Braves would lose. Instead, the reverse happened.
Why are the Mets in second place all of a sudden?
The Mets schedule still favors them but they need to start sweeping teams
The Mets aren’t at full strength right now and we’re seeing the results of it. Without Starling Marte in right field, it’s time for Tyler Naquin to take over. The Mets have poor outfield depth behind the starting three. Jeff McNeil is the best option but the club has even worse players behind him to take over at second base while Luis Guillorme has been out.
David Peterson has been good this year but had an off-night on Friday against the Marlins. Unfortunately, so did most of the offense. The Mets managed to score only three runs and that’s not going to be an effective strategy even when going up against what many consider the softest clubs in baseball.
A starting lineup with Naquin batting fifth and the struggling duo of Daniel Vogelbach and Darin Ruf batting seventh while going hitless again on Friday in two at-bats each is not going to work very often. It’s the depth of the Mets roster that has become a major issue. Vogelbach and Ruf are limited to DH duties or maybe first base—an unnecessary position for them to be able to play considering how often Pete Alonso does start.
Beyond them, we have minor leaguer Deven Marrero and pinch runner Terrance Gore. Three or four years ago, who would have thought that a Mets team in a pennant race would desperately need Guillorme back?
Something many of us liked about the Mets when they began the year was the variety of potential starting lineups. This isn’t an option anymore because of how much more individualized so many of those roles are. Struggles from Dominic Smith, J.D. Davis, and even Robinson Cano are to blame. But we can also point the finger at a ball club carrying two DHs and a pinch runner exclusive player.
Unfortunately, there’s not much else the Mets can do other than finally promote Mark Vientos and see if he can provide them with a spark. However, with him on the roster, it just gives them another DH. They have plenty of those.
By tomorrow, the Mets could be back in first place. This is a team that has continually won two out of three against each team they’ve played. A loss to open up their series against Miami isn’t cause for panic but we’re kidding ourselves if there’s no fear that this is beginning to become a habit.