Posted by Mack Ade at 12:00 PM
The lack of Mets offense, coupled with shoddy field play, has let emotion get the best of me the last couple of days. Maybe the problem is I live in South Carolina and don't get as many chances to see this team play as I have so far this season.
Andy Carra, an old Mets writer who was my brother's best friend, told me once that you can't root for the team you write about. He said that the secret of being a great sports reporter was being objective. Adam Rubin told me the same thing years later as we stood together on one of the side fields in St. Lucie during spring training.
I agree with them, but the fact remains that you are writing about the team you love and it's been decades since they had a parade thrown for them.
We all have to remember all the members of the Mets 25-man squad that are now on the disabled list. Pitchers include Josh Edgin, Zack Wheeler, Dillon Gee, Rafael Montero, Vic Black, Jerry Blevins, and Bobby Parnell. Add jerko Jenrry Mejia to that list and that's eight pitchers!
Then there is 3B David Wright and C Travis d'Arnaud and the total rises to 10 of your top players.
Then there is team offense... 23rd in team batting average (.236)... 24th in on base percentage (.303)... and forget about it in slugging (28th, .352).
And what does all this add up to?
A first place team (at the time I am writing this) tied with the 6th best win-loss percentage in baseball (,588) and two loses ahead of their closest division rivals (Nats).
I don't know where this team is heading right now. They're 4-6 in their last 10 games even though it feels like they have played a lot worse than that. Obviously, the pitching has kept them competitive through this rough patch.
We know that the Nationals are going to play well enough to pass the Mets in the standings and there's very little we can do directly to prevent it from happening. They don't play them again until after the All-Star break and my guess is .500 ball until that mid-season break just might be a good target for our favorite team to try and achieve. By then, there should be some movement off the disabled list and the original day-to-day lineup might have a chance of getting back on the field.
My guess is, barring any future injuries, the current rotation (Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Bartolo Colon, Jonathan Niese, Noah Syndergaard) will continue to pitch during this time. I don't think there's a chance in hell that Dillon Gee comes back as a Mets rotation pitcher. Whether the Mets, the brass, or the Super-2 people like it or not, the race is on... now.
That means that Steven Matz is the next up, not Gee.
Trades... all emotion aside, I don't see any happening that's going to change who plays where this season. Sandy Alderson doesn't say much sometimes, but when he does talk, he usually stands by what he's saying, and what he has said lately is he's sticking with Wilmer Flores as the starting shortstop and hanging in there with Curtis Granderson and Michael Cuddyer as his starting corner outfielders. I can't say that John Mayberry or Kirk Nieuwenhuis have that kind of job protection, but, when it comes to the basic starting eight in the lineup, there will be no 'outsiders' joining this team, unless you consider the return of either Wright or d'Arnaud an 'outsider' move.
Regarding trading either Harvey, deGrom, Matz, or Syndergaard, it simply isn't going to happen. Yes, the Mets might not make the playoffs this year because of their lack of offense, but these four guys, and Zack Wheeler, are the future of this team for the rest of this decade.
Let's all try and hang in here.
Maybe Daniel Murphy will throw it a little harder to first base from now on. Maybe Flores' bat will continue to heat up and one of the corner outfielder could join him. And maybe both Dilson Herrera and Juan Lagares can get back in the starting lineup and produce the timely hits we became accustom to them producing.
Take a deep breath and let's get through May. Remember, as I write this, it's mid-May and 'we' still are a first place team.