I was excited coming into this season. Reality will always, to some degree, intrude. But it didn't for the first 31 games. The Mets were hitting a lot of homers, scoring close to 4.5 runs per game, and sitting pretty at 20-11.
Then reality set in...33-37 over the past 70 games, getting great pitching, but DREARY hitting. A mere 3.35 runs per game, leaving the team at 372 runs, 28th in baseball, a mere 3 ahead of San Diego and 21 ahead of Atlanta. Very close to the bottom. And 190 behind the Red Sox. It is what Met teams historically do - score in the bottom third of baseball teams. Offensive impotence is part of this team's genealogy. Root, root, root for the home team - while they sputter. And they sit squarely at the bottom in terms of batting average, at .238. Thirtieth out of 30.
Of course, the .238 is much, much higher than the team's batting average with runners in scoring position, which has not been dreary - it has been dreadful, including yesterday.
Yesterday was yet another day that Jake deGrom pitched his heart out and got shafted, not due to Familia - more on him later - but due to this ownership's inability to develop or acquire offensive talent - or, in the case of Murphy(.351/.391/.619), keep it when it is right under their collective noses.
Jake has won 29 of his 70 starts (41%), despite more than a strikeout per inning; a career 2.59 ERA; and the fact that he helps himself with the bat. This year, he has won 6 of 17 - 5 losses, 7 no-decisions - despite a 2.56 ERA. Why? The dreary hitting.
Solution? Spend money. Consider that we only got Cespedes back because he got cheap. The owners are cheap always, fingers firmly crossed...and we get dreary hitting - how bad would we be had we not lucked back into Cespedes? Historically bad.
Jeurys Familia has pitched in a ton of games this year and last - partly because every game is close because the team's offense is dreary. He's just plain tired. Worn out, perhaps. Mechanical Terry Collins' luck finally ran out there.
How would this team have looked if they were brilliant like the Yanks, got Chapman for a few low level prospects instead of Bastardo, spent a little more on Chapman, got rewarded with 105 MPH-induced fan delight, and then could have auctioned him off for a club's best prospect a few months later (as the Yanks just did), or kept him and had the best darned bullpen in Mets' history - one where Familia is tired, Chapman steps right in.
But the Mets did not pursue Chapman because of salary cost differential...forgetting that by getting an elite reliever like Chapman, their record would be better, they'd be more exciting, he'd help draw more fans, etc. How much in cash would it have cost for the Yanks to buy the guy they just got? $40 million? Seems like the YANKS understand true baseball economics.
So the Mets are dreary - because they are cheap - and actually stupid enough to think de Aza would be their quality starting CF before Cespedes miraculously dropped into their laps.
I've had it with cheap. I've had it with dreary. My brother? 100% agrees. How about you?