There’s no reason to sugar coat things. Right now, the Amazin’ Mets are more like an amazing mess. It’s true: Injuries galore, clubhouse drama, and a host of bad losses has led to a very underwhelming start for New York’s National League club. That said, it’s not even June and even though you wouldn’t know it from the mood of most Mets fans, there is still reason to say Ya Gotta Believe.
The bad news for the Mets is they have a disappointing record. Entering play Thursday night, the team is six games under .500. They sit in third place, a fat 8.5 games behind Washington in the NL East. The team is 6.5 out in the Wild Card race looking up at a host of others. For the Mets to make the postseason three straight years for the first time in franchise history, they’ll have to play catch up for sure. The Mets have an uphill climb. But, you only have to look to last season to see that turnarounds can be quick in pennant races nowadays. Two Wild Card spots allow a lot of room for error.
Many picked the Mets to not only make the playoffs in 2017, but to play in the World Series. The injury bug thus far has made other plans. The New York disabled list is currently nine deep. Big time contributors like Yoenis Cespedes, Noah Syndergaard, Jeurys Famila, Steven Matz, and Asdrubal Cabrera are on the shelf. Let that sink in. Two everyday starters including your best hitter, two starting pitchers including one of the most feared fire ballers in the game, and your closer are not available. All things considered, perhaps a mark of 19-25 isn’t too bad. The question is, how many of these integral parts will return? The bigger question may be, when?
If the Mets can hang around until at least Cespedes and Syndergaard come back, there’s no reason they can’t make a run. When you’re able to throw quality hurlers like Syndergarrd, Jacob de Grom, and Matt Harvey at the opposition on a regular basis, your chances for success are high. The key for the Mets may be keeping their heads above water, until the MASH unit is a little less mashed.
The one big mistake the Mets may be regretting may have happened well before the season began. Parting ways with lovable veteran Bartolo Colon is proving to be a tough move to overcome. While talented, the Mets young rotation has been a bit brittle. We all knew the big arms would spend at least some time battling injury this year. Mets skipper Terry Collins had the luxury of Colon’s versatility at his disposal the past several seasons. Colon was able to play the role of starting pitcher one through six, while also eating up innings as a long reliever when needed. Colon is now a member of the Atlanta Braves, thus forcing Collins to call up many a pitcher this season tin an attempt to patch the rotation together. So far, no one has assumed Colon’s valuable role.
If you listen to talk radio, the Mets are dead. In fact, the apple has been left for rotten since April. In the end, the naysayers may very well be right. Perhaps this is a lost season in Queens. Sometimes, the injuries are just too much. But remember, they’re only a handful of games out. We are not even through May. If you need precedent, you can look back to last season. in 2016, the Mets were under .500 (60-62) in late August. Instead of folding though, the team blitzed through the dog days and September, posting a lusty 27-13 mark to close out the season. The late run earned the team a Wild Card berth. If a team can come back in August, they certainly can overcome a tough two months.
So, Mets fans, hang in there. It’s been a tough start. But this team is experienced and knows what it takes. If ownership allows the roster to heal and acts as buyers not sellers in the second half, there could still be a packed 7 Line come October. Let’s at least get to the All-Star break before focusing on the Jets and Giants. Yogi Berra, the man who piloted the Mets to a pennant in 1973, famously quipped “It ain’t over till it’s over.” If you believe that, then it certainly ain’t over in May…not with this bunch.