What is going on with New York Mets? This is not the way this season was supposed to go.
Despite winning three straight series, six of their last nine games, and clawing within reach of .500, the Mets remain highly flammable, ready to ignite into flames at any moment.
Coming into the season hopes were high in Queens; the Mets were coming off back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time in club history, had managed to resign their most important free agent (slugger Yoenis Cespedes) to a record contract, and their pitching staff looked healthy and dominant.
And then the season started, and everything has been spiraling downward ever since. Cespedes has been in and out of the lineup all season with hamstring issues, and Jose Reyes and Curtis Granderson have seemingly forgotten how to hit a baseball.
While the Mets rightfully expected little to no production from team captain David Wright, they never envisioned their best offensive player would be the one they were trying so desperately to move all offseason, Jay Bruce.
The ironic thing of it all is that the lineup and its production—or lack thereof—-is the least of the Mets’ concerns. Their vaunted pitching staff, those young arms who dominated the National League all the way to the World Series back in 2015, and had been poised to once again carry the Mets to October glory, has imploded.
Jacob deGrom and Zack Wheeler, who is finally making this way back from Tommy John surgery almost two years ago, have been solid if not spectacular, but Matt Harvey has been disastrous both on and off the field.
With the ace of their ace’s, Noah Syndergaard, sidelined for the foreseeable future the last thing the Mets needed was to also lose All-Star closer Jeurys Familia too. With surgery to repair a blood clot in his shoulder, there is no way of knowing when—or if—Familia ever pitches again.
Are the Mets snakebitten? Anytime something goes right for the franchise, ten things go wrong.
After spending the years surrounding the millennium serving as a punching bag for the Braves, they finally managed to pull themselves off the floor, building what should have been a juggernaut dominating the National League East for years. They had star power, money to spend, and young superstars to build around.
Then Carlos Beltran looked at a called third strike, the Mets blew a seven and a half game lead with 17 to play, Bernie Maddoff happened—regardless of what the Mets say publicly, it obviously affected them financially—and six more years would pass before they even sniffed October baseball again.
History doesn’t have to repeat itself. The Mets don’t have to combust all over again. Matt Harvey could truly dedicate himself to baseball, actually show up at the ballpark and work on becoming the electrifying pitching he was on his way to be. The trio of Cespedes, Syndergaard, and Familia could all recover quickly, and return to a team that has managed to remain competitive enough to make some noise when it matters.
But who are we kidding? These are the Mets, after all. The beginning of the end has already happened, the day Matt Harvey couldn’t get the three most important outs of his career at Citifield against Kansas City.
At least this Mets’ core gave its fans a taste of a World Series before imploding. Another long rebuild looms off in the not-so-distant future, while across town the Bronx Bombers are proving to still be the kings of New York.