It’s always hard to admit when you are wrong. It happens and this season it happened to me when I predicted that the New York Mets were going to win the NL East. After watching a three game sweep at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals at home I realized that the New York Mets straight up stink.
On April 1st the New York Mets signed superstar shortstop Francisco Lindor to a ten-year deal. The addition of Lindor to go along with Pete Alonso will be cornerstones of the offensive side of the ball. The Mets organization has shown that they will do anything to get to the top of the NL East. They continue to make moves to try and fill in their vacant spots by adding big names in the offseason. They opened the season as one of the hottest teams in baseball, taking control of the division up until the midway point of the season. New York went on a tailspin that they still have not gotten out of.
Teams have troubles on the road in every sport. The best teams usually can be a few games over .500 or at the very least at .500. If you want to compete for a playoff spot you have to be able to play on the road and the Mets are not able to do that. Currently they are 29-44 on the road this season. In retrospect of how that has affected them in the playoff hunt, they are 5.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves who are 7 games above .500 on the road. The difference has been the reason that they have fallen behind in the division and out of contention.
No replacements for Degrom
There is no way to replace the best pitcher in baseball. The goal of any team should be to improve the full pitching staff. You have to find a way to mask the loss rather than look for one person to step into the role. The Mets did their best, adding Rich Hill, Brad Hand and Trevor Williams to the pitching staff. Unfortunately the Mets rotation saw second half regression from pitchers that they thought they could depend on.
Tajuan Walker, Carlos Carrasco, and Tylor Megill were all supposed to be relied upon to help the Mets deal with the injury to their ace. They all were unable to fill the hole left by the best pitcher in the game and it ultimately caved in their chances at the playoffs.
Walker over his last 15 starts is 1-8 with an ERA over 6. Post All-Star break Walker has not won a single game.
Carlos Carrasco was the second piece picked up in the Lindor trade. Carrasco was not just a throw-in, in 2017 he led the league in wins and sports an impressive career ERA of just 3.82. When healthy Carrasco was a formidable piece to any rotation. The Met’s unfortunately did not get a healthy Carrasco, limited to just 10 starts in 2021, he has not been the pitcher of 2017 and 2018, currently he sports an unimpressive 5.82 ERA in just 44 innings.
Tylor Megill began his 2021 season looking like a diamond in the rough for the Mets. In July Megill was lights out, pitching 26 innings and giving up just 3 runs in his 5 starts. Since July Megill seemed to lose his control, sporting an ERA of 7.66 over his last 5 starts.
You can’t protect Alonso
The Mets have one of the most exciting players in baseball. Alonso has had a solid season hitting 33 dingers and knocking in 89 runs. The addition of Francisco Lindor was supposed to help be a table setter for the powerful Alonso, but injuries and inconsistencies at the plate hurt the entire Mets lineup. Lindor has not been the $300 million spark plug that the Mets were hoping they got.
Lindor has not been the only problem, an injury to Michael Conforto got him off to a slow start and lineup mainstays Jeff McNeil, Dominic Smith and JD Davis are all currently hitting well below their projected numbers. The Mets as a team are slugging just .325, which ranks in the bottom five of the entire league.
The Met’s did a great job in addressing this problem at the deadline by acquiring Javy Baez, despite my personal opinion of his abilities, Baez has put up more than solid numbers during his time with the organization. His slash line of .301/.381/.565 is outstanding but his acquisition was too late for an offense that needed that spark from the start of the season.