With the halfway point near, let’s look back at the season for the Mets so far.
Well, it hasn’t been a beauty so far, that much is clear. The team is way too streaky, with the cold spells lasting a lot longer than the hot ones. If you break it down further, what’s killing them is that the streaks for different players don’t overlap. When one player gets hot, another player who was excelling suddenly turns cold. I guess it happens, but sometimes it’s just frustrating to watch.
Still, there are positive things and I tend to look at those first, because I consider myself to be an optimistic guy. Take Curtis Granderson, for example. He had a terrible start to the season, but being the professional who he is (at least that’s what you read all the time), he turned things around. After an abyssmal April in which he hit .136/.252/.216, he seems to have found his stroke. Since May 1st he’s bashing a robust .292/.412/.515 with 19 XBH (9 HR), 28 RBI and 35 BB in 51 games.
Take Ruben Tejada, The Riddler at shortstop. He had an even longer slump to start the season (.183/.299/.220 until 05/20) and the Mets made it clear to him that they won’t tolerate that any longer by bringing up Wilmer Flores. Since May 25th Tejada seems to have found it. He hitting to a tune of .305/.418/.415. Granted, most of his hits are singles, but he makes contact and puts the ball in play. He’s also been decent in the field, committing onyl 2 errors since 05/25.
While those things are an encouraging sign, the Mets haven’t gotten anything out of Chris Young. .209/.290/.364 with 7 HR is just too little. Heck, I can’t even find a stretch big enough to make this look more positive. The Mets have a lot of outfielders, the shouldn’t carry an automatic out like Young.
So, that’s the hitting. The pitching is good, right? It is in a way (Team ERA 3.59, Starters 3.75, Bullpen 3.29), but – and I can’t find any numbers to prove this (or I am just to lazy to look them up) – I can’t help but get the feeling that the pitching is keeping the Mets in close games in which they trail and then the offense can’t get going. Or the offense is thundering and the pitching can’t sustain the lead. I might be terribly wrong there.
What’s interesting though is that – while the Mets sit in last place of a wrecked NL East at 36-43 – their Pythagorean Win-Loss is at 40-39, which would catapult them into a 2nd place tie with the Marlins behind the Nationals. Their run differential is 0.0. Who would have thought. Well, they’ve lost a lot of close games. The reason? You might want to read the previous paragraph.
The NL East is up for grabs and somehow it’s a miracle that the Mets are only 5.5 games out of 1st place. And they’re last. If only they could string together a winning streak…