In the space of five days, the New York Mets have gone from first place in the NL East to now having fallen under the .500 mark.
Tonight, the Mets lost 4-1 to the lowly Milwaukee Brewers for their seventh straight loss. They are now 36-37 on the season.
The Mets began the 2015 season winning 15 of their first 20 games. But since April 27th, the Mets have gone 21-32. Only the Philadelphia Phillies (18-36) and the Colorado Rockies (20-31) have worse records in the NL over that period. The Mets are only marginally better than the Brewers (23-30) and the Miami Marlins (22-31) over that period. Mind you both the Brewers and Marlins changed managers during this stretch.
So what is wrong with the Mets?
It isn’t the pitching. Their 3.60 ERA entering tonight’s action is 5th in the NL. The starting rotation of Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Bartolo Colon, Noah Syndegaard and Jon Niese is as good as any in MLB. Jeurys Familia has 19 saves out of the bullpen.
Their hitting, on the other hand, is atrocious. Entering tonight, the Mets and Brewers were tied for last in the NL with a team batting average of .238 and have scored the second fewest runs in the NL with only the Phillies scoring fewer runs. During the course of this seven game losing streak, the Mets have scored two or fewer runs six times. Mets pitching basically has to throw a shutout to win games. That’s just too much to ask.
The only saving grace for the Mets is that they are in the NL East. Although the Washington Nationals have won five games in a row, the Mets are still only 3 1/2 games out of first. If the Mets were in the NL Central, they’d be 12 games back of the St. Louis Cardinals. So at this time a week from now things could be reversed.
The Mets sorely miss David Wright who has played only 8 games all season. But having been diagnosed spinal stenosis, a congenital condition, Lord knows when he will be back. They also miss second baseman Daniel Murphy and catcher Travis d’Arnaud. Murphy just began a rehab assignment and is expected to return to the lineup this weekend, but d’Arnaud just went back on the disabled list with a sprained elbow.
If the Mets are going to contend for the rest of the season they need another bat, perhaps more. Of course, they no doubt miss Justin Turner who is now the everyday third baseman with the Dodgers and will likely make his first NL All-Star team next month. I doubt the Mets are ready to take on Troy Tulowitzki’s contract, but maybe they can handle someone like his Rockies teammate Justin Morneau. Other possibilities include Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez of the Brewers and Jay Bruce of the Reds.
Then again even if they do make a move there are no guarantees. I picked the Mets to win one of the NL Wild Card spots and I still think they can do it. But it’s also quite possible the Mets peaked too soon.
Notice to Readers: The American Spectator and Spectator World are marks used by independent publishing companies that are not affiliated in any way. If you are looking for The Spectator World please click on the following link: https://thespectator.com/world.