Opinion: The tale of two seasons

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

I want to believe. I do. But, Sunday’s loss to the Padres was a microcosm of this season so far, and until these guys reach .500 it’s going to remain difficult for me to totally buy in to any talk of a playoff race, despite how wide open the division and wild card may seem.

The Mets hit the All-Star break having won 8 of 10 at home, then rallied from behind to win a fun game Friday night to kick of a three-game road series against the Padres, who are the worst hitting team in the big leagues. And, of course, just as I started to let myself think, “OK, maybe the start of this second half will be different, maybe this time they’ll come out rocking and keep up momentum,’ they drop two in a row to lose the series…


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In the series finale, the Mets trailed all day — without a hit — until tying it up on the eighth inning. I’m thinking, again, there’s a chance, maybe I was right, maybe this time will be different, maybe these guys can make a run at this game, this division, this playoff race, then – bam - errors, runs and a loss. Back to reality, which is this: As the Mets begin seven road games through Seattle and Milwaukee, they are six games below .500, nine losses behind the Nationals (for the division) and seven losses behind the Dodgers (for the wild card) and there are just 64 games left to play. It’s an uphill fight with a young team that has not been over .500 in months…


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That said, because the starting rotation looks so good, because Travis d’Arnaud and Lucas Duda no longer look like busts, because Curtis Granderson has shaken off his rough start, because Jenrry Mejia and Jeurys Familia look like a terrific one-two punch in the bullpen, and because Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard are waiting in the wings, despite the reality about the standings, this season often still feels like a success. Or, at the very least, it gives off a feeling like things are legitimately moving in a good direction.




106 comments
tony0721
tony0721

THE METS MANAGEMENT IS A JOKE! THEY SHOULD BE TRADING FOR ONE OR 2 POWER HITTERS, THE GUYS THEY HAVE ARE JUST OK, NOT CHAMPIONSHIP MATERIAL, WE DONT NEED ALL THESE ROOKIE PITCHERS, THEY ARE ALL THE SAME EXCEPT MATT HARVEY, TRADE 2 OF THEM, GET A S/S AND A LEFT FIEELDER THAT CAN HIT WITH POWER, ALDERSON IS A SMART GUY WHO IS AFRAID TO MAKE A DECISION IN CASE HE'S WRONG, HE'S PLAYING IT SAFE AND WE ARE SUFFERING AS FANS.

kcmetsfan
kcmetsfan

Thus far, the season is not a success at all. However, one game is never a microcosm for an entire season. One win or one loss is not particularly significant. But the Mets are still a mediocre team, and although they are improving throughout the season, so are a lot of teams.  Look, it's not beyond the realm of possibility for the Mets to make the playoffs, but it's not very likely either. In the meantime, I would appreciate it if Metsblog and other media sources would stop over-editorializing every single game, but of course I am sure they will continue to do so anyway.

Shawn R. Babcock
Shawn R. Babcock

Stick to the plan. Focus on the future. Hold Colon until the end when teams have lost out and are in need. Add the best prospect possible...pitch Dice K or a kid...not a monster lose...

That being said, this is NYC. If the team has ANY shot Sandy should fix the glaring hole at SS at the deadline...as he should have done before the season...that's all. Just make us whole.

That will give the Mets their chip and a chair.

Paul Wesolowski
Paul Wesolowski

How does a MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYER misplay a simple, fundemental ground ball that is practiced over a hundred times in spring training? Im done.

Timothy Kurz
Timothy Kurz

lets reach .500 this season. forget about the playoffs. thats not happening.

donw
donw

It's been 1 season Matt.  One that we weren't prepared for in April despite Sandy having the last 2 months of last season, the entire off-season, and 6 weeks of spring season to prepare.  We gave away too many game in April because of an incredibly poor bullpen.  Many more games were lost to lack of offense.  Even as of last weekend, we're still giving away games because we have a roster with 1 light-hitting SS and 6 outfielders.  Let's turn the page and try to be better prepared for 2015.

Douglas Wood
Douglas Wood

I would like to know what people think it would take to get Joc Pederson and if that would be a good idea.  I think we need a young outfield stud, not a shortstop.

legs3
legs3

So Matt I guess you feel if we keep the opposing team to 3 runs a game and we score 1 or 2 that will bring us success. Man if that doesn't sound like Met philosophy.

.

hankypanky
hankypanky

The Marlins will get there before the Mets. Their pitching is as good, plus they have that big bat in the middle of the lineup.

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

Getting better but still not a good team. Lack of fundamentals and not enough talent on O.

sell
sell

This post's topic doesn't deserve all these words and analysis. All you need to know is that there are at least 5 teams in between the mets and the wildcard. They have no shot at playoffs, no chance of outplaying the cardinals, brewers, pirates, reds, giants, and/or nationals. The fact that Sandy isn't getting us a bat this season doesn't help.

I love d'Arnaud as much as they next guy a I'll admit, Duda had been better since he started swinging the bat. But these guys have a good week and everyone goes crazy. Too bad our offense only scored 6 runs in 3 games against SD!!!

Matt Dougherty
Matt Dougherty

The whole "wide open" thing is really overrated. There are six NL teams sitting at either nine or 10 games over .500, then another at 6 over. We are heading for both Wildcard teams needing 87-88 wins, which is where it always ends up. It's a pipe dream to think you are sneaking in the playoffs with 85 wins.

hankypanky
hankypanky

The fly in the ointment is that other teams are progressing also, some of them cleaning house and starting over. The Mets may become contenders in the not-too-distant future, but they won't be alone. That goes for pitching as well.

Not4Nutten
Not4Nutten

Things are moving slow, but in a positive direction, Thre Pardres beat us on outstanding pitching and a bad play. The team will put that behind them and try to beat a good Seattle Team, Everyday we send a pitcher to the mound that can win a Ballgame not too many teams can say that. Lagares,Tejada,dArnuad, and Duda have progressed a lot from last year, could that be the start of a Core Four

Keith Mitchell
Keith Mitchell

This season feels like a success? Are you serious with that comment.  If it wasn't for a surprisingly good April. who knows how many games under .500 this team would be.  And seriously I've had it with Duda is finally turning the corner.  The next big hit he gets will be his first, hes the king of the meaningless homerun.  This offense is still pathetic and until we get a proven run producer on this team the pitchers won't fear anyone in the lineup.

Jim Keating
Jim Keating

I wouldn't get too carried away with Duda...he still can't hit lefties and his footwork around 1B is horrible!  At a minimum, they should use Campbell more.  Still think they could use a solid SS.


JimMets

mets2891
mets2891

I'm tired of hearing about "moving in a good direction."  It's now been 6 years of garbage to mediocre baseball.  6 years.  We only live so long.

Chad Michael
Chad Michael

Call me crazy but I wasn't totally as upset about last nights win as many other fans were.  First off, the 90 win season is clearly out the window but I'm still not upset about the Mets setting their sights high.  Every team has different expectations from media and fans at the beginning of the year but regardless the team needs to believe they can win.  


That being said the Mets season has taken on different goals at this point.  You have a young team below .500 that clearly has talent and with some right moves and the development of players could be a team to reckon with in the coming years.  All too often over the past few years we have seen the Mets fail their initially expectations only to nose dive and completely fall apart in the second half.  


These young players need to learn how to fight and learn how to win.  Sure it might sound stupid, but it is really true, young guys need to learn that even when a game, series, or season gets tough and doesn't look good, you still need to fight through it and win the game, cause in baseball, you never know what could happen.


Sure the Mets didn't win last night but I saw a lot of fight.  Especially from Wheeler who is a big part of the Mets future.  Its easy for a pitcher like Wheeler to cruise through a game but yesterday took more guts than any shutout.  Wheeler gave up hits, got into a few jams, pitched against a guy throwing a no-hitter, gave up an early run, and all with an offense behind him that I'm sure he had no confidence in.  Yet he fought and he did his best to keep his team within a run on the slim chance they could pull it through.  That shows maturity and fight, and everything you want to see from a young pitcher. 


As for the offense it looked brutal.  They were no hit through 7 innings against a guy who is a handful of games into his major league career.  Yet they never gave up.  They didn't try to just break up the no hit bid, they actually tried to win.  As I watched the Mets going into the 8th I was entirely dejected.  I thought that the Mets would have nothing left, would roll over, and be no hit for the first time sine 93.  But not only do they get a hit, they come within a walk or a single of winning the game.  Sure they came out on the wrong side but it was a gutsy game up until the last pitch and if the team keeps that up then more often than not you will come away with W's rather then a loss.

ventura_4
ventura_4

"This season often still feels like a success"


No, it doesn't. It would only feel like a success if they finished above .500 and fought for a playoff spot into September. If they finish below .500 and are 1 or 2 games better than last year and the year before - that is not a success, there's no way to spin it. 

herblehman
herblehman

Here's my opinion: The word "playoffs" should not be allowed to be typed on this site (either by the bloggers or commenters) until the Mets are above .500 AND less than 5 games out of a playoff spot on August 1. Until then, the word should be censored, just as the S-word or F-word would be. 

mankowski
mankowski

People on here want to trade for a left fielder or a shortstop who can hit.  Anyone have any names?  Where are all these power hitting shortstops or the left fielders who are available?

robby
robby

Matt your very delusional.  This team is going nowhere but down in the standings.  They are to inconsistent and inconsistent teams do not go to the playoffs.  They are going to lose 2 out of 3 to the Mariners and lose 2 games to the Brew crew.  To sum it all up  This team stinks

jenkins
jenkins

The real story here is that even with Murphy in the lineup everyday, the Mets score 3 runs or less in 43% of their games. That is abysmal. Trade Murphy for a right-handed OF bat that can drive in runs or s SS.


This ISN"T working and a 10-game stretch in July didn't change that.

Mark Kohn
Mark Kohn

They have NEVER won at Petco Park since it has opened. One series win (2011) since it opened in 2004. 


If you want to believe in this team when it gets to .500, then why complain about it when they aren't close yet?

flmetsfan
flmetsfan

You know that you're talking about a team that almost got no hit yesterday..and the day before.

ventura_4
ventura_4

"despite how wide open the division and wild card may seem"


Being 6 games under and 8 games out, while chasing two teams for the division does not seem wide open to me. It seemed wide open in June, but not now. They will have to play roughly .610 ball the rest of the way to have a shot. Only the A's and Angels have played that kind of ball this year.


The people who believe this team has a "shot" -  also have to believe the Marlins have a shot as well, as they are only 1/2 game behind the Mets. And the Marlins also have great young pitching and a man on their offense who is capable of carrying them. My take - neither have a shot, because they are incomplete (bad) teams. 

jenkins
jenkins

Not offensively they're not. Terrible O.

hankypanky
hankypanky

Fundamentals are dealt with and polished in AAA.

The fault lies there. This simple glaring fact is there for all to see.

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

At this point we're looking for guys that are going to be part of the solution for the next 5 years. Those are things to be excited about.

sell
sell

Exactly... Cerrone and Co. are always saying it's wide open bc no teams have really taken off. That's a moot point when the Mets would have to outperform 5 other superior teams toget there.

sell
sell

One could argue that Miami, with Fernandez, Evoldi, Alvarez, Turner and other top prospects, are as stacked as the mets. Plus they have a guy named Stanton, too.

sell
sell

Nothing more to say. Sandy must realize this... I can't believe how they just refuse to raise this payroll over 86 mill.

mets2891
mets2891

Yeah, year after year this team doesn't improve.  Where's the success?

joe21
joe21

@mankowski  good luck getting any answers, I have asked this dozens of times and get radio silence.


the Mets have plenty of inventory to offer, but there is no inventory available. as I said in earlier post, people want a Unicorn

ventura_4
ventura_4

@mankowski finding out who is available isn't the job of anyone on this blog, that's Sandy's job. I'm sure if Sandy made 2 or 3 of his 9 starting pitchers available along with Plawecki, a number of people would become available. 

ventura_4
ventura_4

@jenkins honestly, I don't think Murphy could bring back major league players unless he was part of a package. 

sell
sell

And it is exciting. It just gets tiring to hear that same thing 5 years in a row. Tejada still isn't part of the future 3 years after we realized that the first time. If Murphy isn't, then trade him (though I would sign him). I wish Duda wasn't part of our future, but you can bet he'll be tumbling around 1st base for a couple more years at least.

cver
cver

@sell Not to single you out, since others are saying the same thing about us having no chance or whatever.  It's just this - The Phillies in '07 made up 7 games in 13 days or something.  We have over 2 months to make up 8 on 2 other teams, as of today at least.  If the Mets start playing great baseball consistently, the other teams in front in our division have to do the same or the Mets can even win the division.  It's not extremely likely that the Mets will play 9 games better than Atl and Wash, but it's far from something to write off at this point, for us or for the front office.  When the front office writes us off, it becomes a self-fulfilling profecy.  I'm not saying that the team isn't bad enough to screw things up even further as is - or at least, not do what needs to be done to make up the gap, but we aren't so far off from being good enough.  Change the manager and a couple of players and we're there.

Tarheel11
Tarheel11

@sell I've been saying just that. To me Miami is in a better situation because they aren't tied down with guys like Wright and Granderson and their contracts. 

joe21
joe21

@jenkins  I notice your reply does not include a name....his point made

jenkins
jenkins

@ventura_4 @jenkins I think he could with AL teams, if you have to pair him with a non-untouchable pitcher-fine.


But I think Arizona would like him, among others

sell
sell

True, but Miami will never and have never won it all without veteran guys like those you mentioned.

I still couldn't trade wheeler or syndergaard for Stanton though. And Miami would start with them.

jenkins
jenkins

@joe21 @jenkins People are sick of hearing me say Trumbo. Then they tell me what a dumb idea that is. Then they look up his stats as an RBI guy. Then they shut up. Then they vetch about something else.

ventura_4
ventura_4

@joe21 @ventura_4 @mankowski If I had my choice of anyone? Stanton obviously, but that's not going to happen now, if it does happen, it won't be until of off-season. I would even settle for an Allen Craig, if they could get him without giving up a lot. 


I agree with Mankowski, I don't know who is or can become available, but it's not our job to find out who is or can possibly be available. But they have to find a way to make that Keith Hernandez/Mike Piazza trade. 

ventura_4
ventura_4

@jenkins @ventura_4 good point, AL possibly. Still think he would have to be paired with a pitcher or two to bring back major league ready talent - which I would be fine with. 

mankowski
mankowski

@ventura_4 @joe21 @mankowski Making a trade isn't our job but suggesting or demanding trades seems to be.

Everyone wants to fill a hole, but no one seems to consider that the other team has to agree.  And if no trade is made, people will blame the front office, whether the fans know what was or was not discussed.