So here we are more than a third of the way into the season and sitting at seven games under .500 with 99 left to play.
Here we are coming off of a disastrous road trip that began with so much hope but ended with a season-high six game losing streak.
Here we are heading back home where the Mets play their worst baseball. Home, where the Mets are batting an MLB worst .228.
After five straight losing seasons, there are still so many flaws with this team that you just want to scream over the lack of improvement at the major league level.
I don’t want to hear things like the Mets are scoring plenty of runs and that they lead the league in walks, please spare me that crap. That may look great in a vacuum but the standings and the won-loss record tell a vastly different story.
This team is too immersed in a culture of losing. This team is incapable of applying the kill shot. This team can’t hold a lead. They spend most of their time torturing their fans by finding new and horrific ways to lose games. The Mets have become experts at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. During the last six games we saw all of these things on full display and it was almost as if they were flaunting it.
The numbers of runners they strand in scoring position is epidemic and obscene. It’s a byproduct of their vaunted philosophy which produces walks and strikeouts at a record pace with some weak opposite-field singles thrown in for good measure. The trouble is they have no power, not just homerun power but extra-base hit power in general. The Mets rank 29th in extra-base hits with an embarrassing total of 157, or 30 less than the MLB average.
The Mets have a .664 OPS which ranks 27th in the majors and their slugging is even more dreadful ranking 29th with a pathetic .350 showing.
The Mets still have a problem hitting righthanded pitching, which you could have predicted the minute they decided to give Chris Young a $7.5 million dollar contract and then promise him everyday playing time despite having the worst batting average against RHP among all qualified outfielders.
In a year that the Mets were supposed to turn the corner, the offensive numbers are worse across the board than in 2010 when Wright, Reyes, Beltran and Pagan were still on the team and leading the offense.
What the hell good are all those walks and singles and bunching two or three of them together when it only results in scoring one run if we’re lucky? Many of them via a sac fly, a fielders choice, or an error by the other team.
Sandy Alderson was tasked with finding a leadoff hitter and a cleanup hitter this past offseason and failed miserably.
The leadoff spot has a .318 on-base percentage, and the cleanup spot has a .351 slugging percentage, both ranking last in the NL. It seems that replacing Reyes and Beltran wasn’t as easy as the GM thought it would be, and if he’s supposed to be the smartest guy in the room, then we’re all in big trouble.
I don’t want to hear that we’re only so many games out of a second wild card, and so many games out of first, this team is awful. But if you want to hang onto your pipe dreams, go ahead, I won’t begrudge you your popcorn and cotton candy.
But to come into this season with an offense like this and then start spouting off things like a 90-win season and asking fans to pledge their loyalty to this product, makes me wonder if the people in charge are the right ones to fix this mess.
Instead of attacking the root of the problem and going after some legit quality players, the Mets are too busy lately creating and adding all kinds of public relations and marketing people so that they can keep putting a positive spin on this horror show.
Meanwhile we are getting average to below-average production from just about every single position except for second and third base. But there’s a problem with that too… Neither Murphy or Wright are providing the kind of power this team needs from them this season.
When the Mets finally made the correct decision to demote Travis d’Arnaud it was very symbolic. The 25-year old catcher along with Zack Wheeler were supposed to be the poster boys for a new and brighter Mets future and the dawn of a new Mets era. These two were supposed to be the can’t-miss top of the rotation ace and the 25-30 homerun bat in the middle of the order for the rest of this decade. Not so fast. Expectations have gone down exponentially for both, and now we’re just hoping for eventual above average production.
For those of you who are in the “We’re Only Six Games Out Of The Wild Card” camp, I assume you’re expecting the Mets to be buyers next month at the trade deadline. Right? I said right?
Because after all, this GM has got us so close to the post season now that he’s gonna go for it and bring in that true slugger that this team craves. Right? I said right?
Because this is our year. Right? I said right?
Sorry to dash your hopes, but under even better circumstances and the team closer to a post season berth in the past, this front office were sellers not buyers. They sold out.
So where do we go from here? I don’t know, I’m not part of the highest compensated front office in baseball, so you’ll have to ask them. And believe me this is not all on them. We are cursed with awful owners and that torch will soon pass from Fred to Jeff which could mean things get even worse.
But my hope is that by the time this season ends, I get at least a small glimmer of hope that I can hang onto. Something tangible that makes me stop feeling like it’s 1977 instead of 1984. I want to see a team that can fight, a team that can hold a lead, a team that can tack on runs, and a team we can all be proud of even if they are imperfect. Is that really asking for too much?
Managers and GM’s come and go, but being a Mets fan is a lifetime commitment. It’s the longest relationship most of us will ever have in our lives. We deserve better. That’s all I’m saying. We deserve better.