Meaningful Games in August

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What a week! It all starts with the acquisitions of Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson, and two much needed wins against the Los Angeles Dodgers (and let’s not forget the MLB debut of one Michael Conforto).

The acquisition of Tyler Clippard starts drawing comparisons to the Kansas City Royals shutdown pen, which lasts not even 24 hours. But then all hell breaks loose.

Over the course of the next 48 hours our ‘shutdown pen’ is jolted with the Mejia news, the trade that wasn’t, and spectacle of the Crying Game. That excrutiating loss during a four-hour ninth inning only exposed more fissure in our once lock-solid pen. All this before a key series with the first-place Nationals that began Friday night.

But by 3:47 PM Friday afternoon everything changed. Whereas I was glued to Twitter on Wednesday night as the Gomez trade played out pubically, I couldn’t get enough of the rumors on Friday.

I really didn’t care if it was Jay Bruce, Justin Upton or Yoenis Cespedes that we got. I just wanted to see us ‘Go For It’. And that we did. A very informal Twitter poll I posted Friday showed most people favoiring Cespedes. By Friday afternoon, the entire narrartive and the collective mood of changed.

The hard data of Mets games in the past two days could suggest not much has changed:

– Starting pitching with Harvey and deGrom have limited the opponent.

– The bullpen has reverted to earlier season form.

– The offense only managed six hits per game and runs are still hard to come by.

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But how about some softer elements?

– The Wilmer Flores game on Friday, because of course that’s the way that game would play out.

Jacob deGrom battling through 6 innings when he didnt have his best stuff, still giving his team a chance to win.

– Cespedes’ mere presence in the lineup, prompting Matt Williams to walk him in front of Lucas Duda’s game-winning double.

– 42k+ fans in Citi Field, rocking the place like never before, and willing the team to win.

The road ahead is going to be fun, but it is not going to be easy. We still trail in both the division and the Wild Card against teams that all made some moves to improve at the deadline. Much has been said of the Mets schedule down the stretch. Against teams with winning records, the Mets clearly have an advantage:

Games Left vs. Teams With Winning Records
Mets: 15
Nationals: 20
Cubs: 26
Giants: 30 (their August schedule is brutal)

But the Mets are going to need to find away to win on the road. Currently, their road record is the worst of all 4 teams AND they have the fewest home games left:

Home/Road Games Left
Nationals: 34/26
Cubs: 30/29
Giants: 28/31
Mets: 26/32

Additionally, the Mets also need to find a way for Bartolo Colon to contribute in the rotation, all while somehow limiting innings for some of their key starters.

But in the meantime, we are truly playing meaningful games in August for the first time since 2008. Let’s get ‘em tonight and Let’s Go Mets!!

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About Mark Griffith 12 Articles

Mark grew up in New Jersey and has been a die-hard Mets fan since the dark times of the mid 70s. He currently resides in Atlanta where he runs eCommerce for PrimeSport. Past experiences including running Product Management for NCAA.com and NASCAR.com with Turner Sports, and starting the Atlanta Eats restaurant blog. You can follow him on Twitter @MarkGriffithATL .