3 Up, 3 Down: Mets Out Of The NL East Basement

3 UP

1.  Everyone Is Hitting

The story of the early season was how the Mets veterans were struggling at the plate. Heading into the series, three of the Mets regulars, Jose Reyes, Neil Walker, and Curtis Granderson were hitting below the Mendoza Line. In this series, Reyes was 3-11 with two runs, a double, homer, two walks, and seven RBI.  Walker was 5-13 with three runs, two doubles, two walks, and two RBI. Granderson, the one who was struggling most of all, asked and received a day to get his swing right. It paid off with him going 2-5 with three runs, two doubles, and an RBI.

On top of that, Michael Conforto and Jay Bruce have been keeping up their great hitting. This has led to the Mets beating up on the Braves and scoring 30 runs in the three game set.

2.  Bullpen Is Settling Down

With Jeurys Familia back, the Mets can better align their bullpen, and they have been better off for it. Since getting pulled against the Nationals, Familia has had two great outings looking like his old dominant self.  Addison Reed has also had two dominant innings where he has looked like he did last year.  Jerry Blevins is making the case he should be used in the seventh with his having only allowed one run in his 16 appearances.

The Mets have the luxury of considering Blevins in the seventh with the way Josh Edgin has stepped up as a LOOGY.  On top of that, the Mets have Hansel Robles who is leading the majors with four wins, and he has posted a 1.76 ERA.  This group allows the Mets to look at what Paul Sewald can be.  It is also allowing the Mets to weather the struggles of Fernando Salas and Josh Smoker.

3. Road Warriors

Since losing six in a row and nine of 10, the Mets have rebounded nicely, the Mets season seemed to be on the brink as the team traveled to Washington and Atlanta. The Mets responded taking four of six. Overall, the Mets have been much better on the road this season.

With this road trip, the Mets are 8-5 on the road scoring 87 runs. At home, they are just 4-10 while scoring just 46 runs. Hopefully, this is more of a function of the cold April weather at Citi Field. If that is the case, we may see the team playing at home just like they’ve done on the road.

3 DOWN

1. Syndergaard Is Done For Extended Period

After Noah Syndergaard left the game on Sunday, he finally got that MRI he initially refused to get. The MRI revealed a partially torn lat. The Mets last dealt with a partially torn lat when Steven Matz had one in 2015, and it was anticipated he would only miss three weeks.  Three weeks from Sunday would have put Syndergaard back in the rotation in June.

Instead, Syndergaard is expected to miss 2-3 months. That still could allow him to pitch for the Mets before the season ends, and maybe be ready for the postseason should the Mets be in that position. However, with any setbacks, like we saw Matz have in 2015, Syndergaard’s season could very well be over. This seriously affects the Mets ability to make it back to the postseason for a third straight year.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports is reporting Cespedes may be out longer than expected.

2.  Harvey and deGrom Failing To Step Up

With the news Syndergaard may be gone for three months, the Mets need everything they can get out of Matt Havey and Jacob deGrom. Unfortunately, they’re not getting it from them right now.

Harvey has allowed six earned runs in back-to-back starts against the Braves ballooning his ERA from 2.84 to 5.14.  A large part of that is he is walking batters and not striking batters out at the same frequency he once did. Another alarming stat is Harvey has allowed at least home run in five of his six starts. On the bright side, his velocity is coming back hitting 98 MPH on the gun, and he says he is feeling good.  With his health history, this is a very good sign.

Like Harvey, deGrom is struggling. In two of his last three starts, deGrom has walked at least five batters. He has allowed three plus earned in his last three starts. Batters are hitting .310/.410/.465 off of him, and he has a 5.60 ERA during that span.

3.  Poor Defense

As a team, the Mets are tied for 27th in the majors with a -8 team DRS, and they are 26th with a -7.9 UZR.  For those that do not like using advanced defensive statistics, the Mets .978 fielding percentage is ranked 24th. While we point to the obvious issues with the starting pitching and relievers, it is fair to say the pitchers are not getting help from their defense. If the defense steps up, it will go a long way to helping the starting pitching go deeper into games by turning some base hits into outs.

Having won two out of three and having climbed out of the baseman in the National League East, the Mets head back home for a six game homestand against the Miami Marlins and San Francisco Giants.

About John Sheridan 397 Articles
John was raised to be a Mets fan by birth, and now he is raising a Mets fan of his own. He also uses Sabermetrics to either confirm the proverbial eye test or to see if we're seeing things with Mets colored glasses. He looks forward to bringing this perspective to MMO. His work, including the tales of raising his son a Mets fan, can also be seen at MetsDaddy.com.