3 Up, 3 Down: Nationals Sweep Away Any Hope

3 UP

1. No Doubt In The Mets Direction Anymore

There were once again glimmers of hope with the Mets having won six of eight, and Trea Turner suffering a broken wrist.  The Mets were 8.5 games back with an opportunity to make it closer against the weak back end of the Nationals rotation.  Instead of the Mets taking advantage of the opportunity, the Nationals showed the Mets just how much better a team they are.

At this point, there can no longer be any delusions of grandeur.  There will be no opportunity to give the organization pause on its intentions of selling.  The team can now be rest assured it is time to sell anything and everything.  It will be time to get a good long look at some young players to see if they can be part of the equation going forward.  Overall, it is time to begin fixing what was wrong with the 2017 Mets so the 2018 Mets can be the contenders this team was should have been.

2.  Nimmo With A Reason To Smile

Brandon Nimmo was pressed into action due to the injuries to both Curtis Granderson and Yoenis Cespedes, and he played well.  In the series, he was 4-8 while playing a good center field.

This was just the latest example of Nimmo taking advantage of the limited opportunities he has received this year.  In 15 games this year, Nimmo is hitting .350/.458/.400 with a double and two RBI.

If the Mets are truly selling, they will need to find out what they have in Nimmo.  They need to see what if any role he can play for the Mets in 2018.  Given his recent play, it is possible Nimmo could be an answer in center field next year.  At a minimum, Nimmo has earned the right to get a continued look at the position for the rest of the season.

3.  Reyes May Have Value

Since becoming the everyday shortstop when Asdrubal Cabrera went on the Disabled List, Jose Reyes has been a much better player.

Over the 21 game stretch, Reyes is hitting .271/.333/.543 with three doubles, two triples, four homers, nine RBI, and a stolen base. His 131 wRC+ over that stretch is sixth best in the majors among shortstops.

During this stretch, he’s rebuilding his value on the trade market. Most likely, it’s too little, too late. Still, with Sandy Alderson’s ability to maximize the return for all players, Reyes’ recent stretch at least gives the Mets to get something for him or to at least include him in a package to get a better return.

3 DOWN

1.  Reed Sat As Hope Disappeared

During the American League Wild Card Game, the baseball world was apoplectic as Buck Showalter refused to bring in Zach Britton in a winner-take-all game. After that game, we saw managers get aggressive with the use of their best relievers during the 2016 postseason. It should be noted Terry Collins stated after the postseason, he noticed the change in how relievers are used, but he wouldn’t change how he used the bullpen. That was readily apparent on Monday night.

After a dramatic Granderson home run, Collins didn’t go to a warmed-up Addison Reed because it wasn’t a save situation. Instead, he stuck with Paul Sewald.  As the inning progressed, he went to Josh Edgin and finally Fernando Salas. With the Mets having a chance to possibly make a run at the division, Collins went to Salas and his 6.31 ERA instead of Reed.

Much like Showalter and the Orioles, the ill-fated decision blew up in the face of the manager, and the Mets season effectively ended at that point.

2.  There Must Be Something In The Water

On Monday, Cespedes came up just short on a ball, and he left the field with a cramp. After the game, Cespedes admitted he hates water, and that has led to him cramping up during games.  The next day, T.J. Rivera had to leave the game with a cramp in both legs. There are no reports regarding his affinity for water.

Whether it’s the water or something else, the Mets just cannot stay on the field in 2017.  aybe Cespedes was right to avoid hydrating during games because certainly there is something in the water.

3.  Bruce and Cespedes Were No Shows

In the biggest series of the year, Jay Bruce and Cespedes left no impact. Correction, they were a large part of the reason why the Mets failed to win a game in this series.

Bruce was 0 for 9 before hitting a two-run homer in the ninth inning of what was an 11-2 game. The game was 11-2 in part because Bruce made a fielding error on a Bryce Harper single that allowed a run to score from first, and it led to a four-run fifth inning that effectively put the game away.

On Monday, Cespedes had a chance to give the Mets a lead in the eighth inning of a scoreless game. With two outs and a runner in scoring position, Cespedes grounded out.  As discussed above, a dehydrated Cespedes would then cramp up on the final play of the game. With the play being that close, we will never know if Cespedes having been hydrated would have been the difference between making the catch and not.

Over the past five games, Bruce and Cespedes have combined to hit 3 for 34 with the aforementioned home run and eight strikeouts. If the Mets had any chance of winning these games, they needed their best players to step up.  Instead, arguably their two best hitters came up well short.

After an off-day, the Mets head to St. Louis to finish out the first half of the season. At the end of that series, one team should be completely eliminated from the Wild Card race.

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.