Being ‘beat’ could describe a lot of what’s going on with the 2016 Mets.
The Mets’ other ace, Noah Syndergaard was forced to miss the All Star game due to “arm fatigue” and the Mets looked beleaguered heading into the break with no offense, and three straight losses.
Although just six games back, and in prime position to make the playoffs as at least a Wild Card in the National League, these Mets are floundering under expectations that came with being the defending National League champions. “We’re going to have a target on our back,” warned David Wright in Spring Training.
Matt Harvey‘s season is over and a lot of fans are concerned with the 5th starter, but it really isn’t about the fifth starter, it is about the other four.
Sportscaster Kim Jones on WFAN stated that she felt that Mets’ starters may be heading into their post All-Star game starts with injuries on their mind rather than a booming confidence in getting opposing hitters out.
Those thoughts seem fair given Terry Collins‘ statement that we have to “get hot” and avoid “looking over our shoulder worrying about guys being hurt”.
While he is referring to both everyday players and pitchers, it is fair to say that a lot of the focus and concern lies with the starting pitchers. Although they have for the most part been solid, the Mets need and expect more and it is frustrating that after every subpar start, the injury questions come to the surface.
There was something fitting about watching Madison Bumgarner flirt with a no-hitter before settling for a one-hit complete-game, 14-strikeout performance on Sunday night baseball, the last game before the All Star break. Watching this performance on the heels of the Mets being shutdown by Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer and Gio Gonzalez makes the Mets fan in me want more.
At some point, the Mets staff, called at times the best in baseball and elite, have to come up with an “elite” performance like Bumgarner had against the Diamondbacks. Is it unfair to expect complete games and shutouts? Of course. But it is fair to expect what is supposed to be a staff of great pitchers to pitch great baseball, and not just solid baseball. That’s something that bears watching in the second half.