If you’re feeling glum these days about the current state of the Mets, join the crowd. It’s been an exhausting and demoralizing last three weeks for the team and the Mets have some real soul-searching to do.
The Mets have now lost five-consecutive games for the first time this season and for the first time since losing five in a row from September 10-15 of last season. They have been shut out in three of its last four games and have not led in a game since winning in San Diego last Sunday, a span of 45.0 innings.
After winning their first five series of the season, the Mets have now lost five of the last six series. Their 11-1 start is now long forgotten thanks to a tailspin that has seen the team lose 13 of their last 19 games.
The issues are glaring and widespread as evidenced by the latest trend lines which are all pointing south. Over the last 19 games, the team is hitting .225/.304/.346 and averaging 3.9 runs per game. On the pitching side the news is no better, having allowed 5.8 runs per game while posting a 5.20 ERA and getting torched for 24 home runs in that span.
The team is currently in a deep nosedive that has seen them go from first place with a 5.5 game lead to third place and 1.5 games back. That nine game lead they had over the Washington Nationals has now shrunk to a 1.5 game lead over the defending division champs who have won seven of their last eight games.
It’s a team-wide slump except for bright spots like Asdrubal Cabrera, Yoenis Cespedes and Jacob deGrom who have pulled their weight in large measure. But much like players, the front office, manager and coaching staffs can have slumps too.
The recent cautionary decision to place Jacob deGrom on the disabled list was a very prudent one and of course the correct course of action. After all, we are talking about the single most valuable player on the Mets right now. Bravo.
However, I do take issue that they waited five days to make the call when they should have DL’ed him immediately even after getting the positive MRI results. Having him skip one start was a no-brainer all along and now they find themselves unprepared for who starts on Monday.
Had they made the decision to DL deGrom on Thursday, it would have opened up a much-needed roster spot which they could have desperately used for a bullpen that has been heavily taxed and in need of some relief themselves.
Additionally, the team could have been better prepared by having Seth Lugo ready to make the start, or having other options like Corey Oswalt and Chris Flexen lined up to start instead of unavailable to pitch.
Again, the Mets ultimately made the right call on deGrom, but unfortunately it took them five days to figure it out and for a team that’s reeling right now, some better foresight would have been helpful.
The good thing about slumps is that they never last forever. What the Mets need now is to start pitching more effectively, getting back to the excellent plate approach we saw earlier in the season, playing crisper defense, and making better and more proactive personnel decisions – or in other words some quick thinking.
As I called for last week, we need to get Brandon Nimmo in the lineup more and it looks like that plan has just gone into effect. However, it’s high time for the Mets to move on from Jose Reyes and give former first rounder Gavin Cecchini, who’s producing well at Triple-A, a chance to contribute.
Gladly, I’m hearing that the front office is actively looking for some help at catcher, because honestly, we need the Jose Lobaton experiment to end as soon as possible.
Anyway, it’s almost game time. Let’s try to avoid a sweep and we’ll pick up this conversation again later. LGM