During the Month of May, Jacob deGrom allowed just two earned runs. TWO!
In the month, he lowered his ERA to a National League best 1.52. He also leads the league in WAR (3.4). Not WAR among pitchers, that’s for the entire NL.
Of course, he was just 1-0 during the month because the Mets bullpen would meltdown in the other four games he started.
2. Nimmo: Leadoff Hitter
Nimmo’s ability to get on base was cited for the decision, but it’s more than that. Overall, as a leadoff hitter, Nimmo is hitting .299/.433/.598.
Seemingly, with each and every game, Nimmo makes a positive impact, and he is helping keep the Mets afloat.
3. Another Man’s Treasure
The old axiom “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” sure fit the Mets transactions this month.
First, the Mets traded Matt Harvey to the Cincinnati Reds for Devin Mesoraco. After hitting .195/.291/.318 in 316 plate attempts from 2015 until the time of the trade, Mesoraco has hit .240/.333/.580 with such d homers and 13 RBI. That’s just part of how he’s been a massive upgrade over the Mets third and fourth string catchers.
With the Mets outfield depth being decimated, the Mets signed Jose Bautista, who had been recently released by the Braves. In a Mets uniform, Bautista has hit .368/.520/.526 in nine games played.
Finally, Adrian Gonzalez, who is being paid $21.8 million by the Braves to not play for them, redound his stroke in May hitting .289/.341/.434 with three homers and seven RBI.
1. What Happened To This Bullpen?
When the Mets jumped out to a 12-2 start, the team’s bullpen was one of its strengths. Now, it’s on par with the 2008 Mets bullpen who couldn’t protect any lead whatsoever.
During the Month of May, the Mets bullpen had the second worst ERA (5.33) in the National League while pitching the second most innings (108.0). One big issue was the bullpen allowing an MLB worst 18 homers in the month.
As we know, things have really been at their worst over the last eight days. In that stretch, the Mets bullpen blew one game against the Marlins, three games against the Brewers, two games against the Braves, and last night’s game against the Cubs.
During this stretch, Mickey Callaway has appeared snake bitten not knowing what to do at times, and at others, making the wrong move. In all fairness, when the bullpen is performing this poorly, everything is going to be the wrong move.
Compounding this problem is the Mets twice over this stretch purposefully going with bullpen games. Then again, what other choice does this team have when three-fifths of its starting rotation are completely underachieving?
2. Saying Boo, Not Bruce
The cornerstone of the Mets offseason was the team bringing Jay Bruce back on a three year deal. It was a puzzling move at the time considering the Mets seemingly being well set at the corner outfield position. As this season has progressed, the decision has looked worse and worse.
For starters, Bruce’s signing and his presence in the lineup, had forced Nimmo to the bench. That’s outright criminal when you consider Nimmo has been the Mets best position player so far this season. It’s even worse when you consider just how bad Bruce has been this year.
Through 51 games, Bruce is hitting just .230/.305/.354 with three homers and 15 RBI. His last homer was May 7th in Cincinnati.
Believe it or not, things have gotten worse for Bruce during the Month of May. In May, he has hit .211/.283/.300, and he posted a -0.3 WAR.
Given his plantar fascitiis, it’s hard to imagine just how he’s going to get better at any point this season. That goes double when you consider he’s sat just three games all season. Not only is he hurt, but he’s being completely mismanaged by this Mets team, and that is why he’s looking more like the 2016 than the 2017 Mets version of Bruce.
In many ways, Bruce stands as a microcosm of what has gone wrong with this Mets season. The veterans aren’t producing and are blocking the path of more talented younger players. He’s not hitting in the clutch. He’s unable to field his position well, and he is either forcing players to play out of position, or he, himself, is playing out of position when he is asked to play first base. More importantly, he’s being asked to play through an injury despite his constantly showing he can’t do it.
Seeing how the Mets have been injured the past few seasons and this month, when the cameras pan to the dugout, I keep expecting to see Alan Alda sitting at the end of the bench. Really, the way the Mets are handling these injuries, I’m not sure even Father Mulcahy can help them.
Once again, the team expected Yoenis Cespedes to play through leg injuries and somehow came away shocked his injuries worsened.
It’s been more than Cespedes. The Mets have also seen Todd Frazier, Hansel Robles, deGrom, Juan Lagares, Wilmer Flores, and Noah Syndergaard go on the disabled list. The team is also holding out hope Steven Matz can avoid the disabled list himself.
As noted above Bruce being hobbled has hurt, and so has Asdrubal Cabrera. With Cabreara now hobbled all the more, he hit just .269/.295/.481 in May, and worse yet, he has an MLB worst -11 DRS among second baseman. With him not being the MVP he was in April, he’s been unable to bail the Mets out exposing much of their flaws.
All of these injuries have exposed the Mets depth and the upper levels of the Mets farm system. The end result was the Mets scouring the scrapheap in an attempt to piece together a credible Major League roster.
As a result, we have seen a Mets team who entered this month in first place and eight games over .500, fall to .500 and five games out of the division. Overall, in one calendar month, the Mets lost 6.5 games in the division to the Braves and 10 games to the Nationals, who if the season ended today, would play in the Wild Card Game against the Philadelphia Phillies.