3 Up, 3 Down: Mets Split Series Despite Brutal Loss

3 UP

1.  Mets Can Hit Again

After an all too frustrating and embarrassing stint where the Mets could hit the broad side of a barn, this offense has suddenly come alive with nearly everyone hitting. Dating back to thepenultimate game in Arizona, the game where the bats seemed to awaken, the Mets have scored 5.4 runs per game.

It’s truly been a team effort with Asdrubal Cabrera looking much like he did in April.  Wilmer Flores continues to show he can really hit right-handed pitching. Kevin Plawecki is wrestling the starting catching job away from Devin MesoracoJose Bautista has kept hitting.

Mostly, everyone is contributing in some fashion, and it has led to a much more watchable Mets team as well as a Mets team whose trade assets continue to improve their value.

2.  Wheeler Pitching His Way Out of New York

Once again, Zack Wheeler has stated his want to stay with the New York Mets organization.  If he keeps pitching the way he has been, he is going to find himself out of New York because a contending team will likely try to pry him away from the Mets.

Since June 1, Wheeler has a 3.20 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP.  In his last two starts, he has pitched into the seventh inning while allowing two earned or less on five hits or fewer. With each start like this, he’s another step closer to a contender.

3.  Conforto Can Hit Lefties

After a slow start to the season, Michael Conforto continues to get closer and closer to being the player he was before he went down with that shoulder injury.  Since June 13, he is hitting .254/.379/.451 with a 130 wRC+.

Overlooked during this stretch is the fact he has completely dominated left-handed pitching. In this stretch, Conforto is hitting .357/.419/.643 with a 189 wRC+ against left-handed pitching.

Of course, this is just the latest example of how the Mets mishandled him from 2015 to early 2017.

3 DOWN

1.  Bullpen Is Terrible

One of the biggest culprits is Robert Gsellman, who is apparently on fumes.  After being a revelation in the bullpen with a 1.80 ERA over the first month of the season, he has subsequently blown three saves while pitching to a 5.56 ERA.  Opposing batters are hitting .254/.336/.444 off of him.

As bad as Gsellman has been, he has been better than Anthony Swarzak, who has a 6.28 ERA on the season.

That’s part of the reason why the Mets have the second worst bullpen in the Nationa League with a 4.85 ERA.  They also have the worst slugging percentage (.448) in the National League and the most homers allowed in all of baseball.

2.  Nimmo Slumping

Since getting hit on the hand in the June 24 game against the Dodgers, Brandon Nimmo has been in a deep slump. Over the past seven games, he is hitting .091/.167/.136 while striking out in 41.6 percent of his at-bats.

Another issue that has emerged lately with Nimmo is his arm. Fangraphs has his ARM rating at -1.2  runs. For those who don’t trust advanced stats, we need not look further than his just spiking a ball into the turf while trying to throw Kendrys Morales out at the plate.

This has been a surprising season from Nimmo, but unfortunately with this injury, we are beginning to see some cracks in his game.

3.  Starting Pitching Options

Matt Harvey‘s recent three game run against quality offensive clubs has spurred a number of reactions from Mets fans from disbelief to anger. What Harvey’s run should be doing is underlying the Mets fifth starter situation.

With the Mets having 11 games in 10 days, the team is going likely going to send some combination P.J. Conlon, Chris Flexen, and Corey Oswalt to the mound. While each one of them is a promising young player in their own right, it’s difficult to argue they are definitively better than what Harvey was giving the Mets when he was taken out of the rotation.  Clearly, they don’t have his upside either.

But look at the bright side Mets fans – those three are better options than having to see Jason Vargas pitch again.

About John Sheridan 645 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.