1. DeGrom an All -Star
After an utterly dominant first half of the season, Jacob deGrom was named an All-Star. This marks the second time of his career he was named an All-Star (2015). Considering his 2015 performance where he struck out three batters on 10 pitches, we are likely going to be in for a treat whenever he takes the mound.
As an aside, if not for his curiously stepping aside for Bartolo Colon in 2016, this would have marked the third time deGrom would have been named an All-Star. If he had not done that, deGrom would have joined Mets greats Tom Seaver and Dwight Gooden as the only Mets right-handed pitchers to be named to three All Star teams.
2. Bautista Grand Slam
If you are looking for a reason to watch this awful season, look no further than Friday night’s game. After a deGrom gem, Jose Bautista came up in the bottom of the ninth, and with two outs in the inning, he hit his first ever walk off home run.
After 15 years and 336 homers, Bautista finally did something he had never done in his entire Major League career.
Overall, there are players still playing hard, and there is still a chance you will see something you had never seen happen previously in a game. Ultimately, that’s why we watch, and it is nice to be rewarded with moments like that.
3. Matz Great Again
If not for the Mets defense letting him down, it’s entirely possible Steven Matz walks off the mound Saturday in line for a no decision instead of a loss. Really, even with Matz not having his best stuff, he deserved a much better fate, having limited the Rays to one earned on five hits in 6.1 innings.
Since May, Matz has been a much better pitcher having a 2.78 ERA and a 1.206 WHIP. Whereas he was not going deep into games to start the season, he has pitched into at least the sixth inning in all of his last seven starts, and he has pitched into the seventh in three of his last five.
Ultimately, this is the guy Mets fans were excited to see the day his grandfather became a folk hero.
1. Nimmo Snubbed
There aren’t many good things about the 2018 Mets, but Brandon Nimmo is definitively one of them. He has endeared himself to fans with his hustle and his good attitude in the face of adversity. Really, the man never gives up.
Look at Sunday. Nimmo broke up Nathan Eovaldi‘s perfect game with a single in the seventh, and he fought for a walk with two outs in the bottom of the ninth in a 9-0 game. He plays hard all of the time.
This is a big reason why he leads all National League outfielders with a 148 wRC+. Considering his bat and his attitude, you would think this is exactly the type of player Major League Baseball would want to showcase.
He wasn’t. As a result, baseball fans now miss out on the joys of watching Nimmo play. More than that, Nimmo doesn’t get an opportunity he earned.
2. More of the Same
Was anyone surprised the Mets went on a streak where they didn’t score a run in 18 straight innings? Were they surprised miscues in the field tagged Matz with a loss? Was anyone shocked the Mets were dominated by an extraordinarily average Rays team?
Of course not, and that has become a problem.
Really, it is time to just start shipping out players like Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Reyes, especially Reyes, who aren’t really helping this team, and who are definitively not part of the equation for the 2019 season.
Time to get more of a look at Dominic Smith, who plays so infrequently it’s embarrassing. Time to let Rosario actually play everyday. Let’s see how Mickey Callaway handles a young roster and see if he’s the guy who can develop these young players to help spurn a turn-around.
The Mets are 16 games under .500. It’s time to stop messing around and do what is best for this franchise.
3. Conforto Not Shouldering the Load
Coming out of May, Michael Conforto was showing some signs he was improving, and that he may soon return to being the player he was right before that gruesome shoulder injury. Since June 1, Conforto has struggled mightily hitting .196/.321/.348.
Conforto returned earlier than expected after offseason shoulder surgery, and perhaps should have had a rehab assignment and worked his way back slower, but here we are.
Hopefully, this is a matter of Conforto needing a few days off. Hopefully, the All Star Break will rejuvenate him, and we will see a much improved Conforto in the second half.