The Miracle Mets can Make Baseball Great Again
I have a confession to make – baseball isn’t fun for me anymore. Over-specialization. The “shift”. Instant replay. Analytics. ESPN. All the fun’s been computed out of our Nation’s past time – the sport is sterile and down right unwatchable. And @KeithHernandez is especially cranky of late. What else should we expect from the Twitter account of a grouchy Mets legend with a celebrity cat who’s had his fill of poor, lackluster baseball?
Know what would rekindle my love for the game again? Another Mets miracle. Crazy talk you say! Crazier than trade Wilmer Flores crazy talk! Indulge me if you will…maybe the optimistic 10 year old in me who’s passion for the game hasn’t been crushed by launch angles and exit velocities yet, can sell you on the possibility of another Mets miracle – and rekindle your love for the game too.
As baseball enters the All-Star break, let’s breakdown the season so far…
There are 15 teams in the National League (NL). Of the 15, 6 are at or below .500. 2 teams are only a mere 2 games over .500 (STL & SF, the former just fired their Manager). 2018’s been an ugly brand of baseball so far – no wonder Keith is grumpy! In the NL East, only Atlanta (52-42) and Philadelphia (53-42) are over .500 and they’re not exactly baseball juggernauts – for those, see Boston (68-30) or Houston (64-35).
So – that is the general state of NL baseball affairs. As for the Mets, let’s try to put their otherwise historically dismal season into some perspective…
The Mets had a bad month of May (10-18) and a horrendous month of June (5-21). May was really only half bad – they were actually 19-18 right before Cespedes went down with the hip flexor on the 13th.
The Mets have a staggering 6 walk off losses and have been shutout 8 times – 14 combined losses that will take a toll on the psyche of a team with a Rookie Manager.
The baseball Gods have not been kind to Jacob deGrom. @JdeGrom19 is arguably the best pitcher in baseball yet the Mets are an inexplicable 8-11 in his 19 starts. deGrom goes into the break with 10 No Decisions and his ERA in those starts is a mind-blowing 1.44. Scandalous! If he’s the superstitious type, he might consider changing his number.
The Mets are also total flops at Home. For some reason hits, runs, and wins are hard to come by @CitiField. Atlanta has owned the Mets the way Trump owns the media – the Mets dropping 9 out of 12 games to them. The bad news for the Mets is they still have to play them 7 more times.
The good news for the Mets is they’ve managed to muddle their way through the rest of the division.
To date, they are 5-4 against Miami, the one team that is probably statistically worse than they are and they get to play 7 more times. Oddly, they’ve been able to hang with a strong Philadelphia team, taking 5 of 8 against them with 11 more games to play. Washington, a team with their own share of disappointing struggles, have not fared well against the Mets, dropping 6 out of 10. The Mets and Washington will square off 9 more times.
The Mets also get at least 8 games against what can be considered ‘weak’ opponents – 2 vs Baltimore , 3 vs San Diego, and 3 vs Cincinnati. They also have 7 games against San Francisco, an uninspiring fair to middling team at best that may be trading deadline sellers themselves.
Want more reasons to keep the faith? Thor, God of Thunder is back! This should translate into more wins for the Mets. Not only will they reap the benefits of his starts, @Noahsyndergaard should also give the Mets length putting less stress on a taxed bullpen – which, should go a long way in cutting down on the late game meltdowns (6 walk off losses!!). Thor is rested and ready to drop the Hammer!
Still not buying into a 2018 Mets miracle?? Given the Mets do not trade deGrom (trading him would make them total losers and official laughing stocks), he should make at least 10 more starts and you have to believe the Mets will do a better job converting the days he pitches into wins. They’ve done a better job of late – the Mets have won 3 of his last 5 outings.
Still a Flushing pipe dream you say??? Barring a rehab setback, Cespedes is expected to rejoin the team coming out of the break – it’ll be like the Mets acquired him at the deadline all over again. @ynscspds should lengthen the lineup, forcing opposing pitchers to work harder through the order. His offensive production is sorely missed – his presence changes the complexion of the entire lineup. Thor and Cespedes give the Mets some star-powered swagger they’ve been lacking. An outfield of Cespedes, Conforto, and Nimmo will be pretty good if all three consistently stay in the lineup the rest of the way. You have to expect @mconforto8 will bounce back and have a strong second half – there’s simply too much talent there. It might help if Callaway would stop moving the Beaver around so much and just let him hit without wondering where he’ll be in the order every day.
Still a Mets miracle skeptic???? You must immediately unfollow #MetsTwitter 🙂
If you’ve noticed, the platoon of Plawecki and Mesoraco has been respectable of late – a position where the Mets desperately need some kind of production. Other reasons to be optimistic are the steady progress of highly touted prospects, @You_Found_Nimmo and Rosario. @Amed_Rosario is by no means a polished product but, he has shown signs he is a coachable young player and appears to be improving as the season goes along. The Mets don’t need him to be A-ROD, they just need him to be solid defensively and not an easy out. Many feel Nimmo was an All-Star snub. If Jay Bruce ever plays another day of OF over Brandon Nimmo, fans may riot. Seriously.
Need more fuel for the Miracle Mets head trip????? As a fan, you have to like what you’re seeing from Matz and Wheeler right now. @Smatz88 has only allowed 4 ER in his last 3 starts and has his ERA down to a very respectable 3.38. The Mets have won 3 of his last 6 starts. @Wheelerpro45 has been lighting up the speed gun and seems to have made some adjustments to his game observing deGrom’s bullpen sessions. Mets have won in 3 of his last 6 starts as well, and he’s feeling the best he’s felt in a long time.
It’s easy to lose yourself in spray charts, WARs and OPS+ and forget all about the 69′ Mets and how they won 59 games from July to September. They were also 10 games back on August 14th. I’m not claiming these 2018 Mets will win 59 games in 3 months, that would be Bats in the Mike Pelfrey bonkers.
But they don’t have to do that…
They must play better at home. Change the walk up music or something. I personally blame the mascot – @MrMet you have one job!
They absolutely must take advantage of deGrom’s starts and translate more of them into wins – for his sanity and the fans’.
Beat Atlanta – payback is a bitch. There’s 7 games left against them – make’m sting.
Continue to play Philadelphia, Miami, and Washington well.
Take care of business against the franchises asking to be bludgeoned (with all due respect to friends in Baltimore, San Diego, and Cincy – your baseball teams are foul).
Enough with the shutouts and walk off losses already!
Get scorching red hot – they’ve done it before at the start so we know it’s in them.
Pray for a little help – Atlanta and Philadelphia are young teams, they can collapse. They can also make deals at the deadline that backfire. Anything’s possible. They are “10 games over .500 good” but Boston or Houston they are not. They are not untouchable. Their seasons can implode in a NY minute. Crazier things in sports have happened.
Here’s hoping the Mets will ignore their data department with their the fancy algorithms and infographics nobody gets, the snarky beat writers, and all the haters, and boldly, flat out refuse to be sellers at the deadline. Let’s play out the season like it’s not already in the books. The 10 year old in every fan wants to believe and fall in love with good ol’ fashion baseball again.
re-printed with permission from the original author, a hopeless, suffering Mets fan and good friend of Greenwich Analytica. We would never advise anyone to ignore their data.