‘Ya Gotta Believe’ in 2019?
Out of nowhere, the Mets have managed to turn heads. Can they keep it up on their way to a surprise playoff run?
It wasn’t that long ago when all hope was lost on the Mets’ 2019 season. In fact, it was about a week ago. A lot can change in that short period of time, however. The Mets’ arms started to act like the elite staff many expected them to be, the bullpen, the center of their woes, started to impress and the bats were coming alive. In the midst of a winning streak, the team traded for Marcus Stroman, one of the top arms in the league.
As of today (August 2), the Mets are on a seven-game win streak. Stroman is set to pitch tomorrow. Once dead on arrival, are the New York Mets legitimate threats for a playoff push? Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen believes so.
“We’ve got some momentum, we just have to keep going,” Brodie stated in a conference call (via Daily Messenger). “This team has shown resiliency. This team has earned the right to now go play meaningful games over the course of the next two months. I know they’re excited to go do that.”
Before the Stroman trade, the team’s playoff odds stood at 4.8%. This is according to FanGraphs. After? The odds shot up to 21.8% and continues to grow. Currently 10.5 games back in the NL East, they are four back in the Wild Card standings. While a plethora of other teams are ahead of them, there is plenty of time left to rebound.
Two fo the top players that are leading the charge are Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil. The 2019 Home Run Derby winner in Alonso may be going through a small rough stretch, but his emergence as a clubhouse leader has not been unnoticed.
— Pete Alonso (@Pete_Alonso20) July 31, 2019
As far as McNeil is concerned, he is on pace to become a batting champion as he is at the very top when it comes to average. Along with those two players, the reemergence of Michael Conforto is something to wonder at. With enough rest compared to last season, “CoFo” has managed to hit 20 home runs once again, and is on pace to pick up 30 with a .260+ average. Along with him, Amed Rosario has proven to be a clutch bat (even if he needs to improve on defense). While there are a few question marks surrounding Robinson Cano, he has shown signs of improvement.
The rotation, once heralded as The Horsemen of baseball, has seen a rebound by Jacob deGrom. Even when a team grabs a hold of him deGrom battles back to provide remarkable numbers.
Jacob deGrom since May 22 (13 starts)
.585 OPS against
— Michael Mayer (@mikemayerMMO) August 2, 2019
Steven Matz pulled “A Maddux” a few days ago, a complete game shutout in less than 100 pitches. Zack Wheeler, the center of trade talks, may very well convince the Mets to extend him for the long-term. While he hasn’t shown his true capabilities, Noah Syndergaard loves New York as evidenced by his Twitter account. The only thing he is more passionate about than the team is Mrs. Met. If he is serious about staying with the team, all eyes will be on him the next few months we have left of baseball.
Right now, the Mets’ schedule somewhat gives them an advantage. Taking out the White Sox, it doesn’t get that much harder on paper. They have a three-game series against the Pirates in Pittsburgh before facing the lowly but pesky Marlins at home. After that, the Mets face the Nationals, followed by the Braves and Royals.
Hot at the right time, the Mets don’t have to remain undefeated, but they must maintain an above .500 record in order to stay alive. The 2019 season has had its ups and downs, with more of the latter. However, it has also given fans a chance to see the young players in action. While Brandon Nimmo, Yoenis Cespedes and Jed Lowrie (remember him?) ae down, the Mets have managed to hold on, at least for now.
The Mets have always lived and died on the fact that they are underdogs. They could use that towards their advantage right now. Scrappy and full of unknown luck, this could be a real turning point for the 2019 Mets. Tug McGraw didn’t give up, do you believe in this Mets team?
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