Major League Baseball

Breaking Down The N.Y. Mets Debacle by Andres Chavez

Andres breaks down what's going on with the N.Y. Mets

Aug 27

On July 7, the New York Mets were 44-41, with a four-game lead over the Washington Nationals in the NL East and cruising to a postseason spot. However, that day, they lost their ace Jacob deGrom, who had a 1.08 ERA, and things started to go downhill. Nine days later, they lost their starting shortstop and best position player, Francisco Lindor, to a Grade 2 oblique strain.

Lindor returned this week, and deGrom appears on track to make an appearance in September. The damage, however, is done. Without their ace and their best position player, the Mets collapsed, relinquished their division lead, and are currently out of the playoff if the season ended today. After Thursday’s games, they are 61-65, seven games behind the Atlanta Braves for the East top spot.

Since that fateful July 7, they are 17-24, playing like a last-place team. They look helpless out there. It hasn’t been pretty. To be fair, they have been hit hard by injuries this year, and losing your two best players will bring unwanted consequences. But the Mets have a talented roster yet underachieved and slumped to their current situation, no playoffs.

They still have a chance to get into the playoffs, but according to Fangraphs, it is just 3.3%. In other words, they need a miracle to qualify. This wasn’t supposed to happen to a team with offensive weapons such as Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, Brandon Nimmo, Dom Smith, JD Davis, Lindor, and Michael Conforto. Unfortunately, that group has resulted in disappointing offensive production (29th place out of 30 teams in runs per game, with 3.7). Yes, it’s true that injuries severely affected the Mets’ plans, most of their starting lineup and rotation was, at one point, on the shelf. But it’s also true that they failed to bring the appropriate reinforcements when they needed to.

They need an ace around the deadline, or at least a dependable number two, and brought 41-year-old soft-tosser Rich Hill. They needed a quality bat, like Kris Bryant, and brought Javier Baez and his sub-.300 OBP. They needed bullpen reinforcements and got no one. The team blew its chance to improve a flawed roster and is now paying the consequences.

It may already be too late for Lindor and deGrom to turn the season around for the Mets. The Braves are playing excellent ball, and the Mets are trending in the wrong direction. Their billionaire owner, Steve Cohen, is taking shots at the hitters via Twitter, as he recently said he couldn’t understand how professional hitters could produce so little. Overall, the atmosphere in Queens is not good right now.

The Mets have one of the most passionate fan bases in the sport, and they have been asking for manager Luis Rojas’ head for a while now. And while he deserves some of the blame for the team struggles, it’s evident that the problem goes well beyond the decisions of their skipper.
The Mets’ 2021 season has been a mess that will probably carry over the offseason and be a hot topic among fans.