The New York Mets have spent the most money in baseball since Steve Cohen’s ownership reign began in September 2021. The money was and is being thrown about to help obtain a World Series-winning team and for good reason. But the 2023 season has not been off to a good start and the plans for a championship parade in Queens should be on hold.
3 Reasons Why The Mets Season Could Be Over Already
Starting Rotation Troubles
The problem starts with the team relying on two aging pitchers in Max Scherzer (38 years old) and Justin Verlander (40 years old) to anchor their rotation. As well as a 38-year-old closer in David Robertson to lock down the ninth inning. That is a very risky thing to do and has proven so far this year to be a mistake.
Verlander has only made two starts and Scherzer, who was suspended and hurt already in 2023, already has been off to a very pedestrian start at his age. It begs to wonder if his stuff is starting to diminish. The durability and longevity of these two pitching greats is a major problem, trying to ask them to pitch 200+ innings and pitch on short rest come playoff time is not something that they will be able to do anymore.
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After those two, the rotation is weak and the depth is not there. Pitchers like rookie Kodai Senga, Tylor Megill, Carlos Carrasco (IL), and David Peterson round out their starting staff. Letting veteran pitchers like Chris Bassitt and Taijuan Walker leave in free agency is starting to show a huge hole in this roster.
The Mets pitching numbers as a whole stand at 4.54 ERA (ninth), 341 SO (seventh), 155 BB (Last), and 54 HR Allowed (Last), these NL ranks are not great. Believe it or not, the bullpen has not been the problem here, which is a plus, especially with the loss of Edwin Díaz due to an injury in the WBC before the season.
Not Raising The Apple
The Mets offense stands to be one of the better ones in the National League. With the likes of Francisco Lindor, Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, Brandon Nimmo, and Starling Marte, these guys could easily carry the team to wins. And, in 2022, they did just that.
The team as a whole ranked in the top half of the NL in the major categories such as first in AVG, third in runs, eighth in home runs, sixth in doubles, and sixth In triples. The team was able to produce a ton of runs via contact, extra-base hits and timely hitting.
It has been the opposite so far this year. The team currently in 2023 is ranked 10th or worse in the major offensive categories in the National League, .239 AVG (13th), runs 171 (11th), home runs 41 (10th), doubles 62 (12th), triples three (10th). Numbers like these make it hard to win games.
With the starting pitching down as a whole and weaker than in 2022 the offense needs to step up. The pitching staff has given up more home runs than the offense has hit for the Mets. Players like Lindor, McNeil, and Marte need to step up quickly for this team to turn things around. The team who scored the third most runs in 2022 is a shell of itself this year and the effects have been blatant.
The Remaining Schedule
Every year some teams open the gates with weaker schedules than others and vice versa. The Mets have opened up with a pretty easy schedule and have stumbled out of the gates. Compiling a 20-21 record coming into the game on Monday, May 15th.
Per Power Rankings Guru the Mets have played the easiest schedule in baseball through their first 41 games. So to say the Mets had a hard go of it to start is false. But to say the team is 5.5 games back in the NL East and 0.5 games back from a Wild Card spot already is a massive red flag.
What compounds matter is that the same rankings show the Mets with the 9th hardest remaining schedule. This includes the month of June which is littered with games against the New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays, Milwaukee Brewers, and the St. Louis Cardinals. 22 out of 26 games in June will be played against .500+ win percentage teams as of now.
The Mets are in a spot to make or break their season in the coming weeks. The idea of being under .500 and sellers at the deadline is un-thinkable. But continuing to lose series against teams like the Cincinnati Reds, Colorado Rockies, Washington Nationals and Detroit Tigers can’t keep happening.
So is the Mets season already over? No not right now, but at this trajectory it will be soon — maybe betting on the Mets isn’t in the cards for you. Like they say, you can’t win the World Series in April or May but you could surely lose it.
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