Just when you thought the Mets might be putting together some kind of magic this year, they run into the Yankees, manage to win a game then display their shortcomings. They lost the series two games to one then dropped the first two to the lowly Chicago Cubs, the worst team in baseball.
Think things are different? Well here is some sobering news. After 75 games last season, the Mets were 37-38. Right now, they are 39-36, only a two game difference. The painfully obvious was on display last night in a game the Mets were allegedly well rested for.
I gave the Mets a break on Monday because they did not get into Chicago until 4:00AM. After the energy draining series with the Yanks and no sleep, you could forgive them for playing so horribly two nights ago. But last night’s fiasco simply made me realize the Mets have some good players but you know what, there is a lot of work yet to be done with this club.
Recently when the Mets were playing well, some were praising Omar Minaya—after all, it was his draft picks that were winning games. Well folks, it’s also his draft picks that are making Little League mental errors, not hitting with runners in scoring position, and not being able to shut down a weak opposition. When you see some of the nonsense that went on during the last four games, it makes you wonder if Lucas Duda, Ike Davis, Josh Thole, Dillon Gee, and others are the players that will make the Mets real contenders again. Or are they simply stop gap type players while Sandy Alderson attempts to draft and trade for the real impact type hitters and pitchers a team needs to succeed.
On Sunday’s “Talking Baseball” with Ed Randall on WFAN radio, Frank Viola, mostly interviewed to discuss his daughter who was named to the Olympic Diving team, did praise the Mets front office and the arms they have drafted the last couple of seasons. Viola, pitching coach for the Savannah Sand Gnats, spoke glowingly of the many power arms on the South Atlantic League single A affiliate of the Mets.
Pitching is the key to success. For these young arms may someday contribute at the Major League level or they will be used in trades to bring back the hitters the Mets currently lack. Either way, the real future of this club is still two or three years away. I was fooled into thinking perhaps it is happening as soon as now. But after watching this team fold against the Yankees, it made me realize this group may have some of the pieces of that bright future but as presently constituted, this club has more of a chance to finish last then they do first.
Mets fans love to compare all Mets teams to the ’86 club. Remember what those guys did to second division teams? They destroyed them—no mercy. Sure, there might be a bad club that gives a good team fits once in a while. But by far, a good team pads their record with the bottom dwellers of the league, not make those teams look like Murderers Row.
Now the Mets are in position to try and salvage a game this afternoon against the Cubs before they fly off to Hollywood and face the best team in the National League for four games. Don’t look now but by the time the All Star Break rolls around in another week, the Mets could be looking up at the .500 mark.