RECORDS: Cubs 31-31 Mets 28-33
GAMETIMES: Monday-Wednesday at 6:10pm
TV: CSN Monday and Wednesday, ABC Tuesday
WELCOME TO NEW YORK WHERE THE WEATHER IS FUCK YOU: Amazin’ Avenue
Doesn’t seem so long ago that this series would have had some hype to it, no? Well it wasn’t. It was last year when it was an NLCS rematch. Then the Cubs went on to do the Mets one better, and the Mets turned back into being the Mets, and suddenly it’s just a trip to Queens. And no one really wants to make a trip to Queens.
The Mets are five games under .500, and yet are in second place in the NL East because it’s become a home for wayward children. It is almost certain they’re not going to catch the Nationals, and being able to rope in one of the teams from the West coin-flip spot is looking pretty unlikely either. Sure, Thor could return and Harvey Danger could rediscover something and maybe deGrom finds former form and they could go on a ridiculous run… but it’s the Mets. Always short the Mets.
It’s a lineup that isn’t terrible. There’s an outside MVP candidate in Michael Conforto, which we’ve already documented. He only got in the lineup when Cespedes hurt himself buying another car, and now Terry Collins is going to have to rotate the three old men in Cespedes, Granderson, and Bruce because Conforto can’t be removed. Bruce has actually been really good, with 16 homers and slugging .528. Neil Walker has been having another quietly effective season, and Lucas Duda has been able to put up numbers before his body turns back into eaten paste again.
That doesn’t mean there haven’t been holes. Jose Reyes has been a tire-fire, hitting .186 and gotten benched. Asdrubal Cabrera has been meh. Granderson has a .298 OBP. Wilmer Flores is riding the high-side of a BABIP roller coaster to a .321 average, but that could crash at any minute.
The starting rotation you probably already know about, because the Mets starting rotation has been a soap opera for years now. 11 players have taken the ball at the start of games for the Mets already. Syndergaard is still on the shelf, but everyone else is back. deGrom has been gun powder and matches his last two starts, with 15 earned runs between them. Matt Harvey can’t find the plate and when he does it’s going the other way in a damn hurry. Wheeler has been really good for the last six weeks, with a 2.74 ERA in May and a 2.03 ERA in two June starts. Steven Matz returned last weekend to good effect. So Harvey and deGrom are the ones that need to find something, and Syndergaard needs to reattach his lat before the Mets are the doomsday rotation they were two years ago.
The pen took a major hit when Jeurys Familia went down for the season when his shoulder couldn’t function without his PEDs and is most likely done for the year. That moves Addison Reed into the closer’s role, and I wouldn’t trust Reed as far as I can throw him as good as it’s gone for him in Queens. Jerry Blevins gets lefties out pretty much every time but that’s all he does. After that it’s a whole lot of boxes with question marks and sell-by dates on them. Let’s put it this way, Neil Ramirez is here.
While the Cubs will spend most the next month on the road, this is something of a soft landing. The Mets and Pirates are not good. deGrom and Harvey have been getting torched of late. While it doesn’t feel that way, a 6-4 homestand is actually a decent base to launch something of a revolution from. Keep Conforto from murdering you, the way they weren’t able to keep Charlie Blackmon from doing, and you’ve handicapped a good portion of the Mets lineup. To it.