WSOU

The Mets are pushing for October

Date: August 5, 2019

By: Ronny Castaneda

It seemed to be just a regular New York Mets season just two months ago. After having players placed on the DL and a bullpen that cost them countless games, all was in place for the Mets’ disappointment once again in the big apple.

Coming into the season, the Mets had some high hopes to boost up spirits after an absolutely tragic 2018 campaign. After a dramatic trade that brought arguably the best closer in baseball to an inconsistent bullpen in Edwin Diaz to combine with a rotation centered around Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom, New York was beginning to light up. The hopes of bringing a pennant back to Citi Field seemed to be in the back of everyone's mind.

Not to mention that the Mets were also looking to see the continuation of stellar seasons from Jeff McNeil and Brandon Nimmo, and the long-awaited arrival of stud prospect Pete Alonso.

And thus, those pieces began to fall into place. Alonso wasted no time making a name for himself and became one of the best power hitters in the game. McNeil also came in hot, as he began racking up RBIs with ease. Pitching took a while to step but once deGrom and Noah Syndergaard started dealing, it looked as if the Mets could make noise.

Yet among all the talent on the roster, nothing could overshadow the failures that came. The Mets bullpen began to show true colors as blown save after blown save haunted Citi Field. A snowball effect occurred as management began taking heat and the New York media kept pouring the Kerosene on an inferno just waiting to happen. Skipper Mickey Calloway and general manager Brodie Van Wagenen were taking heat and fans were calling for their termination.

All looked over for a team that was hoping to capitalize on some major play behind a young core. The Metropolitans were taking a 40-50 record into the All-Star weekend and a dark second half looked imminent.

Yet the All-Star break was kind to New York. The Mets began by winning five of their first six games back from the break, before losing some heartbreakers in the Bay Area in a four-game series with the Giants.

As the trade deadline approached, endless rumors regarding Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler and Diaz were in the air. In an unexpected turn, New York traded parts of their farm system for 2019 All-Star Marcus Stroman, who was one of the top pitchers in search of a new team heading into the deadline.

The Mets also kept teams away from Syndergaard and Wheeler, thus composing one of the most dominant rotations in baseball with deGrom, Steven Matz, Wheeler, Syndergaard and Stroman ready to work, all while getting rid of Jason Vargas, who never shaped up to be what they had signed for the previous year.

The trade deadline was just as kind as the All-Star break and New York was anything but out yet, as they went on to have a 15-6 record post All-Star Break, including a wild seven-game win streak. It also seemed as if the bullpen curse was lifted from the team with the worst in the league. A combined 2.91 team ERA since the break has been the best in baseball and a consistent rotation full of All-Star talent was beginning to shape up into top-notch form.

With about 50 or so games left in the season, the New York Mets have made it clear that they are in win now mode, and who can blame them? After battling back to become only three games behind a wild card spot with all engines flowing and full steam ahead. Alonso even took to social media to hype up the fanbase that has seen their team come from rock bottom back into a solid position.

The future is uncertain for the Metropolitans, but no one can ignore the noise they’ve begun to make just in time for a part in October baseball. The New York Mets are hot, let’s see if they can ignite the flame in the heart of Queens and breathe life back into Citi Field.

 

Ronny Castaneda can be reached at ronald.castaneda@student.shu.edu.

Posted in: Sports, WSOU

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