To paraphrase Arya Stark in the season premiere of Game of Thrones: “Winter has come for the New York Mets.”
The Amazin’s listless 5-0 loss to Michael Wacha and the St. Louis Cardinals shows that this team is teetering on death. There is no life and the malaise that engulfed this club most of the season is not going away.
Sure, when the Mets get great pitching, like when Jacob deGrom is on the mound, they look like they can get back in the race, but if it’s not there, this team seems to get down on itself and pretty much you can end the game there. There is no fire and no fight in this club when it gets behind.
And tonight, those early mental and physical errors surely didn’t help.
That’s why you will start seeing a fire sale in the next two weeks, which maybe is the Faceless Man responsible for a game like this.
“I don’t know what (the players) think and what goes on in their minds,” said manager Terry Collins. “All I know is my approach to them and that’s don’t worry about it. If your name is mentioned or who will be called up, don’t worry about it. You have to worry about today.”
But the Mets, who started the second half so nicely with two wins, now has lost three in a row. There will be no Wild Card, no second half run, and no miracle in 2017. There just maybe a remorseful Hound coming by to bury the bodies.
And that was the risk coming in this season. Although the starting staff is all under contract, the lineup, outside of Yoenis Cespedes, Michael Conforto, and Travis d’Arnaud are all free agents after September. The players know what is happening and frankly are probably looking to make plans in the next couple of weeks.
It’s the soft underbelly for a club that has a lineup mainly built outside the organization. A player like Jay Bruce, although likes it here in New York, will like it in another city as well. So, will Curtis Granderson, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Neil Walker.
It’s plain to see. You don’t need Samwell Tarly to steal some books from the Citadel to find this ancient secret.
Over the next week and a half, the Mets will be engaging in numerous discussions about what will be happening with the club going forward. They hope to restock the farm system, which took a beating over the past couple of seasons to allow the club to make the playoffs two years in a row.
Now the iron price needs to be paid. It’s never easy for a team to sell, because the club still needs fans to come to the ballpark and selling is weakening a product this season to strengthen it next year.
So, this is the beginning of the end of the Mets in 2017. Although deep down we knew it for a while and hoped against hope they could turn it around and have some sort of miracle run. But when the Mets lost the core of their starting staff to injury and Jeurys Familia was put on the shelf, the season was pretty much over then with their chances more of a lottery ticket than a realistic opportunity.
This is the endgame for 2017 and everything else will be academic for the club.
Winter has come for the New York Mets and the long night will take them until next April.
At least Game of Thrones will be on every Sunday for the next six weeks.