NY Sports Day
Joe McDonald

McDonald: Bad Optics and Poor Play Make The Mets A Mediocre Team

Photo: Mike McCann

After a little over two months into this 2019 season, the Mets are happily three games under .500 (30-33) with some good series at home against really bad teams and tougher records against the good teams around the league.

You know what that makes the Mets? Decidedly mediocre.

The Mets are not a good team, but at the same time not really a bad one either. They are somewhere right in the middle with decent starting, but a horrid bullpen and lineup that has some really bright spots (Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeill) and some really bad (Robinson Cano, Juan Lagares).

All that means is that the Mets are just a .500 team. And right now, unless they some players to step up, they are right around the break-even mark.

And tonight’s game was a microcosm of this season. They got great starting pitching from Jacob deGrom with two runs and 10 strikeouts over six innings and then the bullpen took over. Tonight’s goat out of the putrid pen was Drew Gagnon, who proceeded to come into the eighth and give up two home runs, including a round tripper to former Met Daniel Murphy.

“I wasn’t throwing strikes all night,” Gagnon said.

He wasn’t kidding either because his next pitch went into the back of Ian Desmond, who took exception and the benches went and cleared. No punches thrown, but maybe the closest thing the Mets had to a brawl in a long time.

Or as Mickey Callaway said, “Boys will be boys.”

So yeah, no one was hurt in the bench clearing incident, but the optics look bad for Gagnon and the Mets even though they deny hitting Desmond on purpose.

And that’s the story of the Mets this season. It’s all bad optics, even if things are not that bad or that good.

It looks bad that the Mets lost Yoenis Cespedes for the season due to a farming accident and now looking to void his contract.

It looks bad criticizing Robinson Cano for not running hard, something he never did with the Yankees or Mariners either and when he finally does turn on the Jets, he hurts his quad.

It looks bad for Callaway in taking out his starters too early only to have his arsonists in the bullpen blow multiple run leads.

Oh, there are other examples, but isn’t that the story of the Mets season. Yes they are trying to win, but they are not good enough and they are looking bad doing it.

Tonight, was just another example of it.

And sure, they can win the next two games at home as the Rockies are the greatest team in the world, but then they play the Yankees and the Cards, two teams that usually handle the Mets well.

“Eventually we are going to rip of five or six games,” deGrom said.

Okay, Jake, when will it happen, because it seems to be the same old story coming from Citi Field.

The only thing we have to wait for is when they will fire Callaway. Eventually it will happen, especially if the Mets stop this .500 shuffle and go into the tank.

Hopefully though, Brodie Van Wagenen doesn’t go for it at the deadline, because no matter who they acquire, the Mets are still going to be short a player or two to win the division and they will just be spinning their wheels.

But that’s what mediocre teams do and the Mets? They are decidedly mediocre.


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