Mets continue to struggle

Jacob Degrom throws a pitch for the Mets. Photo Credit:

Jacob Degrom throws a pitch for the Mets. Photo Credit:

Jimmy Patton, Sports Editor

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For the second year in a row, Mets fans will not see their team come playoff time. It feels like just yesterday when the franchise seemed to look like it could contend in the National League for many years to come. In 2015, the New York Mets reached the World Series on a miraculous run for the first time since 2000. Ultimately losing to the Kansas City Royals, the Mets would fall just short of a championship, but that season was still a major success.
The following year, the Mets would return to the playoffs as a Wild Card team. They would face the San Francisco Giants in Citi Field. In devastating fashion, the Mets would fall in a very tight game, ruining their chances to return back to the World Series.
In the two seasons since then, a lot has changed in Queens. Missing the last two years, the roster looks considerably different, and many key pieces from that World Series run have either obtained a variety of injuries, left the team, or have had a decline in their game. The Mets finished this season with a final record of 77-85, 4th place in the N.L. East and 13 games behind division winner, the Atlanta Braves. Their record was a disappointment both for the players and for their fanbase.
Going into the season, there were many reasons to be optimistic for the franchise. After parting ways with Terry Collins, the search for a new manager was on. Ultimately, Mickey Callaway, former pitching coach for the Cleveland Indians was hired for the job.
For the last number of years, the strength and the core of the Mets is their starting rotation.
The three main threats were Noah Syndergaard, also known as “Thor”, Jacob deGrom, and Matt Harvey. Harvey, now a free agent and finished the season with the Reds, was a key part in their World Series run a few years ago. Now, the rotation consists of Zack Wheeler, Jason Vargas, Steven Matz, and still Syndergaard and deGrom. Wheeler, finished the season with the more innings pitched than any other season of his career with a 12-7 record and a solid 3.31 ERA. Syndergaard, finished the season 13-4 with a 3.03 ERA, also very impressive. Vargas and Matz on the other hand were very big disappointments. Finally, deGrom had the best season of his career and was the winner of the National League the Cy Young award. The Cy Young award goes to the best two pitchers of each league, (American and National). Degrom, finishing the season with an astonishing 1.70 ERA, had 269 strikeouts and a 0.912 WHIP. These numbers are fantastic, but they were almost not enough. Degrom was a controversial choice to win the Cy Young award due to his record which was 10-9 on the season.
A pitcher’s record however, often does not reflect the quality of the pitcher. For example, if Degrom pitched eight innings only giving up one run, but the Mets don’t score a run, Degrom gets the loss. Scenarios like this often plagued the Mets’ ace throughout the season which sadly dampers his Cy Young award candidacy. Ultimately, his record would not cost him the award he rightfully deserved as Degrom would almost win the award unanimously.
This issue is due largely in part to the Mets lineup constantly having someone injured and also an overall lack of depth. In an extremely tough decision, consisting of both the Braves, and the rising Phillies, it’s hard to foresee any success coming the Mets’ way in the future. Both the Braves and Phillies each have lots of young talent and more cap space to spend than the Mets. More importantly, they are also much more willing to spend the money than the Mets front office historically has been. The Mets find themselves in a rut and they need to decide sooner than later if they should completely rebuild.