Despite Mets Strong Start, Questions Loom

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 26: Robinson Cano #24 of the New York Mets makes a throw to Pete Alonso #20 of the New York Mets at first base to make an out during the fourth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field on April 26, 2019 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

The New York Mets are off to a good start, but it remains to be seen just how good this team really is. Their 13-11 record is good for first place in a very competitive National League East. Just one and a half games separate the four teams expected to compete for the division. The Mets have played 16 games against the contending teams in the east and have gone 8-8.  It’s a young season that has already had ups and down for the Mets.

The deGrom Scare

Every team has those few players that are necessary to compete. For the Mets, Jacob deGrom is one of those players. The 2018 Cy Young award winner got off to a blistering start allowing 0 runs in his first 13 innings. Then suddenly, the pitcher who never seemed to give up runs in 2018 had back-to-back starts giving up nine runs in as many innings. It was then announced that deGrom’s elbow was “barking” and he was placed on the injured list. deGrom had an MRI that came back clean and he is scheduled to be activated on time. He briefly suffered through the same issue last year and came back strong. There is no telling how the Mets organization would react if a player they just gave a ton of money too gets hurt for a long period of time.

Injury History

It’s no secret the Mets have had their share of injuries in recent years. This is a fear all Met fans have whenever the team starts to play well. Aside from deGrom so far this season the Mets have been relatively injury free. There is Yoenis Cespedes who has been out since last season and if he comes back the Mets view him as a bonus. Key free agent signee Jed Lowrie has yet to play in a game with the Mets.  He is expected back sometime in May. Todd Frazier has just come off the injured list. That’s all the significant injuries the Mets have right now. It is a long season and the Mets fan base always is bracing for the worst.

Bright Spots

Undoubtedly, the two players who have become the biggest fan favorites among the Mets are Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil. Alonso started the season as the starting first basemen rather than the Mets holding him in the minors to save one more year of team control. Alonso has proved they made the right decision leading the team in home runs with eight and RBI with 21. All McNeil has done is hit .363 playing 3 different positions. New closer Edwin Diaz has been great as advertised with seven saves and 16 strikeouts in eight innings.

Offensively the Mets are averaging over five runs scored a game. But this team is built around their pitching most specifically the starting pitching. With a team ERA of 5.15, this confirms the Mets record of 13-11 truly reflects their play. As much as Mets management has to be pleased with the depth of the offensive contributions being made by their position players the lack of consistency by the pitching staff as a whole is certainly displeasing.

Then there is Mickey Calloway, the manager who can do nothing right. Never has a manager been criticized as much as Calloway. He gets criticized after wins by a fan base that might never really embrace or accept him.

The baseball season is long and we are really just getting started. One thing is for sure. The National League East looks like it will be a fun race to watch. The Mets have been a fun team to watch early, but their inconsistencies could be their downfall in a deep division in 2019.

Main Photo:Embed from Getty Images

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