Over the last six to seven weeks, the Mets have played a subpar, uninspiring brand of baseball. The one saving grace that I kept pointing to was that, the Mets are lucky they play in the National League East. Until this past weekend, the lousy division allowed the Mets to hold first place for over three plus months in sole possession.
That first place silver lining is no more.
The Mets were swept in three straight games by the Philadelphia Phillies turning a .5 game division lead into a 2.5 game deficit. The Mets scored five runs in three games down in one of the most hitter friendly ballparks in all of baseball.
In case you wanted another kick in the gut, Phillies ace and former Mets starter Zack Wheeler twirled a two hit shutout in completing the sweep.
Sure, this weekend was humiliating, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Since early June, the Mets really haven’t done anything right. The early season starting pitching which was top notch throughout the first two months of the year has tailed off. Reason one, the Jacob deGrom injury and a considerable market correction.
However, the biggest reason the Mets have been so subpar over the past two months is the lack of offensive production. It’s been a recurring theme throughout the entire 2021 campaign. The Mets simply do not score enough runs.
The fact that the Mets have put up comparable offensive numbers to the woeful Pittsburgh Pirates should tell you a thing or two about their lineup. It’s a lineup that has struggled to hit the fastball, hasn’t hit the ball out of the ballpark and it’s baffling.
When you look up and down the names throughout the batting order, you expect a good amount of these guys to be much better.
That said, the middle of August is almost here. You are what your numbers say you are. You are what your record says you are.
The Mets have played themselves out of first place and if you’re going to see the same team that we watched over the last two months, you can forget about catching the Philadelphia Phillies or the Atlanta Braves.
However, this baseball season has taught us a valuable lesson. The feel and narratives surrounding a team can change on a dime.
Look at how the Yankees and Blue Jays have turned their seasons around. Conversely, look at how the Red Sox and Mets have slipped over the last few weeks. The Mets do not face an insurmountable deficit within the NL East, but they have to play much better baseball.
If the Mets think scoring less than 4 runs a game is a blueprint to the postseason, they are gravely mistaken. It’s more like a blueprint to some early Fall tee times.
The Mets need a narrative change fast, especially with a brutal stretch of games coming up against the two best teams in the NL. The Giants and Dodgers.
As Yogi once said, it’s getting late early.
Time to start swinging, and swinging fast…