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Five more days of this dreadful season for the Mets!
What's left for the Mets in the final week of what has been one of their most disappointing seasons in club history?
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets were off on Monday after a brutal series in Philadelphia, and open a three-game series against the Marlins tonight at Citi Field
The Mets will look to at least finish above .500 at home in 2023 - they are 39-36 at Citi Field this season
The Mets will hold a fan appreciation weekend event in the final three games of the season against the Phillies beginning on Friday, inclusive of gate promotions, concession discounts and appearances from former Mets (Official Release)
Prospect Watch 🌾
The Binghamton Rumble Ponies lost game 1 of their Eastern League Championship Series against Erie on Monday by a score of 9-6. They trail their best of three series 1-0 and must win the next two games to take the title.
All other seasons for the Mets minor league affiliates have concluded.
OF Drew Gilbert (No. 2 prospect, Double-A Binghamton): 2-for-5, HR, 3 RBI
C Kevin Parada (No. 5 prospect, Double-A Binghamton): 3-for-5, RBI
INF Luisangel Acuña (No. 1 prospect, Double-A Binghamton): 2-for-5, R
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (71-85) vs. Marlins (81-75)
Where: Citi Field - Flushing, New York
Starting pitchers: LHP Joey Lucchesi (3-0, 2.88 ERA) vs. LHP Braxton Garrett (9-6, 3.53 ERA)
When: 7:10 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
5 more days of this… ✍️
Well, we have reached the last leg of the regular season.
There’s no question about it and there’s no two ways to cut this sandwich. This has been a nightmarish embarrassment of a season for this franchise. What started off with so much hope, promise and hype has turned into a wrecked ship which began sinking pretty much on day one.
Actually, the ship began taking on water before the season even started when Edwin Díaz went down with his knee injury.
Amazingly, aside from a typical story or two when teams go bad about the Mets clubhouse potentially being fractured, questionable work ethic, and all of the crap we promise to never address here because it serves as fodder which distracts from baseball itself, there really hasn’t been a lot of drama to the season for the Mets. They stunk, they stunk on day one and they stink today.
That’s been pretty much it.
The funny thing is, I am used to that kind of drama that follows a bad Met team. The last one being in 2021 when the Mets were in first place for most of that season before belly flopping in the second half and both Javier Báez and Francisco Lindor leading a charge in that dugout of giving fans a “thumbs down” whenever they did something good. There was also the Zack Scott and Jared Porter situations as well.
Then there was the 2018 team led by Mickey Callaway when Jason Vargas decided to start a fight with a member of the Mets beat in the clubhouse at Wrigley Field, and Callaway’s unwillingness to apologize for it when given the chance before essentially being forced to do it (and then there was the story that came out and his treatment of women after he was gone, which was just horrible).
But there were no firecrackers, bleach, pot, inappropriate structures in a locker, or anything like that this season. Not yet, anyway.
We still have five days to go, right?
So, what can be had over these final five days of a season, one we all wish we could just wish away today and be spared of a wild card race coming to Citi Field in which the Mets have finally been eliminated from?
There is Kodai Senga who will start this week and attempt to solidify his case for Rookie of the Year. He has a tough chore ahead with Corbin Carroll doing some amazing things this season for the Diamondbacks, and Arizona is in a wild card race whereas the Mets are in a race to the golf course on Monday. But Senga is probably equally as deserving of that honor and he’s only gotten better as the season has rolled on.
Senga has not allowed more than three runs in any start since June 17, and has a 2.50 ERA in those recent 15 starts to show for that quality.
Perhaps what’s most impressive is how Senga has held up over the final two months of the year. This is uncharted territory for Senga and his workload but the Mets have been overly judicious in his usage and stamina management since the day he step foot in Port St. Lucie in February.
Then there are the baby Mets in Francisco Álvarez, Ronny Mauricio, Mark Vientos, and Brett Baty.
Vientos has shown clear-cut signs of getting it at this level over the last few weeks - since September 5 he has hit four home runs, a span of 18 games. And September 5 was the day the Mets decided to give Vientos regular playing time as well. There are still holes in his game, specifically defensively, and the 21 strikeouts in 71 plate appearances during that span simply has to get better, but I think he’s in their conversation for 2024 at this point, which is probably a little bit more than where things stood on September 1.
Álvarez has been an interesting guy all year. He’s been unquestionably great behind the plate between his arm and pitch framing. However, his bat has been bipolar and very streaky. That could be a stamina thing, that could also just be the way he is right now in his career. A strong finish at the plate for Álvarez would give him something to feel good about heading into the winter as he will unquestionably be the club’s opening day catcher in 2024 and both growth and reflection are necessary for him to take the next steps forward in his career. He’s got the power - he needs to become a multi-zone hitter, use the entire field a bit better and become more disciplined. The latter should come with age and maturity.
Mauricio has had a very interesting month. The Mets have looked at him at two positions on the infield but mostly at second base, which is probably where they see him fitting the most going into next season. He has a fascinating bat considering he can cover so much of the zone and around the zone with that long reach of his. What I’ve learned anyway is his bat is so unique and can be a multi-pronged weapon going forward and he gives the Mets an energy level on both sides of the ball they didn’t have before.
Why give up on that? Develop the bat, make him a part of the solution and find a place for him to play on the field.
Lastly, there’s Baty and the mystery that surrounds him. His play on both sides of the ball has been very concerning, and some of the things he’s said in the media have been concerning, including that in which he realized he couldn’t take pitches off at the big league level.
I wasn’t aware anyone at any level could take pitches off. Strike 1 is strike 1. Strike 2 is strike 3. There’s no vacation at the plate when a pitcher is throwing 96 mph and trying to get you out.
I’m not sure if it’s crunch time yet for Baty, especially given the state of the organization on this date. But I’m also not sure the Mets need to be as patient with him as they’ve been over the last year and a half, either, given the emergence of Mauricio and Vientos. A strong finish could go a long way for both Baty and the Mets evaluation in him. He has perked up recently but things just haven’t clicked for him at this level to-date. Let’s see what the next five days bring for him.
I might be fishing here, but I always think there’s something to consider even when the Mets are at their most irrelevant, like they are now. There’s a lot of work to do with this roster and a lot of work to do with this organization as a whole. That’s why David Stearns was brought in.
But there are lessons and takeaways with every nine innings played for any team that’s something I’ve learned along the way as someone who has been writing about the team regularly in what is now my 15th season (can’t believe that, btw).
For better or for worse.
There are other things of course, including but not limited to the current audition in the rotation, how many more home runs Pete Alonso can hit, and if Jeff McNeil can continue this resurgence after what has been a trying season.
We can leave those topics for another day.
Around the League 🚩
The Astros beat the Mariners 5-1, sending Seattle to their fourth loss in a row and now four games out of the AL West thanks to the Rangers’ 5-1 win over the Angels
The Padres tragic number is down to 1 thanks to their 2-1 loss to the Giants - San Francisco is still holding on to their slim playoff hopes with the win
The Yankees beat the Diamondbacks 6-4 in the Bronx, which dropped Arizona into a tie for the second wild card with the Cubs and just one game ahead of the Marlins for a playoff spot altogether