The baseball season is two months old, and the New York Mets have a .500 record. That is about where they should be if you go by preseason expectations, but the calculus changed after the team got off to an 11-1 start. The Mets slumped a bit at end of April, but were still in good position with a 17-9 record and sole possession of first place in the National League East. All of the good will from that start is gone after a dreadful May that saw the Mets go 10-18, falling back to .500 and into fourth place in a surprisingly competitive division.
Even the most optimistic Mets’ fan knew things wouldn’t be good when the team started off the month getting swept on a six game homestand. The Mets followed that up by dropping two out of three to the worst team in the National League, the Cincinnati Reds, before splitting a pair in Philadelphia. Things got better on the next homestand, where the Mets won five of the first six, including a four game winning streak. That positive energy evaporated when the Mets lost the final two games of the home stand to the Miami Marlins, the National League’s other abysmal team, before finding every possible way to blow leads on their eight game road trip. The Mets went just 3-5 on that trip, salvaging a split in Atlanta after getting beat up by Milwaukee, before dropping their final game of the month to the Chicago Cubs.
There were certainly plenty of injury issues for the Mets in August, who saw seven players from the Opening Day roster (Yoenis Cespedes, Todd Frazier, A.J. Ramos, Jacob deGrom, Juan Lagares, Wilmer Flores, and Noah Syndergaard) all land on the disabled list. Only deGrom has come back from his injury at this point, so the fact that the Mets are only .500 and four games out of the NL East lead in the loss column is a positive. The Mets still need to play better as a team, but they have somehow stayed afloat in spite of all the bad things that have happened to them.
There wasn’t a ton that went right for the Mets’ offensively in May. Yoenis Cespedes (.324/2/3) was heating up before he got hurt, and the same can be said for both Wilmer Flores (.290/1/8) and Juan Lagares (.333). New acquisition Jose Bautista acquitted himself well, batting .304 with three doubles, while Adrian Gonzalez quietly contributed a .289 batting average with three homers and seven RBI’s. The brightest spot might be Brandon Nimmo, who hit .277 with an impressive .406 on base percentage.
Pitching wise, deGrom was excellent, going 1-0 with a 0.69 ERA in five starts in May, and could have won all of them if not for his elbow injury and the horrendous Mets’ bullpen. Seth Lugo was one of the few bright spots out there, pitching to a 1.21 ERA in 12 appearances, while Steven Matz (1-1, 2.25 ERA) managed to turn his season around after a rough start.
The road doesn’t get any easier for the Mets in June, as they have to face many quality teams, including the Cubs, New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, Colorado Rockies, and Pittsburgh Pirates. The Mets play 26 games in June, but they should start getting injured players back in the coming weeks, potentially as soon as Monday with Frazier and Anthony Swarzak. If they can go 15-11 in June, simply playing four games above .500, the Mets should be able to stay afloat before the All Star Break.