New York Mets had only the worst weekend of the season. Not the worst weekend for Mets, the worst weekend of any team in the majors.
They entered Miami with a 20-22 record, against the worst team in the majors, a team running a seven-match loss and a loser of 14 of their past 16. Marlins had made only eight attempts in these seven defeat without hitting a single home run. This was not just a bad team with a bad crime, but a bad team with historically terrible crimes. Mets had Jacob deGrom starting on Friday and Noah Syndergaard on Sunday. It was a golden opportunity to win three in a row and climb over .500.
Therefore, Vegas always wins in the end.
Friday: The Marlins win 8-6 when they make seven runs ̵
1; including a home run – of deGrom in five innings. “Tonight is on me. I did a horrible job out there,” said deGrom and said he can’t throw the ball where he wants right now. At one point, Robinson Cano failed to run an inning ending 1-6-3 double play, later saying he thought it was two outs.
Saturday: The Marlins win 2-0 as Pablo Lopez and two relievers combine for En-hit shutout, the only hit is Jeff McNeil’s double at the game’s first height. “I think we have talent in there,” said Mets manager Mickey Callaway after the loss. “We have to start doing it somehow, somehow.”
Sunday: It didn’t happen. Marlins closed Mets 3-0 behind Sandy Alcantara’s two-hit, 89-pitch complete game in a one-hour, 59-minute competition. It was like Mets couldn’t wait to get out of there. The low point came when Cano did not run after beating a small trickler who hit behind the plate but then rolled a few feet fairly. He stood at home and argued for the call that Marlins ended a 2-6-3 double game.
“I understand that everyone is disappointed – the fans, the ownership, myself, the team – because it’s not who we are,” Callaway said.
Or maybe it is. For many years, Bob Klapisch and John Harper wrote a book, “The Worst Team Money Could Buy,” about Mets in the early 90s. Maybe 2019 Mets is just the most mediocre team any money could buy.
As you can imagine, Twitter had a field day, with sharp speculation about Callaway’s future now in full “Game of Thrones” mode. There seems to be only one solution for Mets:
Apart from that miracle, here are five players that Mets need to see better:
1 and 2. DeGrom and Syndergaard: See, this team was built around the idea that these two would be aces. But now deGrom 3-5 with a 3.98 ERA and Syndergaard is 3-4 with a 4.50 ERA. It is not that they have been bad; They just haven’t been as good as they were in 2018. Although DeGrom is still 10th in the May issue at the strike frequency, Syndergaard is only 36 and he allows home runs, never a problem with him earlier. Of course, deGrom had the rocky stretch in April when he had the tender elbow. Some teams can overcome the loss or mediocre season of a star, and although these two are not vocal leaders in the clubhouse, it is never a good feeling when your shoulder is slightly outside the center. Of all Mets’ problems, this is probably what I am least worried about, besides the common concern for their health.
3. Cano: Brodie Van Wagenen’s business for Cano and Edwin Diaz was indeed a risky type of challenge trade, giving two excellent prospects to Diaz and assuming much of Cano’s contract. Cano meets .245 / .293 / .374 with three home runs. The big red flag: His strike rate is 20 percent, which is below the MLB average, but a big increase for him. His turn-and-miss pace is up and his chase is up. We can’t ignore that Cano had the performance-enhancing drug suspension last year, but he did better after returning from the suspension. I wonder if Cano goes down the same path as Joey Votto, where the rate of recovery suddenly grows overnight. He is 36. I would be worried.
4. Amed Rosario: I have never been high on Rosario, but he comes with a lot of prospects and he is still only 23 years old. But the man he has been a disaster in the field, wrongly and not shown the range you expect from a qualified Major League shortstop. He’s just not good. The defensive readings are restored, as he has been burdened with minus 13 defensive rescues saved, the worst of any player in any position (and Rosario was bad last year). There are potential reserve options – Adeiny Hechavarria started on Sunday and Jed Lowrie, if he ever gets healthy, is an opportunity – but this is a big concern.
5. Brandon Nimmo: I was very high on Nimmo who came into the season after he had written a .404 OBP last year and beat 17 home runs in 433 bats. He looked like he would be one of the best leading hits in the league, even a candidate who led the league in the routes if he played every day. Instead, he has gone backwards. He still suffices with walking, but his outcome rate was wonderful at the beginning of the season and he does not run the ball, so his average has dropped from .263 to 200. A hitter that looked like a potential .400 OBP guy with 20-25 home runs instead beats in .200 / .344 / .323. It is also worth noting that 10 of his home runs last year came in a 24-game stretch in May and June. The good sign is that at least he has cut down on turn-and-miss in the last few weeks, so maybe he comes into a hot stretch.
This is certainly a coincidence, but after beating Phillies 9- 0 on April 23, Mets was 13-10 and FanGraphs gave them 20.1 percent odds to win the division and 48 percent to make the playoffs. The 9-0 win was also the game Jacob Rhame threw at Rhys Hoskins in the ninth inning. These odds are now down to 6.8 percent and 16.4 percent.
Perhaps the baseball gods have spoken.
Tony Quinn / Icon Sportswire