The Layoff is No Big Deal
With the Mets winning the pennant on October 21st, they will have six off days prior to the start of the World Series. If you read the newspapers, the Mets are in trouble. Here are reasons why I disagree:
The Mets Had a Similar Layoff before the NLDS
With the regular season ending on a Sunday and the NLDS beginning on a Friday, the Mets had four days of rest. When Game 1 came around, they took quality at bats against Clayton Kershaw. If you want to point out the Mets didn’t score a lot of runs, I’d remind you it was Kershaw and Zack Greinke.
Also, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard benefitted from the extra rest. In Game One, deGrom struck out 13. In Game Two, Thor struck out nine. For a team built on pitching, anything that gets them more time to be at their best is a net positive.
The Royals Have a Layoff
Yes, the Mets swept, and the Royals won in six games. However because the ALCS started first, the Mets only have two extra days rest. If a layoff is that much of a negative, it is going to affect both teams. At least the Mets had extra time off for treatments, workouts, and to figure out logistics.
As we all remember, Yoenis Cespedes left Game 4 of the NLCS with a left shoulder injury. I don’t care if he was golfing, doing push-ups, or helping Keith Hernandez move, he has a shoulder injury requiring a cortisone shot. Any extra rest you can get him right now is good.
Note, I did not include David Wright here because rest may actually be a detriment even if baseball activities exacerbate spinal stenosis. He was there for the optional workout session, and he seems to be keeping loose.
The Numbers Work Both Ways
Many are pointing out that teams with long layovers don’t fare well in the World Series. They point to five of the last six teams with long layoffs losing the World Series. One of those teams was last year’s Royals. Let me pose a rhetorical question here: did the Royals lose due to the layoff or due to the greatness of Madison Bumgarner?
Fact is, the numbers aren’t as conclusive as many say they are. In fact, teams with s layoff as long as the Mets have had are 8-7 in the World Series. That indicates to me the wins and losses are more indicative of talent than anything else. If that’s truly the case, I like the Mets chances.
For all the negatives Terry Collins brings, he has managed the clubhouse perfectly. He may not push the right buttons in game, but he does put his players in a position to succeed. I really believe if anyone can find a way to make this long layoff work, it’s him.
If the Mets use the time properly, this layoff could be an enormous benefit, rather than being a detriment. They’re going to Kansas City early, and they’re preparing for this World Series. The Mets have earned this time off, and if they perform how I think they can, they’ll earn their layoff until pitchers and catchers.