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20/20 Hindsight: Mets Needed To Complete Sweep

After a brief hiatus after a nice family vacation, I’m back watching games at home instead of on the app and able to get back to things like the 20/20 Hindsight. Without further ado:

1. The 1969 and 1973 Mets overcame five game deficits entering September and so can this team, but in order to do so, they need to complete sweeps and not settle for 2/3.

2. There’s a lot of attention on Mickey Callaway for losing Sunday night. No matter your opinion on the moves, when you boil it down, the Mets lost because Jeurys Familia was flat out bad. They also lost because their three best hitters (Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto) didn’t get the big hit in the eighth after the inning was set up for them to deliver.

3. Seeing Luis Guillorme get that bunt down, we see a player who does all the small things really well. It’s also a reminder how much time the Mets wasted on Jose Reyes and Adeiny Hechavarria instead of giving him his chance.

4. On the bunt, there are actually a few times it’s the right move. This was actually one of those times.

5. Who really wanted to see Familia instead of Daniel Zamora against Bryce Harper?

6. On the call-ups, it was great to see Brandon Nimmo back. His getting a walk and drawing a run shows how terrific a player he is. That said, he needs to throw to second.

7. Zack Wheeler set the tone. Steven Matz slayed some Citizen’s Bank Park demons. Marcus Stroman had his best start as a Met. The starting pitching really stepped up in this series after it disappointed against the Cubs.

8. Speaking of starting pitching it was nice seeing the Mets getting a chance to hit against Jason Vargas, who was his typically bad self on the mound.

9. As usual Joe West is a terrible umpire, but in a surprise twist, he nearly killed Rajai Davis.

10. Just when you want to give up on Todd Frazier, he hits two homers and makes a potentially season saving leaping grab.

11. On those nights, the Mets bullpen has Seth Lugo, Justin Wilson, and Luis Avilan available, this is a great bullpen. When they’re not all available, Sunday happens.

12. Paul Sewald has been a godsend, and it’s at the point where he may be the most reliable right-handed reliever not named Lugo.

13. We should be excited Edwin Diaz had two dominant appearances while remembering it’s just two.

14. Past two weeks, Wilmer Flores is hitting .429/.478/.810, and J.D. Davis is hitting .209/.306/.488. Both have 0.7 WAR for the season with Flores playing fewer games and not costing three prospects. The Diamondbacks are ahead of the Mets in the Wild Card standings.

15. Wilson Ramos hitting streak has come at a critical time. Mets need him to keep hitting at this level if they’re going to have a real chance.

16. The video of Sam Haggerty getting informed by Tony DeFrancesco was great, and you love to see players get their first chance at the MLB level.

17. You’ll note Haggerty was called up while Jed Lowrie was not activated. There is some question whether these decisions were linked.

18. With how he’s slowed down of late, Amed Rosario should move back down the lineup. Even with his slowing down, we’ve seen enough to be excited for the future.

19. After early and justifiable buzz, Joe Panik and Brad Brach are reverting to the players they were before the Mets signed then.

20. Four back of the Cubs is still doable. Three would have been moreso. Of course, this all overlooks how much the Mets blew it against the Cubs.

12 thoughts on “20/20 Hindsight: Mets Needed To Complete Sweep”

  1. Blair M. Schirmer says:

    “1. The 1969 and 1973 Mets overcame five game deficits entering September and so can this team,…”

    —Neither scenario matches up at all well with the present scenario, however. The 1973 Mets were an ordinary team that squeaked by with an 82-79 record in an abominable division, while the 1969 Mets were actually a good team, a 100 win team.

    In contrast to 1973 the opposition for the 2019 Mets isn’t abominable at all. It’s actually fairly good. Washington is now all but out of reach (and is probably better than Atlanta), while Chicago and Arizona are both significantly better than the Mets, around 50 runs better by RS-RA. In addition, the Mets would have to get by not just those two, superior teams, but also Philadelphia and the Brewers in what is now really a 5-team race for a single wildcard slot–with the Mets in 5th place.

    As for comparisons with 1969, these Mets have nowhere near as much talent. They’re a true talent .500 team. Those kinds of teams rarely get lucky enough to squeeze by 4 teams they trail by as much as 4 games. It means they not only have to get very good for 26 games, but also very lucky. That’s a hard target to hit.

    The likely failure to reach the postseason will also reveal the absurdity of the Stroman deal.

    Jason Vargas w/ Philadelphia: 6GS, 33IP, 5.18 ERA, 4.83 FIP, 0.2 bWAR.
    Marcus Stroman w/ the Mets: 5GS, 25.1IP, 4.91 ERA, 5.21 FIP, 0.1 bWAR.

    Vargas has pitched more, and has pitched a little better, albeit in slightly worse luck. And for that, depending on how we look at it, the Mets dealt away their two best milb SPs, their #4 and #6 minor leaguers and failed to get the useful minor leaguer they could have gotten in return for Wheeler, and whatever spare change was available for Frazier and perhaps Ramos. All to delude the casual fan into thinking there was something there, and done so just so that van Wagenen didn’t look quite as foolish as he truly is.

    Stroman also allows the Mets to go cheap in 2020, too. Instead of signing Wheeler to an extension Stroman lets the Mets get out wrt moderately expensive starting pitching after one more year. He even lets the Mets deal Syndergaard, which absurdly enough they seem to continue to be interested in doing. It’s looking like the 2020 rotation will be deGrom, Stroman, Matz… and scrap heap guys or guys whose upside is league average, since there’s no one in the pipeline now with any chance of pitching well in the majors next year. They’ll have to waste a good part of Syndergaard’s trade value on a pitcher who is “MLB-ready” to some degree, to enough of a degree to fake the appearance of a good rotation, which means limited upside.

    No surprise, either, that both Kay and Richardson quickly and significantly improved after joining the Blue Jays organization. What a team we’ve got.

    Still, great to see Alonso having himself a great year, a ROY year; to see Conforto come all the way back from his shoulder injury; to see deGrom pitching brilliantly much of the time, and Wheeler despite this dropoff from last year perhaps establishing himself as a pretty good 180 inning pitcher. Matz, too, seems to have firmed up his career. He’s a #5 on a contender, but a pretty good #5 at that.

    If there’s bad news in this, it’s how many things have gone well for the 2019 Mets–yet they’re still on the outside looking in.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Kay and SWR did not get better after leaving. It’s a narrative being created to defend an initial poor take everyone had on the deal. This is exactly what they were when they were dealt.

    2. Oldbackstop says:

      How much has gone well? Cespedes and Lowrie have zero At Bats, Diaz and Familia have been spectacular disappointments, Nimmo has had a lost season.

      I am fine with the Stroman deal, the other two guys did not project as plus players, and Stroman has shown flashes he can be at the major league level.

      In every other world ex world ept MD’s, tho, it is obvious there was no real upgrade there, and handing Vargas to the Phillies was moronic. He stabilized what was a two man rotation.

      1. metsdaddy says:

        You’re completely wrong on SWR, and as for Vargas, he’s continued to be bad. Fortunately, the Mets finally benefited from his being bad.

        1. Oldbackstop says:

          Using words like stupid and bad, constantly, makes me think you might gave a full diaper.

          1. metsdaddy says:

            Trying to use words you can understand

  2. David Klein says:

    Your defense of Mickey’s stupidity is confounding you have Davis who has lots of power and you have just six outs to play with until Mickey made it five so yeah he’s an imbecile.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      By bunting, you bring up McNeil with the bases loaded. Given his contact oriented approach, you’ve increased the chances he gets a hit and drives in two runs.

      Bunting may not always be the right play, and in some instances, you can argue it’s flat out wrong. Getting McNeil up with a drawn-in infield with Alonso hitting behind him was the right call.

      1. David Klein says:

        Bases loaded?There were first and second and no outs before the idiotic bunt. Also you give your offense only two cracks at it in that inning.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          Sorry, I jumped ahead a second with the Alonso walk. I meant second and third with one out.

          I’m looking at it as McNeil with the infield drawn in I’d much better than J.D. Davis with first and second.

          Remember, Davis is a GIDP and strikeout candidate. By bunting, you take both out of the equation.

          More than that, McNeil is a contact hitter. Him having the infield drawn in is an absolute best case scenario.

    2. Oldbackstop says:

      I can still see a path with 25 games left. I’d say they have to go 18-7. Just some randoms:

      In the toughest matchups, the Mets close at Atlanta and have the Dodgers in the final week. It is possible those teams will have little to play for, and certainly won’t be taxing their pitching and veterans.

      They have a four game series with the Marlins. That has to be swept. That gets you down to needing 14-7, roughly, they can lose a game in every series and still get there.

      So if you say they can split the next two with the Nats, take 4 from the Marlins, and win the Dodgers and Braves series 2-1, that leaves them needing to go 9-5 against the Reds, the Diamondbacks, the Phils….some of whom may be playing the kids by the time we get to them.

      It could happen.

      1. metsdaddy says:

        Mets taking the Wild Card is absolutely on the table. There is still a lot of baseball left.

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