20/20 Hindsight: Mets Sweep On Into 2020

The New York Mets season is officially over with the team finishing with an 86-76 record. It is just the third time they have had a winning record since the team began playing in Citi Field. To that end, the season has been a success even if it was disappointing from what was promised:

1. Congratulations to Pete Alonso for breaking Aaron Judge‘s rookie record and a whole host of rookie and Mets records during the 2019 season. He proved he was ready, and he showed himself to be more than that by donating money to charity, spear-heading the cleats and donating them to the 9/11 Museum this week, and just being a great teammate.

2. On the first base topic, you can’t help but feel great for Dominic Smith. He not only proved himself to not be a bust, but he would also show he’s a terrific team first player who is actually a tireless worker. He earned that at-bat late in the game, and he ended the season on about as high as note as you can end the regular season.

3. Of course, the Mets were in that position because the bullpen blew another lead. Unfortunately, it cost Paul Sewald his second career win. It won’t be his last time in the Majors, but it might be the last time he is with the Mets. If so, that would be a sad way to end his career after his being just a feel-good story who has overcome so much to be in the majors.

4. It was really unfortunate Juan Lagares did not get into the game on Sunday. It might’ve been his last time ever wearing a Mets uniform, and it would have been nice to see the best Mets defensive outfielder ever get one final ovation and thank you from the fans.

5. Hopefully, this won’t be a good-bye for Noah Syndergaard, who once again reminded everyone he is actually a very good pitcher, and that when you set him up to succeed with a good catcher like Tomas Nido he is going to succeed.

6. Syndergaard’s final start (of the season) and Smith’s walk-off was a feel good way to end the season, and we hope those positive vibes carry forward into 2020 and beyond.

7. Part of that is the Mets being much better run. There are reasons to both keep and fire Mickey Callaway. He has a two year body of work, and yet, somehow the Mets aren’t even going to meet to discuss his future. This is further evidence the Mets would have to rapidly speed up their processes to be considered reactive.

8. One of the biggest areas to address this offseason is going to be the bullpen. Given the budget, the team is going to have to hope players like Jeurys Familia and Edwin Diaz return to form. As we saw with Diaz’s final appearance, that is certainly a possibility.

9. It was great seeing Luis Guillorme have a strong finish to the season. This was just another example of how he has further cemented himself a real depth piece going forward who needs to be on the Opening Day roster.

10. If that was it for Todd Frazier, good luck to him. He gave the Mets what he had, and he earned his contract. Whoever gets him next year is going to get a real asset.

11. Considering his wanting to stay in the New York area, and the Mets not faring well against left-handed pitching, the Mets may well consider keeping him to play in the Jed Lowrie role which Lowrie, himself, couldn’t fulfill.

12. One note with Lowrie is he finished the season with fewer hits for the Mets than Marcus Stroman, a pitcher who spent the year with the Blue Jays. With respect to Stroman, his finish to the season gave us reason to be excited for his 2020 season.

13. Local players Brad Brach and Joe Panik really contributed to the Mets and their push for the Wild Card. They are winners who brought something to the team. It will be interesting to see if the team could keep them around next year.

14. On the topic of local Mets, Steven Matz had yet another strong start to finish his season. He has certainly been a different pitcher in the second half which is partially attributable to his moving to the middle of the rubber. The Mets should really consider signing him to a team friendly extension this offseason.

15. The Mets having a very local flavor is one of the reasons why this proved to be a fun season. A bigger reason why was this was a very resilient team who fought like few other Mets teams. Top to bottom, this roster earned our admiration and respect.

16. It doesn’t matter than it may or may not have counted for anything, sweeping the Braves is always a great thing. Hopefully, this sweep set them up for postseason disappointment. Of course, there’s no point in rooting for anyone in the NLDS because they are facing off against the Cardinals.

17. On the topic of the postseason, congratulations to Travis d’Arnaud on turning his season around and being a key reason why the Tampa Bay Rays made the postseason. Considering all he gave the team, Mets fans should be rooting for him.

18. The use of Seth Lugo for two innings on Saturday was just stupid, but we should note Callaway was very judicious in using him all season. This year, he was ticketed for 100 innings, and he was only used for 80, which is all the more surprising considering the team lost Robert Gsellman during the season.

19. Lugo may want to start, and he’s earned that right, but if the Mets were smart, they’d keep Zack Wheeler and Syndergaard making this a moot point. Like has been said a few times in this post, he should be signed to an extension.

20. For the last time this season – LFGM.

5 thoughts on “20/20 Hindsight: Mets Sweep On Into 2020”

  1. David Klein says:

    Sherman takes your they play hard for Mickey so he should be back narrative to the woodshed

    1. Blair M. Schirmer says:

      Yeah, on the debit side for Callaway is that the Mets underperformed in 2018, and in 2019 first buried themselves too deep to make the postseason, then eventually only ended up hitting their projection for the year just about on the nose–and that’s with a rookie of the millennia, another Cy Young season from deGrom, Jeff McNeil’s AS season all over the diamond, Conforto’s great year, Matz continuing to improve, Davis’ break out, Dom’s break out, extremely good luck with health… and much, much more. And your team only beats its projection by a win or two? C’mon.

      I was just reading about what the A’s did with Liam Hendricks, who had been DFA’ed last year. A guy with no career but a live arm, and the A’s turn him into one of the best closers in the game. Callaway not only can’t do that with anyone, he turns live arms into guys with ERAs around 6.00. There is no worse handler of bullpens, both in-game and outside it, and pitching is supposed to be his strength? C’mon.

      1. metsdaddy says:

        If the Mets beat their projections by a game or two, it tells you Callaway got everything he could out of this team. I’d also note for everything that went right there was a litany of things which went wrong.

  2. Blair M. Schirmer says:

    Unfortunately no significant FA is coming in to save the day, so what we see today is pretty much what we’re going to get–unless it gets worse with Syndergaard being dealt away for a lesser SP and magic beans.

    The 2020 roster will look something very much like:

    ??? (in house or scrap heap. Gsellman, Oswalt, etc.)

    3B – Lowrie / McNeil / Davis

    LF – McNeil / Davis / Smith /
    CF – Nimmo / replacement level CFer (the 555k version of 2019 Lagares)
    RF – Conforto


    Nido / Guillorme / Davis / Smith / CFer of 5th OFer quality
    Guillorme showed BA, patience, and good MI power at Syracuse, improving on a respectable AAA season at LV in 2018. Since he’s cheap he locked down the IF sub across 2B, SS, and 3B for 2020, though without any real upside. The Mets desperately need a durable 5th OFer who can play CF for 2020. Is Billy Hamilton available, for $3m? That’s about this offseason’s FA budget. Ham might have nudged the Mets into the postseason, just by not being Lagares, Broxton, and Altherr (who combined for about negative 2 bWAR in 2019).

    *Bullpen* (it’s not pretty, but they’re either paid for, or cheap)

    Justin Wilson
    Drew Smith
    Gsellman, Zamora…

    —–So that’s it, really. That’s our 2020 Mets team. Everyone’s salary went up and the minor league cupboard is bare.

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