Thursday, July 21, 2016

What Season Is This?

As Wednesday's game was an afternoon affair, which is kind of a trademark of Wrigley Field, I didn't see it. That's just as well. The Mets continued their up-and-down, left-and-right, can't-get-out-of-their-own-way style of play as they did plenty of hitting against Kyle Hendricks, but none of the hitting involved scoring runs. The Cubs, in particular Anthony Rizzo, did plenty of hitting against Bartolo Colon. Unfortunately, when the Cubs hit, they score runs. The end result is that the Mets looked tired and dopey and lost 6-2 in a mostly non-competitive effort.

The question flying around right now isn't simply "What's wrong with the Mets," it's now switched to "Where is this season going?" I know we asked this question a lot last season and yes, it turned out all well and good, but the bullets that Sandy Alderson could put in his chamber aren't quite there anymore. Washington isn't going away, and as proof, all those so-called Nationals Fans are predictably pointing and laughing and using words like "Fluke" and "Outlier" to describe the Mets, but that really shouldn't be the concern right now. I know that this team has been described as mirroring 2007 but that's inaccurate. The 2007 Mets were substantially more talented than this Mets team is, particularly on the offensive side, and they played lazy, complacent baseball. I don't see the 2016 Mets as lazy and complacent. They're underachieving, but this is underachieving like they underachieved in 2001, another season where they had a World Series/Playoff Hangover and just couldn't kick themselves into gear until it was a little too late. You could view this as another 1987, too, because they keep getting derailed by injuries and inconsistency to the point where even the good achievements seem to come with a caveat. Whatever this is, it boils down to the Mets being not quite good enough to run people over, even though they look so at times, and not quite bad enough that they're going to lay down and die. And they don't really sustain anything in either direction. And what years were defined by inconsistency? 1987, 2001, 2007. So maybe this is just a combination of all three.

Regardless, it's too late to say that there's a lot of season left and not too late to really start panicking. what. The Mets seem to be too far behind Washington to make a run for the Division, or at least that's what conventional wisdom would tell us. These are probably the same people who said the Mets were too far ahead of Philly in 2007 and we know how that turned out. Washington hasn't exactly lit the roof on fire either. But beyond that, the Mets are in a real battle for the Wildcard with a bunch of other teams. And they happen to play their next six games against two of those teams because if you can believe it, the Marlins, a cute little story, lead the Mets by a game (or so) and the Cardinals, who are always a pain in the ass, are right on the Mets tails.

Point is, the Mets, if they want to make everyone calm down a little bit, should win 5 or 6. But because it's the Mets, and because they can't sustain, will probably go 3-3 which won't solve anything. If they wanted to make us really crazy, they'd go 2-4. Whatever they do, the next week will tell us quite a bit about what year this really is.

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