Hoping for those nearly perfect moments
The New York Mets haven’t gotten more than four hits in a game since Wednesday, August 13th. (And in that game, they managed just two runs on nine hits off of Jordan Zimmermann and the Washington Nationals’ bullpen.)
Amazingly enough, the Mets were able to win two of those five games. That’s a testament to both the quality of their pitching and the level of play you can expect from the Chicago Cubs in 2014.
In a couple of hours, the Mets will face Oakland Athletics All-Star Scott Kazmir and there’s little reason to believe the offensive production will improve (especially after a cross-country flight with no off-day.)
I want to get excited about the pitching staff the Mets could have next year, with Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jacob deGrom, Jonathon Niese, Dillon Gee and Bartolo Colon potentially vying for the five rotation spots and Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero and Steven Matz waiting in the wings.
I just can’t.
The Mets are averaging 3.77 runs per game so far this year, tying them with the St. Louis Cardinals for 27th place in Major League Baseball. Only the Atlanta Braves (3.76 runs per game) and San Diego Padres (3.31 runs per game) are worse.
If you want to figure that David Wright will perform closer to his career norms next year and Travis d’Arnaud and Lucas Duda will continue to improve, be my guest.
Daniel Murphy and Curtis Granderson are what they are at this stage of their careers, and may experience a drop-off in 2015.
Juan Lagares is the best defensive center fielder I’ve ever watched on a daily basis, but can you honestly tell me that you know he’s going to become a better hitter with more experience? At times this year, he’s seemed to take steps backwards.
And if Matt den Dekker and Wilmer Flores go into spring training with starting jobs locked up, it’s going to be more of a comment on the state of the Mets’ finances and/or the availability of quality hitters than anything that they did over the season’s final six or seven weeks.
The level of offense that the Mets’ lineup can provide requires a pitcher to be nearly perfect to give the team a chance to win.
Nearly perfect, every night.
That’s a recipe for a lot of frustration.
Hopefully there are enough nearly perfect moments along the way to make it all feel worthwhile.