During the last two weeks, the New York Mets have demonstrated their temper against a team currently in third place in their division (Filis) and two more in fifth place, winning 13 of their last 14 games to get back in the postseason contest in the National League.
It is not a negative criticism; The Mets have played against the teams that touched them on the calendar and have come out graceful, putting together the best series of victories since they won 16 of 17 commitments in 1990.
So if they win three more consecutive games, they will tie that mark. After beating the Marlins last Wednesday by a 7-2 board behind four home runs and a solid opening by Steven Matz, the Mets sealed a four-game sweep at Citi Field with their sixth straight win.
Now comes the most difficult. Tied with the Cardinals halfway through the second Wild Card in the National League (Milwaukee), the Mets are preparing to receive the team from the second place in the Eastern Division, the Nationals, for a series of three commitments this weekend.
Subsequently, the Queens team will visit Atlanta to play three more games with the Braves pointers. And from there, things do not look simple at all. If the Mets want to reach the postseason, what they need to do, according to first baseman Pete Alonso, is the following:
"beat the giants. "”.
Alonso said and at the same time stressed that the title of the Eastern National League, and not one of the two Wildcards, is the main objective of the team.
We have the opportunity to do something big. ”.
The question is this: Can the Mets achieve that goal? Let's consider the following factors: Factor in favor:
The rotation is elite
Factor against: There is no guarantee yet
Since the All-Star break, the Mets have the best effectiveness for a major league rotation with 2.62, thanks in large part to tremendous performances by Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard. Each of his five starters have contributed, including Matz, who on Wednesday allowed a single run in 6.2 innings.
By the way, Matz expressed this:
"We have to continue doing what we have been doing lately individually and collectively."
If there are problems, for now they have not been noticed. Because the Mets redeemed left-hander Jason Vargas, who would have been very helpful in a combined role between rotation and bullpen, his depth options in the opener's body consist mostly of rookie Walker Lockett (EFE 7.79) and Dominican veteran Ervin Santana (EFE of 8.53 in GL in the last two campaigns). For the Mets, avoiding a rotation injury will be essential.
Factor in favor: The bullpen is much better too
Factor against: Diaz is still a question
Thanks in large part to the success of its rotation, the New York relievers have also increased their level. Before the All-Star break, the Mets relay took 28th place in the majors in average effectiveness. Since then, New York has the second best major league bullpen.
One of the biggest reasons for that success is Seth Lugo, who hasn't given up a single race since June. Let's also give credit to Justin Wilson, who struck out Jon Berti with the draw races based on the seventh inning on Wednesday to keep the lead. Even Dominican Jeurys Familia has looked better in August, with a career allowed in five presentations.
As for Edwin Díaz, the Puerto Rican topper clearly lost a little confidence from the pilot Mickey Callaway after giving up five races in his last five games. Although Callaway has firmly maintained that Diaz:
It will be our closer and it has been our closer. ”
The leader used Lugo for a two-way save on Monday. It is a situation that must be monitored, but the conclusion is as follows: The Mets will battle to meet their objectives without a key contribution from Díaz.
Factor in favor: The first part of your lineup is showing its face
Factor against: The second part not so much
Jeff McNeil and Alonso have come back on with the tree. The first has retaken the throne with the best batting average in the majors, while the second has blown the fence in three straight games to place two homers to match Cody Bellinger for the record of most fights for a rookie in the Old Circuit with 39. Others who have made their faces with the wood are Michael Conforto, whose pair of stakes on Wednesday made him reach nine full-round lap to lead the club in that department in the second half; Dominican Amed Rosario, who bats .350 since June 29; and J.D. Davis, who owns the highest PAHO in the history of Citi Field.
Our approaches are giving results right now. We are taking great turns at bat one after another in the lineup. ”
But from the sixth place in the order, the lineup of the Mets has battled. From sixth to eighth in their lineup, the batters combined to connect just four hits in 42 innings in the four-game sweep against the Marlins, due in large part to the Cuban Adeiny Hechavarría, the Venezuelan Luis Guillorme, the Dominican Juan Lagares and Aaron Altherr went 32-2. Except for a maneuver in the roster (Joe Panik, perhaps?), One of those four will play on a regular basis in the absence of the injured Dominican second baseman Robinson Canó. The Mets need more production from that group.
Factor in favor: The Mets have defeated the teams that were supposed to beat
Factor against: They still have to prove that they can defeat the best consistently
Since the All-Star break, the Mets have the best major league mark with 19-6. Six of those victories have come against the Marlins, the worst team in the National League. The other 10 wins have been over teams below .500 like the Pirates, Fathers and White Sox.
Now, the Mets must prove to be able to compete you with competing teams. Before the pointers Cubs, Dodgers and Braves, the Mets are 7-11. Against the Phillies and Nationals, the Mets are 12-14. With 27 games to play vs. those five teams, the Mets simply can't afford to keep losing to them at that rate. If that happens, the playoffs will be lost.
So, you have to follow closely the performance of the Mets from this Friday, when they will start a stretch of six straight matches. the Nationals and Braves. These two series could give us a better idea of how far the Mets will be able to get this year.
Finally, manager Callaway highlighted:
What we have achieved has not been easy, but it was already in the rearview mirror. If we continue playing the same way we have been doing, we will continue to achieve important things. ”