With a season defining trip to Atlanta starring them in the face, many are wondering ‘will the real New York Mets please stand up?’
It feels like it is now or never right now for the Amazin’s. They face the first place Atlanta Braves this week, before traveling up to Pittsburgh to meet up with the upstart, first place Pirates.
Yes, I wrote “first place’ and “Pirates” in the same sentence.
Come next Tuesday and Wednesday, the Subway Series holds its first session at Citi Field, and there is a chance we could see Luis Severino vs. Max Scherzer and Gerrit Cole vs. Justin Verlander in those two games. Hot damn, that’s gonna be a tough ticket.
But for the Mets it really is must win time. They sit at 30-30, 5.5 games back of the Braves in the NL East. The Miami Marlins are 2.5 games ahead of the Mets for a wild card. And, the Marlins have already proven they are not going to go away quietly.
For all the talent the Mets have, and for all the money owner Steve Cohen has poured into this team — the Mets own baseball’s highest payroll at $345 million-plus — New York just can’t get out of its own way.
The Mets have been swept in a three-game series for the third time this season.— SNY Mets (@SNY_Mets) June 4, 2023
They were only swept in two three-game series all of last year. pic.twitter.com/YndtYBiJOc
Whether it be injures to their starting pitchers ala Verlander, Scherzer, Carlos Carrasco and Jose Quintana, or inconsistent performances from said starters (minus Quintana who hasn’t pitched this year), or a bullpen that misses Edwin Diaz, and a lineup that can’t find any consistency; frustrating would be an understatement.
One thing we did know about the Mets this year was this: if they were going to go anywhere, they needed Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso to have huge years.
That hasn’t happened.
Alonso — despite crushing 21 home runs so far this year — is hitting .231. That is well below his career average of .258. In the last 30 days alone, Alonso is hitting only .219. In the month of June, the Mets first baseman is hitting only .133 with a homer and an RBI.
Lindor has been no better, and is hearing it from the fans. They booed the Mets All-Star shortstop on Sunday. Despite solid production (10 homers, 40 RBI), Lindor is hitting only .213 on the year. He has not hit over .230 all season; moreover, Lindor is hitting .202 in the last 30 days, and .067 in the month of June.
If the Mets can’t get these two guys going, it doesn’t matter what youngsters like Francisco Alvarez, Brett Baty and Mark Vientos do. The Mets are built to win around Lindor and Alonso. That’s where it starts. When those two hit, it makes life easier for Jeff McNeil, and Brando Nimmo. When those two hit, it can mask the struggles of veterans like Mark Canha and Starling Marte.
It all starts tonight down in the ATL. The Mets must *(MUST)* find a way to win two of three against their arch rivals, the Braves. If they don’t, it will start to get late early.
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