Dan's Dugout: Are Mets Flushing Season Away? • Latino Sports


Dan’s Dugout: Are Mets Flushing Season Away?


FLUSHING, NY – Is it the Mets or the Mess?

Even fans of the 2015 National League champs weren’t sure after the first week of May.

Built to dominate rivals with powerful pitching, the team floundered early, even occupying the divisional basement briefly after splitting eight games with the hapless Atlanta Braves.

But that was hardly the full story.

Noah Syndergaard will miss half the season with a torn lat Photo Credit: George Napolitano/Latino Sports

Noah Syndergaard will miss half the season with a torn lat
George Napolitano photo

Noah Syndergaard skipped a recommended MRI only to wind up with a torn lat that will cost him half the season.

Matt Harvey ran afoul of team rules and incurred a three-game suspension.

With Steven Matz and Seth Lugo already idled by injury, Adam Wilk and Rafael Montero became emergency starters.

Starting shortstop Asdrubel Cabrera hurt his thumb but managed to keep off a disabled list already occupied by David Wright, Lucas Duda, and Travis d’Arnaud, not to mention Syndergaard, Matz, and Lugo. At least closes Jeurys Familia came back after a 15-game suspension for alleged domestic violence.

Even when healthy, the team is the oldest in the league at 30.1 years old. Only the Toronto Blue Jays and Oakland A’s are even more ancient.

Taking advantage of the converging black clouds, the Miami Marlins mangled the Mets with a 7-0 CitiField shutout in which the home team got only a solitary hit.

Then Harvey decided to file a grievance against the team.

Unable to play .500, the Mets of May don’t look like they’ll be singing in September. The Washington Nationals, despite a battered bullpen, are turning the NL East race into a cakewalk.

Like the crosstown Yankees, the Mets hit a lot of home runs. But too many of them are solo shots that don’t deliver runs.

With the possible exception of the aging Jose Reyes, the team lacks speed and has to settle for station-

Jose Reyes still has a little speed left Photo: George Napolitano/Latino Sports

Jose Reyes still has a little speed left
George Napolitano photo

to-station baseball. Plus it has too many lefthanded hitters, too many outfielders, and not enough defensively-sound infielders.

Had the five child prodigies of the starting rotation stayed healthy, the Mets might have made more noise over the first five weeks. But that was hardly the case.

As a remedy, maybe the Mets can reacquire Bartolo Colon from Atlanta. He led the New Yorkers in innings pitched the last three years and seemed to thrive in Queens. This year, he’s merely hanging on in a bid to best Dennis Martinez as the Latino pitcher with the most wins.

At the rate Bartolo is going, he won’t get there as a Brave. But maybe he’ll find the Fountain of Youth if he sips the waters of Flushing Bay.

He won’t cost much in the way of players – just a pro-rated version of his $12.5 million salary.
Plus he’d put a few more fannies in the seats.

Elsewhere in baseball:

The late-May return of star southpaw David Price should make the Boston Red Sox even more formidable in the American League East . . .

Nationals Ryan Zimmerman is raking for the Nationals. Bill Menzel photo

Ryan Zimmerman is raking for the Nationals.
Bill Menzel photo

Ex-Met Daniel Murphy has been instrumental in the revival of Washington teammate Ryan Zimmerman to superstar status . . .

Baltimore closer Zach Britton, robbed of the American League’s Cy Young Award last season, is back on the DL with a forearm strain that may be the precursor of Tommy John surgery . . .

Thanks to his blinding speed, Cincinnati centerfielder Billy Hamilton plays more shallow than anyone in the majors . . .

Since Pete Rose will never reach the real Hall of Fame, he’ll have to settle for his recent induction into the Reds Hall of Fame . . .

The Cleveland Indians don’t normally display ninth-inning lightning but they did beat the Royals on consecutive last-inning homers by Carlos Santana and Francisco Lindor . . .

Why did Dave Roberts let Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw threw 118 pitches in a game? . . .

Clayton Kershaw threw 118 pitches for the Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw threw 118 pitches for the Dodgers

Tampa Bay’s 6-1 win over Toronto featured an inside-the-park home run that wasn’t: umpires couldn’t decide if Ezekiel Carrera’s drive cleared the fence and bounced back although he motored around the bases before the Jays could tag him out . . .

Rookies Anthony Benintendi (Red Sox) and Aaron Judge (Yankees) have emerged as unexpected cleanup hitters for their respective clubs . . .

Alphabet soup: the Cubs cut outfielder Matt Szczur to promote pitcher Rob Zastryzny.

About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

Recommended for you