NEW YORK — So the Mets got a win Tuesday night at Citi Field that had all the components of what was expected. Good pitching and hitting, a 7-2 win over the Brewers in a season that appears to be lost. You know the specifics of owner Steve Cohen and the spending spree.
His spending spree and highest payroll in baseball ($350 million), a roster of multiple Cy Young Award pitchers and All-Stars. But the names have not played to expectations as to what reflects on the back of their baseball cards.
Losing for this owner is frustrating. Losing ballgames often has also caused frustration for a fan base that expected better and the owner has been silent. Before their win Tuesday night, GM Billy Eppler said manager Buck Showalter and his coaching staff have his support and Cohen agrees.
With the honeymoon over from a 101 win season last year, and with rumors afloat about a manager as the culprit, for the record I will say again that Showalter is not pitching, hitting, or causing defensive miscues. You can’t fire 26 players, thus the manager is always at fault and gets the walking papers.
Basically, Eppler provided an answer. Showalter is the right one to turn this darn thing around, though the reality of bypassing the Braves is a mute point, 15 games behind the division leaders. The reality of a NL wildcard at this point is not realistic, 8-½ games behind for one of three spots and a task of bypassing five teams.
The reality to some components of this Mets roster being sold before the August 1 trade deadline is possible, unless of course this win leads to a run and winning streak prior to the All-Star break. But the Mets have displayed that inability to sustain momentum and build a winning streak.
Basically, they have found many ways to lose games and again that should not be attributed to the manager. Perhaps you can blame the coaching staff. Or blame the new and balanced schedule with hectic travel and games on the road. Or new rules of a pitch clock that seems to have taken a toll on pitchers and their rapid pace of beating time. Regardless, this is not what was expected and Steve Cohen will address the media Wednesday evening.
The owner will speak and guarantee his players will pay attention, though, jobs will not be at stake because changes or dumping salaries at this juncture are not common as compared to dismissing a manager or GM.
But guarantee that Steve Cohen will make a statement. He will say his team is bad and convince a Mets fan base that there is failure. He will say the blame is on him and it will improve, perhaps not this season but next.
The Mets after their win still believe they will go on a run. They said it will get fixed after a Brandon Nimmo multi home run game and a home run from Francisco Lindor. And they got a win from David Peterson, his first start since May 15th, six innings of scoreless ball. Runs were scored, and the bullpen was effective except for two runs in the 8th inning.
A Mets pitcher goes six innings; they are 22-3, and 14-40 when less. That also offers enough evidence about a pitching rotation that was projected to be the best in baseball with Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander leading the staff, but an ERA of 4.62 is ranked 25th.
Steve Cohen will address that issue. He will take the blame as he does when his business ventures go bad, though they rarely do, which got him to the billionaire echelon of society.. But this is different because it’s baseball played on the field and leaving the personnel decisions to his GM and staff.
For one night the Mets can believe. For one night their fans were pleased. Wednesday will determine if the owner is content about his $375 million investment in 2023.
Lindor hit his 200th career home run, a possible culprit with others for not hitting in the clutch. He said, “This win doesn’t guarantee us a playoff spot. We’re far from it. We’ve just got to stay on the positive side.”
And Steve Cohen will assert the positive but has to admit this season is in the gutter. Regardless of the Philles run in the second half last season, that got them a NL pennant, and with half a season and time to get this fixed, the Mets have shown they can’t grab that momentum.
A press conference from the owner and two weeks before the All-Star break, so this has to be important. The significance here is evident because changes will eventually come
And looking at the Mets not being a relevant team in September is realistic. I am sure Steve Cohen will get around that question and make changes when the final pitch is thrown after game number 162.
Rich Mancuso: senior writer @Latinosports.com Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso.
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