The Mets had two touchdowns (plus a pair of two-point conversions) dropped on them Monday night by the Nationals. It came hours after Marcus Stroman checked out on the season. All of it leaves the Mets feeling forlorn today.
Their rotation, considered a strong suit a few months ago, is now a threadbare unit with just one bedrock starter. So, after their favorite team got clubbed by 12 runs at Citi Field, Mets fans may be ready to raise the white flag on the season.
Here are a few reasons why you shouldn't give up just yet.
5. Seth Lugo
The brightest light from a dark bullpen, Lugo became increasingly valuable since anointed closer Edwin Diaz imploded all over the ninth inning, hemorrhaging 15 homers in the final frame in 2019, an MLB record for ineptitude. Diaz is already off to a turbulent start. One night he's lights out; the next night he's got the catcher lunging for his wayward pitches. After a rocky eighth inning on Sunday, Diaz was replaced by Lugo in the ninth, and the unsung hero of the bullpen closed the game in closer's style. Make Diaz earn the closer's role, if he can, and let Lugo end the games, with perhaps Dellin Betances setting him up.
4. Pete Alonso
The Polar Bear is still hibernating. With just two homers and batting right at the Mendoza line, Pete Alonso will eventually be shaken awake and will go on a tear. You don't blast 53 homers as a rookie and call it a fluke. The 245-pound slugger is just 25, and a foundational piece to the Mets much the way Aaron Judge has been to the Yankees. And ever since home runs became mainstream baseball, power hitters have been streaky. Alonso is too good to stay this bad.
3. Jacob deGrom
He's the best pitcher on the planet until someone proves otherwise. DeGrom is an ace and an artist, a master of pitching who will soon draw comparisons to deified Met Tom Seaver if he wins a third-straight NL Cy Young Award. With Marcus Stroman joining Yoenis Cespedes on the "To Hell with the Mets!" list," leaving the rotation with little more than Steven Matz and rookie David Peterson, deGrom doubles as a beacon until the club can cobble together a staff.
2. Andrés Giménez
Through 15 games the young Met was batting .333. And he unleashed all his skills in the 15th game, on Sunday against the Marlins, swatting three hits, scoring three runs, and making a superb play in short right field, keeping a potential double to a signal. The guys in the SNY booth are fawning over him, and Mets infield coach Gary DiSarcina made an eyebrow-arching comparison to legendary shortstop and 11-time Gold Glove winner Omar Vizquel.
1. It's Baseball
(And there's plenty of it left)
Fans were frothing over this season, eager to get their hands on 60 games, which is way better than zero games. You were battered by the coronavirus or our nation's vise-grip reaction to it. And while 17 games is over a quarter of this truncated season, the Mets are just 7-10, half a game behind the World Series champs, and 3.5 games behind the first-place Miami Marlins - a skeleton crew incapable of winning the AL East. Give them another 20 games before you toss in the towel on the 2020 Mets. You waited too long for the season to start to give up after 17 games.