I’m not sure many of us would have expected the Mets to be sitting at 8-13 and 7.5 games behind Washington at this point in the season. Especially when opening the season with 19 games against the bottom half of the division (Atlanta, Miami and Philadelphia) that finished with a collective 238-266 record in 2016, good for a winning percentage of .472. But, here they are.
So, the question that fans and team personnel are asking themselves is: Is it time to panic? Here are some reasons why they should, and why they shouldn’t:
1. They are already 7.5 games out and have lost 6 in a row and 9 of the last 10.
They go through these slumps every year. In 2016, the longest losing streak was 4 games, and that happened 4 times. In the NL Pennant year of 2015, there were two 5-game losing streaks, and a 7-game losing streak. These also happened later in the year than April, and the playoffs were still reached.
2. Jose Reyes (.137) and Curtis Granderson (.147) are failing to get on base.
· Although these two are not providing the opportunities for others to drive in runs, there are 4 players with at least 4 Home Runs (Jay Bruce, Yoenis Cespedes, Michael Conforto and Lucas Duda) and 5 with at least 10 RBI (Bruce, Cespedes, Asdrubal Cabrera, Neil Walker and Travis d’Arnaud). Reyes has also shown some improvement over the past week.
3. Everyone is hurt.
· This has been an issue each of the last 2 years. David Wright has been a non-factor. Duda missed nearly all of last year. Cespedes missed significant time in 2016, and looks like it will happen again this year. All of the pitchers last season missed time due to injuries. Most of these injuries happened in after May, and lingered into the postseasons. There is plenty of time to heal everyone and not rush them back sooner than they need to be.
4. Philadelphia, Miami and Atlanta have owned the Mets this year.
· It’s April. Does anyone think that all three of those teams will be able to sustain this success into the later part of the season?
If someone asked me on a scale of 1 to 10 where my “Panic Level” is right now with the Mets (1 being “Everything is Awesome” and 10 being “It’s Tebow Time”), I would say I’m at about a 7 right now. There is concern that the injuries could last a while, and that Reyes may have used 2016 as a way to show his critics he still had something in the tank. Washington is hitting (especially Bryce Harper) and has a 4-game lead. I think that Mets fans have been blessed the last two seasons with successful Aprils, only to fall into a mid-season slump that seemed to last 2-3 months. Hopefully April is their bad month this year, and things can turn around. Remember, they still have the rest of the league to face once their opening streak of 32 games in the division to start the year concludes. It’s still April.