Hello, happy Sunday, and let’s just remind ourselves not to be prisoners of a feeling or a moment. Here is the moment:
The Mets were swept this weekend by the Tampa Bay Rays. In the final game, the team lost both Michael Conforto and Jeff McNeil to hamstring injuries. Those two join a veritable All-Star team of wounded Metsies: Jacob deGrom, Brandon Nimmo, J.D. Davis, Carlos Carrasco, Seth Lugo and Noah Syndergaard, not to mention Luis Guillorme.
Here is the feeling (or my best guess at one; I am an emotionless robot reporter, and you are a fan who feels): MY TEAM IS IN TROUBLE.
That’s an understandably visceral reaction to an unpleasant weekend, so here’s a few reminders of the larger context:
-- This isn’t happening in a vacuum. Other teams are without key players. Monday’s opponent, the Atlanta Braves, has lost Mike Soroka and Ronald Acuna Jr. to injuries. For the Phillies, Bryce Harper, Didi Gregorius and JT Realmuto are banged up. The Dodgers are down Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager and others. The Yankees played on Sunday without Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks and Gleyber Torres.
.-- The Mets’ pro scouting department did an excellent job adding depth players this offseason while the GM position was in flux. Jonathan Villar, Kevin Pillar, Jose Peraza, and Taijuan Walker are among the under-the-radar choices who are stepping up to cover for losses. While we were busy writing about George Springer and Trevor Bauer for 100 consecutive days, they were doing real roster work.
-- The Mets’ bullpen is good. Good bullpens can paper over a variety of issues. Heck of a job by Brodie Van Wagenen and his group trading for Miguel Castro, by the way, despite the loss on Friday.
-- The team has a good manager, who might be developing into a great one. With a calm demeanor and high baseball IQ, Luis Rojas is clearly the right man to guide the team through a blip of emergency.
-- The Mets won seven games in a row before this weekend.
Hey, listen. There are legitimately bad things, too. Francisco Lindor was supposed to at least be great in the first several years of that long contract. It would be nice for the Mets if that happened consistently sometime soon.
James McCann was supposed to hit more than this, though he appears to be guiding pitchers through aggressive game plans. It would be better if deGrom were not on the IL at all, even if he’s progressing nicely. And obviously the rat/raccoon night left a weird taste, among a few other postgame news conferences. Also, get vaccinated, fellas. Geez.
But anyway, the Mets are good. Stop worrying. And don’t make too many plans for October.