Although it may seem like a slow start to the season, what the New York Mets have accomplished thus far this year is an overachievement.
It does not seem to matter what happens to the New York Mets, they just continue to perform through the adversity. Winners of seven of their last ten games, the team has fought all year to remain competitive.
It began in Spring Training as Steven Matz and Seth Lugo went down with elbow injuries, and has proceeded to snowball throughout the season into the losses of slugger Yoenis Cespedes and ace Noah Syndergaard.
If experts were asked where the Mets would be on May 11, after losing Syndergaard, Cespedes, Matz, Lugo, and Travis d’Arnaud to the disabled list, the likely answer would not be consistent with a team currently in second place in the National League East and only a game and a half out of the second Wild Card spot.
To make matters worse, team captain David Wright continues to be sidelined without an update on his condition, and star pitcher Matt Harvey created unnecessary headlines this past weekend after being a no-show for Saturday’s contest against the division foe Miami Marlins, which earned him a three-game suspension from the club.
But the Mets continue to fight through all the present issues, and remain competitive doing so. Monday night’s win in the form of a walk-off single by Neil Walker seems to embody the Mets’ season thus far.
With rumors and speculation running rampant about Harvey’s Saturday whereabouts heading into Monday’s game, Jacob deGrom toed the rubber and provided a strong performance without his best arsenal of pitches and command.
Throughout this year, though, it seems whenever the Mets begin to get on track, something goes terribly wrong.
During a six-game losing streak, Cespedes’ hamstring injury and Harvey’s lack of performance had fans in hysteria, which exploded even further at the sight of Syndergaard walking off the mound with a lat tear during the second inning of a matchup with the Washington Nationals.
Yet, the Mets has rattled of three straight series wins since that incident. Veteran infielder Jose Reyes has been vital to the team’s recent success due to his elevated play in the absence of the many star players.
Reyes was batting .095 heading into that notorious Sunday game with Washington, but has since raised his average to .188 in only 13 games.
The same can be said for the team’s top hitter, Michael Conforto, who at one point was not even a lock to make the Opening Day roster.
Now 28 games into the season, Conforto has proven himself in the leadoff role, hitting a robust .337 with eight home runs. This places him in the company of elite NL players at this conjuncture of the season.
And finally, quite possibly the most imperative addition to the team has been Jeurys Familia, who returned on April 20 from a 15-game suspension. His first couple of appearances could be described as shaky at best, but he has since settled down after general manager Sandy Alderson proclaimed that the team did not have a closer.
His ability to lock down the ninth inning will be important to sealing future victories for the ball club.
In the wake of preseason expectations, the Mets would seem to be underachieving through 32 games, but in reality, with the injuries and off the field distractions the team has been subjected to, their performance thus far should be considered a relative success.
The resiliency that has been displayed is nothing short of admirable, and will pay dividends in keeping them in the postseason picture while they await the returns of Cespedes and Syndergaard.