Now on a roll with the cavalry back, the next two weeks for the New York Mets will make or break the 2017 MLB season.
After going 4-2 on their last road trip and welcoming three stars back into the fold, the New York Mets have to like the direction they’re heading in. However, they have to head in that way very quickly.
Even after Jacob deGrom‘s sparkling outing against the Chicago Cubs on Monday night, the Mets are still just 29-33 on the season, and 10 games back on the potent Washington Nationals in the National League East. Over the next two weeks, the Mets are facing the Cubs, Nats, Dodgers and Giants. The Cubs have been struggling this season, and are looking to get their season turned around at Citi Field.
The Mets have to be ready for that.
The series against Washington can determine whether they have any shot of getting back near the division lead. It’ll be a four game series, so the Mets can use it to rewrite their somewhat horrific early start. If the Mets fail to play well against Bryce Harper and the Nats, that alreaady growing gap may be too large to overcome in the NL East.
Right after that, the Mets will be heading to L.A. for a crucial four-game series against the Dodgers. That set could determine whether New York makes the playoffs at all.
Currently, the Dodgers and D-backs sit first and second in the NL Wild Card order. But if the Mets play well against the Dodgers, they’ll provide for themselves a real shot of closing that WC gap, making for an interesting second half of the season in the process.
Finally, the Metropolitans will face the Giants in San Fran right after that. Even though the Giants are struggling this season, AT&T Park is always a tough place to play.
But a sigh of relief came this past weekend, as the Mets got Yoenis Cespedes, Steven Matz and Seth Lugo back from the disabled list. Those three key starters could easily help make a pre-All-Star break run.
All three have already shown why they’re vital to the success of this ball club. Cespedes hit a grand slam in his first game since coming back, while Matz and Lugo each threw seven innings of one-run ball in their first starts in 2017. In turn, the Mets won all three of those games, and it feels like the team is coming back a bit.
With Zack Wheeler arguably being the Mets’ best starter this season, New York needs all the pitching help it can get. These next two weeks will show whether the pitching staff can gain any consistency together for the rest of the season against better lineups than most.
Both Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera are struggling at the plate this year, and if they continue to struggle these next four series, then it might be time to call up 21-year-old-old from the Dominican Republic. Even though some important players are coming back from the DL, the Amazin’s could still use a spark of young blood, especially on the left side of the infield.
Additionally, Terry Collins‘ job is still on the line, and if the Mets go 6-8 or less over these next four series, it’ll be hard to imagine him keeping his job. That will also determine whether the Mets are buyers or sellers at the trade deadline, as they may have to trade a pitcher or hitter to get a few top prospects.
Not only do these two weeks affect the rest of the season for this team, but it can also foreshadow where the Mets will be heading for the next few years.