The New York Mets have high hopes for the 2019 season, but they’ll need Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo to be at their best.
“Water eventually finds its level.”
We have all heard this saying before and it is one of the truisms of life. In mid-April, all was good in New York Mets’ land. On April 12, the club defeated the Atlanta Braves to move to 9-4 on the young season.
Then, water found its level. The Mets dropped the last two games of that Braves series and are just 7-11 since that April 12 victory.
Not coincidentally, the team’s offense has fallen off a cliff since their hot start out of the gate. After averaging 6.2 runs in their first 13 games, they are plating just 3.8 runs in their last 18 games.
Look no further than Thursday’s 1-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds. The Mets only mustered four hits and the run came via a Noah Syndergaard home run in the third. For good measure, Syndergaard also painted a masterpiece with his 10-strikeout shutout performance.
While this was a dominant performance from one of the National League’s best starters, it is not a recipe for consistently winning games.
The Mets need two individuals, in particular, to pick it up at the plate: Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo.
Admittedly, Conforto’s numbers look fine on their surface. The 2014 first-round pick is slashing .264/.397/.500. A deeper dive into these statistics tells a different story, however.
On April 23, the Mets defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 9-0. After this victory, Conforto was posting a tremendous .302/.419/.593 slash line. Since then, his numbers have taken a nosedive to their current standing. Just 3-23 over his last eight games, the Mets desperately need the 26-year-old to live up to his All-Star potential.
Brandon Nimmo, on the other hand, is a different story. Also a former first-round pick, Nimmo’s numbers are down across the board.
Beginning the season as the club’s leadoff hitter, Nimmo was unseated by the red-hot Jeff McNeil. Since settling into the No. 6 spot in the lineup, Nimmo’s production has yet to take off.
Peaking at .250/.368/.413 on April 28, Nimmo has seen his line plummet to .215/.342/.355. Like Conforto, the fellow 26-year-old has been an ice-cold 1-for-16 over his last five games.
Yes, the possible return of Yoenis Cespedes will likely provide these two with more pitches to hit. However, the Mets have still yet to commit to a firm return for Cespedes in 2019.
If the Mets want to continue to be an above .500 team, they need their offense to pick up the slack as a whole. In the prime of their careers, Conforto and Nimmo need to get it going again before it is too late.
We will see if the Mets’ bats warm up as they begin a six-game road trip on Friday night in Milwaukee. For the second time in a week, LHP Steven Matz (3-1, 3.68 ERA) will face off against the Brew Crew. RHP Brandon Woodruff (3-1, 5.17 ERA) will start for Milwaukee.