The Mets’ slide has been bad — and others have warmed up while they went cold.
We wake up on Monday morning with the New York Mets in third place in the National League East, 2.5 games back of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Their slide has been brutal to watch. But the timing of when things have gone wrong for the Mets has been especially bad because others around them have found their stroke at the worst time possible (at least from the Mets’ perspective).
If we want to pinpoint a date when things started to go south for the Mets, circling July 7 on the calendar is a good date. That’s the last time Jacob deGrom made a start for the Mets.
On July 7, the Mets were in first place. Washington was actually in second at the time; the Braves and Phillies were virtually tied for third, 4.5 games behind the Mets.
Since July 7, the tide has turned against the Mets in almost every way.
If we look at the records of the three teams now at the top of the NL East, the Mets’ slide has been amplified by the Braves and Phillies getting hot.
Since deGrom’s last start, the Mets are 11-17. They have been outscored 134-113 over those 28 games.
Over the same period of time, the Phillies have an 18-10 record despite being outscored 163-162. And the Braves are 15-11, outscoring their opponents 133-84.
If we’re going to look ahead at the rest of the season, the Braves’ run differential would seem to favor them making a run at the Phillies, who now occupy first place. The Phillies’ offense has been the strongest, but their pitching has left a lot to be desired. The Mets’ offense has, not surprisingly, been non-existent.
If we look at individual players who are helping these runs, the biggest issue the Mets have been trying to overcome has been the losses of the two players who were supposed to be their leaders: deGrom and Francisco Lindor.
Lindor last appeared in a game for the Mets on July 17.
Making matters worse for the Mets, Lindor was heating up when he got hurt. He slashed .348/.423/.609 in his last seven games before the injury.
The Phillies have benefitted tremendously from Bryce Harper getting hot at the right time. Since July 7, Harper is slashing .340/.466/.660 with five home runs and 15 RBI over 28 games. He has more walks (21) than strikeouts (17) during that stretch.
Similarly, the Braves have their MVP candidate on track as well. Since July 7, Freddie Freeman has slashed .378/.451/.602 with seven home runs and 17 RBI over 27 games. Perhaps most impressive, Freeman has struck out only nine times over that stretch of games.
Pete Alonso has posted impressive power numbers since deGrom left the lineup but hasn’t been able to carry the team. Since July 7, Alonso has nine home runs with 18 RBI — on par with Harper and Freeman. But Alonso has only slashed .211/.306/.477 with 21 strikeouts in 29 games.