The New York Mets, as has been tradition, made roster moves throughout the year that most around the league would consider questionable at best. Everyone thought they’d be sellers at the deadline after a largely disappointing season outside of young slugger Pete Alonso.
From an outside perspective, they seemed to hesitate on pulling the trigger. They then ended up not only keeping everyone they were rumored to offload, but even trading for Marcus Stroman and the privilege of paying him the big bucks after his last year of arbitration. Stroman is a good, but not great, pitcher who didn’t seem to fit their timeline. We all laughed about these Mets and their endless cycle of mistakes. Their path forward was unclear. By trading for Stroman, they seemed to lock themselves to the treadmill of mediocrity that teams around the league desperately try to avoid.
But then, something started to happen after the trade deadline: the Mets started to win. They kept winning, and they’re still winning. They’ve won 14 of their last 15 and usually in dramatic fashion, culminating with Friday night’s win over the Nationals. Todd Fraziermashed a three-run bomb to tie it up in the bottom of the ninth, and Michael Conforto finished the job a few batters later and knocked in Juan Larges to give the Mets a walk-off victory.
Is this pace sustainable? Of course not. But now that they’re sitting in the driver’s seat for one of the NL wild card spots, the outlook of their season has changed. Perhaps more than any other sport, just about any team can win a championship if they catch fire at the right time. Stroman, Noah Syndergaard, and Jacob deGrom have all had down years by their standards, but they clearly have the talent to be as dangerous as any three-man rotation in the National League.
Something fun is happening in Queens. We’ll hold off on calling it special until they keep it up into the fall. But for now, sit back and enjoy. The Mets are fun.