Wednesday night the Mets won their sixth straight game, moving two games ahead of the Washington Nationals in the National League East. Can the Mets, yes the Mets, make a run at the playoffs and can their fans begin thinking about – long dramatic pause – the World Series?
Three Reasons Mets CAN win the World Series in 2015:
1. Starting pitching: Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard comprise the best trio of starters in baseball on one team — just ask John Smoltz. Simply put, with those three in the rotation, the Mets should avoid any lengthy losing streaks and look great on paper in either a best-of-five or best-of-seven series.
2. They finally have a Major League lineup: Adding contract-year Yoenis Cespedes at the deadline finally gives the Mets a legitimate bat to worry opposing pitchers, taking pressure off both Curtis Granderson and Lucas Duda. The acquisition of Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson didn’t exactly make headlines, but they’re two veterans and improvements over who the Mets were using. Rookie Michael Conforto merits a place on the roster even when Michael Cuddyer returns from injury.
Travis d’Arnaud is back from a long spell on the DL and eventually David Wright might be 100 percent and ready to contribute. The Mets pitching means the lineup simply needs to be adequate rather than pathetic, which it had been for long stretches of 2015.
3. Why the hell not?: Anyone can make the World Series in the new, parity-driven baseball landscape. Perhaps the saga that unfolded last week with Wilmer Flores crying when he thought he’d been traded and then hitting a walk-off home run vs. the Nats a couple days later shows that karma is on the Mets side after so many lean seasons and Internet LOLs.
Three Reasons Mets CAN’T win the World Series in 2015:
1. Starting Pitching?: The aforementioned deGrom, Harvey and Syndergaard each have innings limits, which they’re approaching. Manager Terry Collins basically told reporters earlier in the week they’ll worry about when they get to September. The Nationals erred on the side of caution in 2012, shutting down Stephen Strasburg when the righty was still at the peak of his powers. There isn’t a textbook way to do it. The goal of baseball is to win and the Mets have a chance thanks to those three arms. Do the Mets push all their chips in and go for or play it cautiously, trying to protect their best assets for the future? The Mets need look no further than what happened with Zack Wheeler last year.
2. The Nationals get their act together: It’s Aug. 6 and the Nationals, a team many penciled in to win 100 games, are 55-51. Talking heads and radio hosts keep expecting Washington to figure it out and pull away. The Mets swept them over the weekend. Eventually the Nationals might get healthy, but there’s only so much Max Scherzer and Bryce Harper can do when the rest of the roster is churning out replacement-level production. The Division winner gets the NLDS, which is a best-of-five. The Wild Card is a one-game crapshoot, which even with their great starting pitching would be a toss-up for the Mets.
3. They’re the Mets. Bad things happen: The other shoe eventually drops, right? Such is life as a Mets fan.
Enjoy it while it lasts …