After years of trusting the process, it appears that Mets fans and ownership know that this is the year to go for it. Prior to the start of this season, I was skeptical of how my 2015 New York Mets were going to fair this season. I wanted to have high expectations for a team that has not made the postseason since 2006, though at the same time a Mets fan always knows to tone down expectations – it’s in our blood.
If everything broke right for the Amazins I figured 90 wins and a wild card berth was feasible. I told myself to be satisfied with 85 wins. In my mind this team was a year away from tapping into its full potential. They needed another offseason to tinker, the pitchers needed a tad more seasoning, and most importantly ownership needed to be convinced that they were ready to pour funds back into the team.
I looked at the Nationals, the 97-win team from last season that only got better by adding bonafide ace Max Scherzer to the mix, and did not for a second believe that David could realistically beat Goliath. Scherzer gave the Nats a perennial CY Young candidate, and it was clear the team that was 15-4 against us last year was looking to go for it all.
“Trust the process, next year is our year,” said Mets fans everywhere.
But then it happened; the 2015 New York Mets began winning.. and winning some more.
Now there are five days until September begins and the 2015 New York Mets somehow have a 5.5 game lead on the bumbling, stumbling Nationals. Cut the BS; we are all utterly shocked. A cynic can look at this and easily spin it against the 2015 New York Mets; they play in the easiest division, the Nationals have had a litany of injuries, and the Mets have the easiest homestretch schedule in the MLB.
I have put off this column for weeks, waiting for the appropriate time to strike. Publish it too early and I knew I would eat my words; too late and every angle on the 2015 New York Mets that can be drawn up will already be flooding the internet.
So why now?
Because if you watch this damn team you see what I see. This team is built to last. The offense is a well-oiled machine and the pitching speaks for itself. The bench is no longer littered with Quadruple-A baseball players, and Terry Collins’ hit-or-sit threat has lit the necessary fire under this team’s ass.
With five days until September, now is the time to believe in the unbelievable. Say it ain’t so, and don’t say I didn’t warn ya, but these 2015 New York Mets are ready to seriously compete. These Mets are capable of making it to the biggest stage in baseball, the World Series. Do you know how I know? Because ownership knows..
On July 29th, the 2015 New York Mets were sitting at 52-49. Their pitching always kept them competitive, but they just did not have the hitting to pose any real threat for a playoff push. Had the Mets continued with that team, a team waaaaaaaaaaaaaay different then we know today, the Mets most likely would have fallen in the 82 to 86-win range.. preaching to the “you did your best” attitude that ownership had condoned under the Sandy Alderson regime.
If the 2015 New York Mets do make this year’s World Series, we can recognize July 29th, 2015 as the day that Sandy saved baseball in Flushing – since that day the Mets are 17-7; prior to that day the 2015 New York Mets were batting a putrid .234 as a team.
Since then they are hitting a solidly respectable .274.
While no moves were actually made on July 29th, the season was saved by the move that the Mets did not make – not trading for Carlos Gomez – which at the time only brought positive publicity to Wilmer Flores and literally everything else associated with the Mets was shamed.
On July 29th, the fan base, I believe, had convinced ownership to make a goddam move. Although the Mets were giving up a ton (in my opinion), the fans were excited that the lineup finally had the talent infusion it desperately needed. Journalists praised the 2015 New York Mets, and everybody felt the energy inside the confines of Citi Field. And then just like in South Park, it was gone.
When news broke that the trade fell through, shit winds paraded up and down the tristate area. The Wilpons, already very unpopular, appeared to have finally brought their fanbase to the breaking point. Personally it felt like Evander Holyfield had given me the ole right hook. I was outraged.
“THAT WAS THE MOVE THAT NEEDED TO BE MADE! ARE YOU GUYS BLIND! THE ONE THING THIS TEAM CANNOT DO IS HIT! GO GET A DAMN HITTER” were the thoughts firing through my already seasonally heartbroken head.
Five days prior to this broken trade the Mets had acquired Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson, two players who were good major league hitters, but not sufficient for providing a consistent boost. When the Carlos Gomez trade fell through, ownership knew that a deal HAD to be made one way or another. They simply could not survive the backlash if they did not acquire a player of similar caliber. The columnists would pity them as cheap penny-pinchers and point to the major attendance increase as an inexcusable reason not to make a move.
Ownership saw the passion in the fanbase, and in turn our passion made them believers. When they traded for stud outfielder Yoenis Cespedes two days later, minutes before the 2015 trade deadline, it confirmed their belief.
Acquisitions such as Tyler Clippard, and more recently Eric O’Flaherty and Eric Young Jr. sealed the deal. The Wilpons finally admitted “the process has finally played out, F****** IT LETS GO FOR THIS BABY.”
I mentioned earlier that nothing ever breaks perfectly for my Metsies. This is a team that blew a 7-game lead with 13 games to go (how this can happen will forever remain unknown) and then a 5.5 game lead with 9 games to go the year after (another unknown). This is a team that after their blistering 13-3 start lost their most crucial player for 115 games this season.
However, everything in the past couple weeks seems to have contrastingly gone perfect for the 2015 New York Mets. They’ve been hotter than the Sahara in the summer at a time that coincides with the Nationals just completely and utterly shitting the bed.
That Gomez fellow who Mets fans were salivating over has been a negative value player since joining the Astros with a rancid .191/.226/.292 slash, while Cespedes has been a full win better, hitting .306/.346/.582 to go along with the seven dingers and some jaw-dropping throws.
Do we need to have a public ceremony thanking Carlos Gomez’s not-so-balky hip? Furthermore, all of the small things are breaking for the Mets – the Logan Verrett spot start fiasco played out perfectly, Lucas Duda goes to the DL just as Captain America – otherwise known as David Wright – returns to reclaim his title in the cleanup spot, and most recently Sean Gilmartin’s bailout of Jacob DeGrom.
These are not things that regularly break right for the Mets. The good teams are the ones that can weather adversity and Terry Collins has done a beautiful job of being this team’s pilot.
The Mets are going for it. Their pitching was never a secret, as these young-guns have been nearly unhittable when at their best the entire season. What was needed was an injection of offense. And now, in the past week the 2015 New York Mets have scored 14 runs twice and 16 runs once. You can decide if they got the necessary injection.
The Nationals, on the other hand, are playing at a rate where everybody is going to get fired. The 2015 New York Mets have the easiest schedule the rest of the way, so I ask you – why not a title shot?
The only thing stopping this team is itself. They have the means, they have the competitive drive, and these kids want it. So get excited Mets fans, this team is about to coast through September with no drama for once. They are going to go into October with the gas turned up as high as it goes. The arms will be cocked and loaded to bring the heat (SCREW AN INNINGS LIMIT) and the bats will provide the rest of the ammunition.
It’s finally time to hold this team to the highest of standards because the post-July 29th Mets are playing like they actually belong in the World Series. Tears have never been such a rallying cry – but now everybody on the 2015 New York Mets actually wants to be on the Mets. Every player in that clubhouse knows that they are part of something special.
Ladies and Gentleman, it is time to recognize this team’s potential. Do not mistake this for greed, because you know that “next year” just won’t cut it anymore. It is ours for the taking.
As Tug McGraw preached in 1973, “Ya gotta believe.”
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