This hasn’t been a fun season for Terry Collins.
The Mets have endured many injuries to the point the Mets manager has been combative with the local media and poor long-time Mets public relations manager Jay Horowitz when talking about it this season.
Collins and the Mets have received criticism from Mets Twitter. From the Mets fans’ perspective, the Mets have “underachieved” at 47-41, which would be good enough to tie the Marlins for the last wild-card spot if the season ended today.
Who said managing or coaching in New York is easy?
The Mets deserve more props than scorn for their work during the pre-All-Star break. They have been able to grind out wins despite an inept offense and guys missing out on injuries. They somehow got by despite Matt Harvey pitching awful this year.
One can make a case they overachieved.
It hasn’t been easy this year. Teams are playing the Mets tough knowing they are playing the National League Champions, especially the Nationals who have something to prove to the Mets after losing the NL East to them last year.
It’s a tribute to Collins for holding the Mets together. He can make a case that he should be the NL Manager of the Year.
This team should be at .500 at best, but the Mets have found a way to win games. Prior to losing three of four to the NL East division-leading Nationals to complete the homestand, the Mets swept the Cubs and took the series against the Marlins. That’s what we call staying afloat.
Losing David Wright and Lucas Duda to injury has made the offense worse. Travis d’Arnaud came back from the disabled list, but with him being injury-prone, it’s hard to believe he will be healthy. Matt Harvey has pitched hurt this season, and the results were not good.
Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz are pitching through bone spurs. It will be interesting if either or both can somehow be productive and healthy this year. Already, there is concern about Syndergaard after he left Friday’s night game against the Nationals with a tired arm.
If Syndergaard or Matz or both go down with an injury for any period of time, the Mets’ playoff hopes will be done. There’s no depth in the Mets rotation that can replace either or both Syndergaard or Matz.
Who knows if Zack Wheeler is coming back this season? He had a setback after experiencing discomfort in his surgically repaired right elbow a month ago.
The starting rotation is Jacob deGrom, Bartolo Colon, hope for the best in Syndergaard and Matz and pray for rain when Logan Verrett starts. That is not an ideal situation for a manager.
The injuries could be the Mets’ downfall this year. There’s no depth to replace these guys. With due respect to James Loney and Wilmer Flores, who knows if they can keep this up? Jose Reyes has to show he still has something to offer by the time he has 100 at-bats.
It just could be this may not be the Mets’ year. It would be no one’s fault if it happened. As Ron Washington would say, that’s the way baseball go.
It’s early to determine that, though. As Collins told New York Post’s Kevin Kernan on Monday, his team is not dead at all.
Collins is right. There are 74 games remaining in this season. Plenty of time for the Mets to make a run. Maybe Duda comes back. Maybe Syndergaard and Matz pitch lights out and stay healthy.
The Mets need maybes into sure things for them to make the playoffs.
Despite all what has gone on, there has to be perspective. The Mets are six games above .500 despite their core players either out or hurting. It could be much worse.
This team can play better baseball, and one has to think the Mets will. This is a team that got hot at the right time after the All-Star break last year. It can be done.
Collins hasn’t overreacted despite the Mets’ struggles. He knows it’s counterproductive to do that. It wouldn’t be leadership. He has to find a way to coax results out of his players just like he did in the first few months of the season before Cespedes arrived. He has done that so far. There’s no reason to believe he can’t get it done again.
Count the Mets out at your risk.
It would be foolish to do so despite what they did last year and how they hung in there.
Good thing for the players and Collins that they don’t react like fans.
They shouldn’t, and they can’t. It’s a long season. They have to handle adversity in a mature manner.
The Mets’ professional approach is why they are hanging in there.
It’s a credit to the players and Collins.
Instead of whining about the Mets not being in first place in the NL East, fans should appreciate and enjoy the journey.
It can be a great ride no matter what happens.