The New York Mets led the National League East for much of the year, and they were 55-48 on July 30, the day of the trade deadline.
At that moment, they were four games up in the NL East.
The former has already returned, while the latter has an uncertain outlook for the rest of the year.
Frustration Is Evident
The Mets offense couldn’t produce anything for weeks, and the team was 61-67 at one point last week.
Fans are frustrated, constantly booing players for their bad performance.
And players, such as Lindor, Javy Baez, and Kevin Pillar, are beginning to exteriorize their frustration, too.
Over the weekend, the three mentioned players directed thumbs down signs at the fans in retaliation for their booing.
The team condemned the signs, the players apologized, but some bad blood remains.
Funny enough, the Mets haven’t lost since that happened.
Right now, even though they were very, very bad in August, the Mets are carrying a four-game winning streak into September play.
It’s unlikely that the ugly spat between fans and players had anything to do with their recent success, but one thing is clear: the Mets are not dead.
As of Wednesday afternoon, New York is 65-67, in third place of the NL East.
After sweeping a doubleheader against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday, the Mets are 5.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves for the lead.
Conforto, Baez and company helped the @Mets kept their postseason hopes alive with an improbable walk-off, and double header swept yesterday. What will the blue and orange have in store for an encore this week? @MLB pic.twitter.com/aDfAM1P8qB
— The Church of Baseball (@C_O_BB) September 1, 2021
The Philadelphia Phillies, also fighting for a place in the playoffs, are second in the division, 2.5 games behind the Braves and 3.0 games ahead of New York.
The last month of the season will be extremely exciting in a wild NL East.
The Mets Still Have A Chance
As it turns out, 5.5 games is not an impossible deficit to overcome for the Mets, especially considering they have nine consecutive games against the lowly Marlins and Washington Nationals to start September.
That stretch of games is awfully important for the Mets as they look to keep trimming the Braves’ lead in the division.
The Mets also host the Phillies at Citi Field between September 17 and 19 for three crucial games.
If the Mets get through September within one or two games of the Braves, look out: both teams will close the season with a three-game set in Atlanta.
At one point, the Mets could have deGrom and Noah Syndergaard back, the latter as a reliever.
The Mets are optimistic that Jacob deGrom (elbow) will be ready to make his return from the 60-day injured list by the second half of September after the MRI he underwent Wednesday revealed nothing concerning, Anthony DiComo of https://t.co/hKyoOQ0Tnf reports. pic.twitter.com/0uMEX93YM7
— Rotolytics (@rotolytics) August 25, 2021
It’s not a given that both can make it back.
One would imagine that if deGrom is healthy and the Mets are still in the race, he will push and accelerate his ramp-up process.
The offense will need to be better, as it has the names to show some more thump.
Pete Alonso, Dom Smith, J.D. Davis, Lindor, Baez, Michael Conforto, Jeff McNeil, and Brandon Nimmo are a talented unit on paper, yet the Mets as a whole rank 27th in runs scored per game in all MLB, with 3.9.
The offense is the unit that really needs to step up and deliver big performances if the Mets are going to make a late push for the playoffs.