The New York Mets are close to a playoff team this year — they probably won’t win the World Series but their roster is strong enough to compete for the second wild card at the very least. Yes, they are missing their ace in Matt Harvey but if they stay in contention into August and Harvey returns, you never know what can happen. The main thing that is holding back the Mets is consistency and that showed in a 3-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday.
Zach Wheeler started the game off well but a two run second inning combined with a one run third doomed him for the game. Wheeler like many starts throughout the year showed that he has ace quality material with his pitches. But he struggled to maintain his control consistently and that cost him a couple of runs. Wheeler’s best pitch is his silder and in the second and third inning he struggled to locate it down and away from the batters and that was the reason why he was pitching from behind in those innings.
The Mets offense didn’t do Wheeler any favors ether. Numerous times throughout the game they had chances to get ahead with runners in scoring position but they could not capitalize on the opportunities and give Wheeler a chance to win. The Mets are good enough to get runners in scoring position — it’s continuing that hitting throughout the order that’s the problem.
Even the captain David Wright had an up-and-down game. He managed to hit his third home run of the season today. But then he followed that up with an error the next inning. After that Wright managed to make a great diving catch at third. Just like the team, Wright was up and down.
This Mets team has speed in the form of Eric Young Jr. and Juan Lagaresis on pace to becoming a regular in the starting lineup. Curtis Granderson seems to be finding his swing as of late. Combine that with Wright having solid batting average, and good things appear to be around the corner.
But the one thing that is separating this team from being good is consistency. If this team wants to compete for the second wild card or even the 90-win mark that general manager Sandy Alderson set out at the beginning of the year, they are going to have to play strong for nine innings every day. The Mets seem to fall short of this goal too often and that is what is holding them back from competing. Good teams play good nine innings consistently throughout the year and until the Mets can do so they will be nothing but average.