Us Mets fans were having a wonderful time enjoying the team's first promising season since 2016; that was, right up until the All-Star break. From the beginning of the season until the start of the second half, the Mets:
Had themselves a comfortable 4.5 game division lead
Were thriving despite almost all of their starters on the IL
The back end of the rotation in Taijuan Walker, Tylor Megill and Joey Lucchesi rose to the occasion behind Jacob deGrom and Marcus Stroman's brilliance
The bullpen was electric
Pete Alonso repeated as Home Run Derby Champion
Unassuming role players such as Patrick Mazeika and Brandon Drury were the most unlikely of heroes and quickly became fan favorites
The Bench Mob mentality was in full effect, as Kevin Pillar and Jonathan Villar proved to be deadly in big spots
Francisco Lindor was just starting to get hot
Edwin Diaz was showing flashes of his 2018 Seattle Mariners self - reminding fans of why he was brought here in the first place
Everyday seemed like a great day to be at Citi Field. Fans were optimistic and woke up with a smile on their face every morning as they read about another Mets win in the newspaper or on their phones. A postseason run seemed inevitable, the team was finally garnering respect from teams and fans around the league after years of being the punching bag. Everything was going great in Queens, until it wasn't. Since the All-Star break came to a close, the New York Mets have suffered from the following:
Jacob deGrom was shutdown until at least September after experiencing elbow discomfort
The Mets have gone 9-15 in their 24 games since the second half of the season began
Francisco Lindor has yet to return from an oblique strain
Newly acquired Javy Baez has injured himself twice in only nine games in a Mets uniform
A key bat in Michael Conforto has been non-existent, only just reaching the Mendonza Line in his last few games, putting his batting average for the season at a whopping .201
As of today, August 9th, the Mets rank 29th in runs per game, only beating out the PITTSBURGH PIRATES for last place. Yes, the Pittsburgh Pirates.
New York has lost their last three series' against the Cincinnati Reds, Miami Marlins, and Philadelphia Phillies, being swept in three games by the latter, effectively dropping the Mets from first place in the National League East to third place behind the Atlanta Braves and Phillies.
The Mets are now sitting 2.5 games back from a division lead that they held so comfortably and so confidently for so long, with absolutely no end in sight.
Last week I would've been the first person to tell you to relax, the Mets will be okay. Now, I'm not so sure. Maybe we'll get to experience another late season miracle in Queens, much like we did back in 2015. I'll be keeping a bottle of my favorite whiskey near by, because this team makes me drink.
I think it's still too early to panic just yet. We can be upset all we want, but if the struggles continue into mid-August and early September, then yes, we panic.
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