If I told you that the Mets have Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, and Robinson Canó on the Injured List and were just swept in a 3-game series against the Miami Marlins and were five-games under .500, the Panic Meter would be through the roof.
This was true following the sweep, but the thing that was lost on Mets fans, unlike prior seasons, the Mets have added depth and continued to do so throughout the season.
The Mets limped into the series against the Nationals, with a Brodie Van Wagenen press conference that announced Yoenis Cespedes would be out for the season after fracturing his ankle in multiple places on his home ranch in Florida. The negativity surrounding the team was overwhelming, seemingly the team was heading in a downward spiral to irrelevancy in the league. Unlike other seasons where the injury bug hit the Mets, they turned to players of the likes of Ty Kelly and Eric Cambell. No offense to these players, as making a major league roster takes elite talent, but these players weren’t the pieces the Mets needed to stay in contention. Van Wagenen made it a mission to compile veteran pieces to fill holes if they were to be created.
These depth pieces have already shown to be vital entities on the team as the Mets swept a 4-game series against the Nationals, wherein each game, unlikely players came through.
The Mets were set to take on Patrick Corbin and the Nationals, with Wilmer Font being called on to take the mound an hour before game time. Font was serviceable, going 4 innings, only allowing two runs to score. What was the biggest highlight was Drew Gagnon’s growing emergence in the bullpen, going 2 scoreless innings only allowing a walk. In his first appearance this season, Gagnon gave up 5 ER in 5.1 innings in a blow out loss to the Phillies. Since then, he has pitched 8.2 scoreless innings in 7 appearances with a .133 opponents batting average. This would be an unexpected, but much needed, a surprise to the bullpen if Gagnon continues to have this type of success.
Zack Wheeler was fantastic in this game going 7 innings. In the 7th, with the game tied at one, the Nationals Brian Dozier hit a two-run home run to give the Nationals a 3-1 lead. The Mets responded with J.D. Davis hitting pinch-hit, three-run home run. The Nationals would again tie the game, but the Mets would walk it off on an infield single by Amed Rosario. J.D. Davis has been the Mets Analytics team’s big win of the off-season, as he has produced well in the chances he has been giving batting .283 with 5hr and 14 RBI and a .352 OBP.
The Mets roared back in game 3 after being down in the 8th inning 1-0 in a pitchers duel against Max Scherzer. The stage was set with Juan Lagares at the plate with the bases loaded. Off of all-star closer Sean Doolittle, Lagares cleared the bases with a 3-run double. The inning continued with a punctuation mark, when 38-year old Rajai Davis hit a 3-run home run, blowing open the game, allowing the Mets to earn the 6-1 win. Davis, who spent the first two months of the season with triple-a Syracuse, paid of dividends immediately hitting a home run in his first at-bat, bringing the Citi Field faithful into a frenzy.
The series concluded with the Mets and Steven Matz facing off against Stephen Strasburg. The Mets were in control of the game until Robert Gsellman gave up the lead and allowed the Nationals to take a 4-3 lead. In the bottom of the 8th, 2007 Met Prodigy, Carlos Gomez, hit a 3-run home run, stunning the Washington Bullpen once again.
J.D. Davis, Drew Gagnon, Rajai Davis, and Carlos Gomez aren’t the first players you would think of when thinking of who would make significant impacts on the 2019 Mets team. Van Wagenen has shown that the Mets need to be more than a 25-man roster, and would need to extend into their minor league depth pieces to sustain contention throughout the season. With the Mets Injured List growing, and the minor league insurance now on the Major League Roster, the Mets have extended their mission in acquiring roster depth with the signings of Aaron Altherr, Ervin Santana, and Matt Kemp.
We will see how much sustainability the backups will produce at the major league level, but for now, it’s nice to see the Mets have veteran talent on the team, rather than the quadruple-A player.
Featured Image: Carlos Gomez Anthony J. Causi