The 2017 season was supposed to be so much more for the New York Mets. After winning the National League pennant in 2015 and reaching the NL Wild Card Game as the home team in 2016, fans in Queens were expecting another season near the top of the NL East. Many people saw them as legit contenders for a World Series title.
For the first 10 games of the season, they looked the part, winning seven of them and looking like a playoff team. Even Matt Harvey won his first two starts as he looked to rebuild following a lost year in '16.
Then the bottom fell out. The Mets finished April on a 3-11 slide and never recovered. Harvey slid into another dismal year. Ace Noah Syndergaard was lost for most of the year after tearing his lat. This being the Mets, there had to be drama to it as the big righty had refused the team's request for him to undergo an MRI three days before the injury, insisting he felt well enough to pitch.
There were other disappointments. Yoenis Cespedes spent several extended spells on the disabled list, playing only 81 games total. Robert Gsellman, whose strong debut in 2016 resulted in high expectations as a successful middle-of-the-rotation starter, slumped to a 5.19 ERA. Closer Jeurys Familia also missed extended time due to injury and suspension. Michael Conforto had a breakout season before it was cut short by a freak injury.
By the trade deadline, general manager Sandy Alderson gave up on the season, trading several key veterans like Jay Bruce and Neil Walker in deals that can't be described as anything other than straight salary dumps. Terry Collins was not kept at the end of the season, and the Mets were staring at an uncertain future.
This is going to be a hard team to gauge. Will the Mets rebound from their nightmare 2017, or was last season a signal that their window of opportunity was closing? Let's look closer at the boys from Flushing.