The New York Mets have been self-imploding since their incredible 11-1 start. The beginning of the end started with poor pitching performances and injuries, but their continued distress can only be blamed on their lack of offensive production.
Manager Mickey Callaway has been preaching accountability since he was first seen in orange and blue last fall, but actions speak louder than words and there haven't been many players held accountable.
The Mets have lost 31 of their last 47 games and have scored only two runs in their last 42 innings. Pitching has been fantastic and injured players have resurfaced, so what's the problem?
Excuses, Excuses, Excuses
It as easy to blame the Mets' downward spiral on their poor pitching performances. For a while, if you were a Mets starting pitcher not named Jacob deGrom, you were probably giving up a lot of runs. The offense couldn't keep up with the number of runs that the starting pitchers were giving up each game, so losses were inevitable.
As reported on a recent SNY broadcast, over their last 17 games, the Mets pitching staff has pitched to a 2.54 ERA. That number is even more astounding when you realize that Jason Vargas, who until recently was pitching to a 16.80 ERA, is on their staff.
Quickly after the pitching rounded itself out, the Mets lost their main power threat, Yoenis Cespedes, to a hip injury and Todd Frazier to a hamstring strain. It was safe to assume that with the loss of both Cespedes and Frazier, the team's offense would struggle. And struggle it did, so much so that the offense has pretty much shut down since Cespedes and Frazier have been out.
Who is struggling?
Pretty much everyone, actually.
Asdrubal Cabrera was the Mets' hottest hitter for most of the season. He has been slumping recently, but still owns a .287 batting average. Brandon Nimmo, who was on the base paths more often than not, has rendered himself virtually useless since the All-Star ballot came out and the #WriteInNimmo hysteria started. Jay Bruce has only hit three home runs to date and has been stuck on 15 RBI for what seems like an eternity. In fact, in his last 15 games, Bruce has only cashed on one RBI.
And the offensive power outage only continues from there. Michael Conforto burst onto the scene when he returned from injury in April, hitting a home run in his first game back. Soon after his early success, Conforto went through a deep slump, and since then has very lightly rebounded. He has only seven home runs in 2018, which is very un-Conforto like. He has looked disoriented at the plate pretty much all season.
Adrian Gonzalez has done what would be expected from a 36-year-old first baseman whose best days are behind him: not much. He has six home runs to his name and had some big hits for his team early in the season, but has since gone cold with the rest of the Mets lineup and has posted a line of just .244/.309/.381.
Is there a solution?
All in all, perhaps the powerful Cespedes could be the spark that this lineup desperately needs. If all goes as planned, he is scheduled to be reactivated for the Subway Series this weekend.
The Mets are clearly frustrated with how they are playing, but the woes seem to continue regardless of the team's feelings. Something has to change, and fast, otherwise the NL East or even a Wild Card berth could be out of the question.