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May Free Fall Threatens New York Mets Preseason Playoff Aspirations

May 23rd, 2014 at 12:43 PM
By Mike Phillips

One of the big headlines prior to the 2014 season was the bold declaration from New York Mets' general manager Sandy Alderson. Alderson told members of the team's front office that the Mets could win 90 games this season, setting a very high bar for manager Terry Collins and a Mets team that had potential, but lots of questions as well. The Mets looked poised to back up their GM's words when they went 15-11 in April. May, however, has been a cruel month for the Mets.

'Terry Collins' photo (c) 2013, slgckgc - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The Mets entered Thursday night's contest with the Los Angeles Dodgers having posted a 5-14 record, the worst May mark in the major leagues. There have been a lot of problems for the Mets in May, and the easy way out is to blame the team's non-existent offense. The Mets offense has been pathetic, and the Mets have been tinkering with their roster to try and add more offense to it over the last two weeks. None of the moves Collins have been making, however, seem to be working. Travis d'Arnaud was on the verge of being benched before he hit the DL with a concussion. Ruben Tejada continues to draw starts at shortstop in spite of his inept offense, while the Youngs (Eric and Chris) haven't hit enough to justify sitting Juan Lagares on the bench.

The Mets lack of offense isn't helping the team's pitching staff, but they haven't done a lot there either lately. Big offseason addition Bartolo Colon (3-5, 5.34 ERA) hasn't done much to inspire confidence, while Zack Wheeler (1-4, 4.53 ERA) is scuffling as well. The bullpen has also been in flux, with April closer Kyle Farnsworth being booted out the door and a closer by committee in full effect. The Mets have fallen to 20-25 on the year, a season worst five games below the .500 mark.

If the Mets can't turn their season around, they could fade into oblivion rather quickly. The Mets realistically couldn't have expected to be division contenders this season, but the Mets are embodying the worst of the past four years right now. Alderson vowed in the offseason that the Mets would be done experimenting with players and be able to commit to their group of guys going forward, but the first two months of the year are full of experimentation at shortstop, in the bullpen, and in the outfield. The Mets appear to have a lot more questions than answers at this point, and the disturbing thing is that the team appears to be getting worse as the season goes on.

There is no easy way to fix the problems the Mets face, but it will be surprising if the Mets sit on their hands as fans continue to stay away from Citi Field. Collins himself could be in jeopardy as the Mets could switch managers to try and appease their fan base. That isn't entirely fair to Collins, who is being asked to make lemonade out of sour lemons at this point. A lot of blame needs to fall to ownership and Alderson as well, who put together a flawed roster and expected big success. 

Tags: Baseball, MLB, New York, New York Mets

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