The Washington Nationals came to town on Thursday night and punched the Mets right in the mouth, serving notice to our heroes that the Eastern Division is far from won. It was also the Mets’ sixth loss in their last eight games, which has taken much of the shine off their recent 11-game winning streak.
To the Mets credit, they have taken action, calling up Dilson Herrera from Las Vegas and filtering through the media that Daniel Murphy is moving over to third, at least until David Wright returns. On one hand it is correct to state that injuries have finally caught up to the Mets and they are adjusting accordingly. But on the other hand, it is also correct to state that the makeover mentioned here earlier has begun.
One assumes Herrera is up here to play and that if he hits well enough he will stay in the lineup after Wright returns. This relegates Murphy to the 10th man role, a kind of 2015 version of Mark DeRosa, which I think is Murph’s ultimate ceiling. I feel bad for Daniel as this development is likely to cost him millions of dollars on the free agent market next winter, providing there is a team that would have been willing to give him a long-term deal. As it stands now, he is more likely to get a much lower set of offers.
Wilmer Flores’ error last night killed the Mets. Otherwise Jacob deGrom (who has pitched poorly for the second consecutive outing) would have been out of the inning unscathed. Instead, Washington put a three-spot in the board and were off and flying. The boo-birds quickly descended on Flores, which is a particularly bad sign. Flores probably has a week left to turn it around. I wonder if GM Sandy Alderson has had any conversations with his counterparts in Texas or Milwaukee about shortstop help in the event the white flag goes up early in either city.
Herrera is probably only the first farmhand from Vegas on his way here. Steven Matz absolutely dominated AAA Reno again on Thursday and looks to be ready. Jon Niese’s stinker on Sunday in Yankee Stadium was very disturbing and Matz could be here soon to replace Niese or Dillon Gee. A bit more of a longshot, but Michael Conforto has certainly looked great in Single-A. Normally, it’s a long way to the majors from there, but Conforto is a college hitter and there are plenty of examples of this type moving quickly through somebody’s system. Maybe Conforto gets a few weeks in Double-A first.
The past week has had me thinking that the Mets are frauds. They haven’t buried the Nationals and they haven’t even won the city back from the Yanks. They have in fact, looked very much like the Same Old Mets recently as the momentum of last month is quickly dissipating. It is heartening to see them making some effort to stem the tide.
What do you think? Time to bail on Flores? Will Alderson get another shortstop? Should they move Gee or Niese out of the rotation and replace him with Matz? Already thinking about football? Sound off below.