On Monday night, the New York Mets will begin to look a little more like the New York Mets.
Pete Alonso, Kevin Pillar, and Seth Lugo are all expected to be activated off the injured list and the roster replenishment couldn’t come at a more opportune time for Luis Rojas’ patchwork quilt of scrappiness.
With a 3.5-game lead in the NL East and at least a half-dozen games in hand over the rest of the division (the Phillies, four games out, have played eight more games than the Mets so far), the U-Haul truck is out front.
Big Pete is back at the wheel, we can only hope dressed as Donnie Stevenson. Let’s get moving.
Making a run now — particularly right now against the last-place Diamondbacks, who the Mets swept at Citi Field in May — before embarking on a hellish stretch of seven-of-nine against the first-place Padres would be a prudent course, no doubt.
As if the challenges of April and May weren’t enough. Welcome the New York Mets’ age-old nemesis back to the show, the month of June!
Four in San Diego (which, of course, in German…) beginning this Thursday are followed by a brief, two-game stay in Baltimore (losers of 13 straight) on Tuesday, then the Metsies come home for seven against the Friars and half-game-out Cubs.
Think that’s where the fun stops? Indeed not.
After that homestand, the Mets head to Washington for four games in three days the weekend of June 18 then come back to Queens for consecutive four-games-in-three-days series against Atlanta and the Phillies.
Get all that? Good. Because the Mets have a one-off make-up with Washington squeezed in there on Monday, June 28 before heading back to Atlanta for three then uptown to face the Yankees on Fourth of July weekend.
Buckle up, kiddos. Though, after what they’ve been through so far and where they stand now, nothing seems out of the realm of possibility at this point.
With the epitome of a skeleton squad, the Mets held their own this month, and then some, entering the final day of May with a 16-9 record and that aforementioned 3.5-game division lead.
It’s nearly impossible to conceive any ballclub withstanding the adversity this team has over the first two months of the season. Yet, here they are.
Has it been pretty? Nooooo. Ha. No. But it’s been beautiful to watch unfold.
The Mets’ 91 wRC+ and 103 runs scored this month rank 10th and 11th in the NL, respectively. When your pitching staff is leading the way, as they have for these Mets, below-average offense (13 runs versus Atlanta, notwithstanding) will suffice.
Will it last? No. But the coffers are refilling at the perfect time to seamlessly shift into fourth gear soon thereafter.
Those returning on Monday, as well as the players who are expected back over the next days and weeks (hopefully) in Brandon Nimmo, J.D. Davis, Luis Guillorme, Albert Almora, Jeff McNeil, and Michael Conforto, will afford this team all the opportunities moving ahead.
We’ve talked about staying above water and weathering this storm. The Mets have done a terrific job of it so far. But, as noted above, the forecast calls for choppy seas for the next month. It’s never easy, friends.
But, as more of the injured return and this current group continues to find their rhythm in their ever-evolving roles, the potential of a juggernaut coming together is there.
Everyone getting those all-important game-speed reps and producing under these conditions has not only kept everyone fresh and kept this team alive, but it’s actually fostering growth.
Internal competition breeds excellence. We’ve talked about this. And now we’re seeing it take place.
Everyone — literally, everyone — on this roster appears to be chomping at the bit to contribute to what’s happening right now in Flushing.
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