Coutinho: Can The Mets Contend For A Playoff Spot?

By Rich Coutinho
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I woke up this morning and decided it was time to turn the page on all the Met trade talk, because quite frankly this team is exciting and competitive despite all the injuries and off the field nonsense. They also wake up this morning 4 games back in the loss column for a wild card spot which quite frankly surprised me since we have all been told that the Mets can not contend and must “back up the truck.”

The National League is not strong and that is why the Mets are in the thick of the Wild Card race in the second week of June. I would not rule out the notion that they will hang in there all summer. First of all, they have proven themselves to be a resilient team, especially on the road, where they own a 14-14 record. Overall, since their 5-13 start, the Mets are 24-18 which is certainly a larger sample of games than the 18 game stretch at the start of the year and more indicative of their talent level.

And lets take a look at that record more closely–they’ve won games versus Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Josh Johnson, Jair Jurrgens, and Tim Hudson–just to name a few. Those are some of the best arms in the National League and they have done it for the most part, missing key components of their offense whether it be Ike Davis, David Wright, or Angel Pagan.

They have also compiled that 24-18 record in their last 42 games without an ace in the rotation. What they have found is some quality in Jonathan Niese and Dillon Gee–Niese’s  ERA sits at 3.75 while Gee possesses an impressive 3.33 ERA. There is no lockdown ace–that’s for sure–but these guys all battle and RA Dickey has seemingly found his elusive knuckler of late despite hobbling around with a gimpy ankle.

Offensively, this team has the league’s leading hitter with both Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran near the top of many league offensive categories. Runs have been scarce of late and Jason Bay’s lack of production is troubling, but this team has a lot of grinders–players who play hard and tough it out. Daniel Murphy, Justin Turner, Angel Pagan, and Ruben Tejada fit into that category and all four have made contributions.

What will decide the Mets fate will be their bullpen. K-Rod has been great converting all but one save chance this year, but the rub here will be Pedro Beato and Jason Isringhausen, if they hold up the Mets will win a lot of games. And lets not discount the possibility that Ike Davis and David Wright, once healthy, will bring more sizzle to the lineup. There is even an outside chance that Johan Santana will emerge as one point in the season and contribute as well.

The league is so watered down right now and the NL wild card winner could be an 86 win team because there is so much parity. I said in spring training that I thought the Mets were an 85 win team and I still think that. A 42 game stretch of 24-18 does illustrate that the Mets can play with The Braves, Marlins, Brewers, Reds, and the rest of NL wild card contestants.

We have all been bogged down with negativity and trade talk that we might be missing a pretty good story here as Terry Collins had held this team together in a way his predecessor could not. Wouldn’t it be ironic if after all this “trade talk” the Mets actually add a “small piece” at the deadline? It is not as far-fetched as you might think.

Well? Can the Mets make the playoffs?

Comments

One Comment

  1. KPMc says:

    No!

  2. flea says:

    Just like the Mets….The last thing that the Wilpons wanted, was for Jose Reyes to have a great year. At least David Wright is keeping up his end of the bargain.

  3. LongTimeFan says:

    This is exactly the problem, people such as Pete who always find something to complain about. Here’s this really positive story about the team, and all Pete could do is talk about soccer attendance at Citi Field, vs. Mets. It’s so-called fans like this who contribute to the very issue he drools to point out. These so-called fans should just go find another team to go all negative over. They contribute nothing, absolutely nothing to the Mets.

    1. flea says:

      I Agree. I’m tired of all these soccer heads trying to stuff that lousy sport down our throats. Soccer is an after thought in this country, (U.S.A.) at best. Always has been, and always will.

      1. Something to thing about says:

        an after thought, yet Citi Field was about 2,000 fans short of a complete sell out that soccer night and the Mets can’t even get 25,000 fans into the stadium on a sunny Sunday afternoon game.

        You do the math on what’s sport is more popular. I should say, what sports team is more popular.

    2. Long Time Suffering Mets Fan says:

      Maybe Pete is saying the truth, where are the Mets fans? It takes a soccer game to fill up the stadium, while the Mets fans sit at home.

      How are we supposed to keep our players when fans are not showing up to the games. Citi Field is a baseball park not a soccer field.

      Where’s the positive story in this article? . The National League is not strong and that is why the Mets are in the thick of the Wild Card race in the second week of June.

      That’s positive? the guy is saying our Mets suck but we’re lucky because the National League is weak, that’s not positive

      Where are the Mets fans? that’s what I want to know. If the Mets are 15 games out by August, does this mean the stadium will then be empty and the Red Bulls will take over? It’s put up or shut up!!

      And when does the wild card matter in early June? Spetember yes, BUT NOT THE FIRST WEEK OF JUNE!!!!

      1. flea says:

        That’s only 1 boring soccer game. Try playing 81 boring soccer games. Then see what they draw.

      2. Pete says:

        Mets can’t get a total of 40,000 in 2 games and Mets fans should be ashamed of themselves by making up lame excuses on why the Mets can’t draw that many fans to their own stadium.

        St. John’s vs Georgetown opening Citi Field draw more fans than a Mets game. If the NYC High School Championship game was to be played there it would draw more fans.

        When the Phillies came to town 2 weeks ago, 70% of the fans were Phillies fans, wait until they play the Yankees at Citi Field, 90% will be Yankees fans. The Mets are not a draw in their own stadium and that’s a shame.

  4. LongTimeFan says:

    This is exactly the problem, people such as Pete who always find something to complain about. Here’s this really positive story about the team, and all Pete could do is talk about soccer attendance at Citi Field, vs. Mets. It’s so-called fans like this who contribute to the very issue he drools to point out. These so-called fans should just go find another team to go all negative over. They contribute nothing to the Mets.

  5. patrick mackin says:

    Yes, ya gotta believe..

  6. Pete says:

    So there were more soccer fans (39,655) attending a soccer game at Citi Field yesterday then Mets fans (under 20,000) attending a Mets game on any given Sunday or any other day so far this season.

    Maybe the Wilpons have something there, convert Citi Field into a soccer stadium.

    If you’re not going to make money from Mets fans who don’t attend Mets games soccer fans is the way to go.

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