1 Persistent NY Mets fear the team must overcome
How to beat the New York Mets? You do this with a left hand throw. From top to bottom, this team of right-handers, left-handers and hitters has been abysmal against left-handers this year.
It’s kind of weird how the numbers work. Brandon Nimmo and Jeff McNeil actually hit well against them. These two left-handers who have been there since the start of the season are doing well against pitchers of both flavors. It’s everyone who seems to struggle more than they should.
The Mets tried to solve that problem gently at the trade deadline with the addition of Darin Ruf. But he’s just a man and a part-time player. It’s mostly everyone (Starling Marte did well) where we can have our continued concerns when the Mets are on offense and even on defense too.
Postseason baseball is played differently than the regular season. Things move more slowly. Managers are less bold in their decisions.
It was in October that the Mets could see the left-handed problem arise on both sides of baseball. The Mets recently managed to take care of the Los Angeles Dodgers with three straight left-handers and a bullpen with a few more. Could they manage to escape it again?
The Dodgers are beatable in the regular season. Even the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates played them well when they had their chance. The same could be said of the St. Louis Cardinals whose rotation includes Jose Quintana and Jordan Montgomery who shoot on the left side. Either one could potentially give the Mets crises as a starter or multi-inning reliever if those two teams end up meeting.
Nothing to worry about right now, but certainly one-sided fear because the Mets don’t have the same luxury. All year, fans have had questions about their very own southpaw, Joely Rodriguez. He’s not the crushing reliever you want to get big outs against Freddie Freeman in the playoffs. Could David Peterson take on this role? The only other legitimate big league southpaw the Mets could throw there in a big playoff spot, the big concern for the offseason appears to be the same for the pitching staff.
Overcoming this is simple, however. The Mets simply can’t let the game be a showdown of managers playing percentages. Get ahead of the other team’s starters. Obtain Marte’s Two-Hit Bomb. Maybe give Pete Alonso a little more sense and let him know he’s supposed to feast on left-handed pitchers.
If there’s one fear that lingers all year round, it’s this one. Little has been done to try to fix it. Will the lack of left-handed killers at home plate and the mound become this team’s downfall? When you get a handful of runs, seven innings of an ace, and have two or three trusted relievers to turn to, that’s a fear the team can overcome.
NEXT STORY: 2 Mets to sign for extensions, 1 to wait to extend