The 2017 Mets began play more than six months ago. A season that started with Noah Syndergaard dominating the Braves could end with Syndergaard making a token start or two down the stretch following his rehab from a torn lat. All that happened in between — the injuries, the controversies, the too few laughs, the fewer wins — it’s blended together into a forgettable mess. They call it a lost season when a team squanders its opportunity to compete. The phrase literally means that in a season like this, the details are gone and cannot be found.
As fans and as humans, we’re predisposed to grant preeminence to events that are freshest in our minds. They call it recency bias. Recently, the Mets have won three games in a row. They’re a .500 team over their last 10 games. Since coming off the disabled list on August 26, Jose Reyes has an OPS over 1.000 while scoring 15 runs in just 13 games. Over 130 big-league plate appearances in 2017, Brandon Nimmo has a .419 on-base percentage. Seth Lugo now has a FIP under 4.00 for the season. Even Travis Taijeron looks like a contributor when he hits his first major-league home run. These are all positive, optimistic observations.
Some might argue that this uptick in performance is just more Metsing: This team should lose as much as it can to secure a higher draft pick. Winning when the playoffs are out of reach is the worst thing a team can do. What’s to be gained from beating up on Phillies and Reds squads that have always been playing for next year or the year after? I guess it’s nice when a 28-year-old rookie gets his first dinger in the Show.
You’re a Mets fan. You wouldn’t be here otherwise. You’re tired of nerve irritation and hamstring pulls. You’ve had it with broken noses and shoulder dislocations. You’re especially fed up with salary dumps and promises to reinvest in next year’s roster. Does a 5-1 Mets win over a Reds team that’s 20 games under .500 relieve you of any of that frustration?
Even when you’re supposed to enjoy a relaxing Friday night ballgame, even when your team emerges victorious, there’s still so much angst.
Photo Credit: Brad Penner – USA Today Sports