MLB: New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies

Game recap October 1: Freedom


It wasn’t the Mets


No set of words could accurately describe how frustrating this season has been for Mets fans. The list of things that went wrong could go on and on and on. Game 162 was no different. Rafael Montero is still Rafael Montero. Dom Smith still has some room to grow at first. Chris Flexen is also Rafael Montero. The cruelest thing that happened might have been the glimpse we got of Noah Syndergaard. The one who will surely save us all.

I say cruel because, well, we have always been aware of the demigod he is. What I don’t think anyone was prepared for, nor could they have been, was just how truly vulnerable the human body can be. Now I’m not talking about your typical bumps and bruises that happen over the course of 162 games. I’m talking the insatiable injury bug that spread the Mets clubhouse like wildfire from essentially the beginning until the end.

No matter how great or strong a team looks, injuries will bring them to their knees. Super rotation, young, old, superstar, role-player. Doesn’t matter. Now, not all were freak accidents. The Mets’ (mis)management of some led not to injury itself, but to a worse version: more serious injuries that take longer to rehab and possess the potential to affect future play. This isn’t something new, but this season it reared its ugly head.

Not everything is bad; there are positives to look forward to in 2018. Hitting the reset button on the record total will only do good, but the injury bug that plagued the team this season might be what sticks with me the most. It is why I’m a little more reserved than most might be when saying next season will be fantastic and much better than this one. There are some glaring holes, and problems that won’t be easily fixable. Logjams created by team control and underwhelming play have a role in that, but so does one of the biggest questions we have been asking for a while now: Will, and how much, is the front office going to spend this offseason to improve the roster? I don’t know the answer to that, but it is just one more reason why I’m hesitant to say 2018 will surely be better.

Who knows what this offseason will look like, what the injury situation will be, or even who the manager is. For that reason, I don’t usher out this season with an eagerness to get onto the next. Instead, while I look forward to 2018 with reserved optimism, I’ll part you with this:

Farewell, 2017, and may you rot in hell.

Photo credit: Eric Hartline – USA Today Sports

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