The Mets got a lot of things right last year that cast a particularly unfriendly and unforgiving shadow over the first 56 games of the year.
Even when Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer each took time off, last year’s starters were better. Edwin Diaz was out and it didn’t look like the Mets were marching Quad A troops out of the bullpen the way they are now. There were many reliable players at that time, even batters who are suffering now.
That’s one of the reasons why we went 29-27 this year, compared to 37-19 last year.
But what’s often forgotten is that the Mets were virtually bulletproof at home in 2022. At Citi Field, he went 54-27, arguably the best record in the stadium’s history. Only the 1988 Mets (56), 2000 Mets (55) and 1986 (55) have won more home games at the old Shea Stadium, the same as the 108-win 1986 team. The 22-year Mets’ batting average of .55 boasted such an overwhelming strength. 667 was the Mets in ’86 at City.
(And last year, including the Wild Card Series against the Padres, they set that record after going just 10-10 in their last 20 home games.)
The Mets are in a rotation situation, even as Cookie Carrasco pulls off a strong sixth inning shift on Wednesday night, following Kodai Senga’s excellent 7th inning pitching the night before, helping the Mets to a 4-1 win. is still unclear. Phillies. Even with Adam Ottavino and David Robertson teaming up to shut out the Phils for two nights in a row, the bullpen remains a problem. And while Mark Canha jumped in a time machine back to last summer, hitting all four points for the Mets, the offense still sputters often.
But if the Mets are now on a seven-game winning streak against City, and you’re looking for one good reason to believe they may have finally set fire to their batteries, that’s a good place to start. The Mets started the season with nine losses in their first 16 games at Citi Field, and boos rang out in more than a few of those games.
But starting with a 10th inning 8-7 win over the Rays in the final homestand, the Mets slowly started to feel really good in their own backyard. Neither the Cubs nor the Rockies are particularly good baseball teams, so Chicago and Denver’s 2-4 in between proved amply that they still have a lot to tighten up.
But back home, Wednesday’s victory extended their winning streak to seven.
Back home, in front of 39,641 satisfied customers, the Mets look like they should have, with Scherzer on Thursday following a strong start in Colorado last Friday and next in a hotly contested game against the Phils. You will know if you can show
Mets manager Buck Showalter warned, “One thing we do know is that the path to a good season has always been to play well on the road.” “But you want to feel like you have a little advantage at home. We’ll see how that goes over the long season.”
Of course he is right. Because good teams tend to be good wherever they play. In 2022, the Mets were a pretty impressive 47-34 team even away from City. Still, the 2023 Mets have been struggling for two months to grab something positive and to point them in the right direction.
It’s a small step. But still, winning a home game is a step.
After allowing just six hits on 82 pitches and kicking several 94-95 mph fastballs, Carrasco said of the Mets’ mojo at Citi Field, “It’s completely different.” “We just go out and play hard, dude.”
Sure, playing hard helps. It is better to play well. Through seven games in Flushing, the Mets are closer to becoming the team they want to be. It’s still early. It’s June. As the wisest Met said, let’s see how it goes over a long season.