Ricardo De Jesus ‘22
Entering the 2021 MLB season, the New York Mets were ready to make all sorts of noise. After the Wilpons had officially given ownership of the team to TW Steve Cohen, it seemed the Mets had turned over a new leaf. A Francisco Lindor trade and signing, and a multitude of other moves, bolstered the hopes that the Mets would be contenders. With DeGrom ready to dominate the league with his 101mph four-seam-fastball and Pete Alonso ready to have a resurgence, there was hope in Queens. This, however, wasn’t the case at all. The Mets had spent 103 days in first place in a lackluster NL East Division and yet finished the season with a losing record. So, where did it all go wrong for the Mets?
Offense! It’s the thing that creates runs. The Mets were poised to be one of the heaviest offensive production teams going into the regular season. The same team with heavy hitters such as Pete Alonso, Brandon Nimmo, and Francisco Lindor, the Mets, on paper, had the best offensive lineup they had in years. The Mets, in reality, were one of the worst offensive teams. The Kansas City Royals, a third-market team that is currently rebuilding, had 43 more RBIs than the supposedly stacked New York Mets. One illustration of the Mets’ offensive woes throughout the season was Francisco Lindor’s performance. Although his fielding was considered high quality, he did not provide much with the bat as he had a career-low batting average and slugging percentage.
If it was one thing for certain that killed the Mets’ luck this season, it would be injuries early on. Cornerstone pieces, such as Seth Lugo in the bullpen and Carlos Carrasco in the rotation, set the Mets back. These injuries, however, would allow eager minor leaguers a chance to shine in the big leagues. Players such as Tyler Megill and Luis Guillorme were able to get more playing time due to these conditions. Going into the All-Star Break, the Mets were looking unfazed. On July 18th, 2021, Jacob DeGrom would be sidelined with forearm tightness in his throwing hand for the rest of the season. Before his injury, Jacob DeGrom was on track to have one of the all-time best seasons for a pitcher. With an ERA of 1.08 in 15 games started, DeGrom was looking to win his 3rd Cy Young and hopefully carry his team to the playoffs. The Mets weren’t able to recover after DeGrom’s injury and would eventually sink out of the playoff race.
Despite all of the negative moments the Mets had this year, there are some glimmers of hope for the Mets. Pete Alonso’s resurgence as a power-hitting first baseman goes to show that he can be consistent and put up great offensive numbers. With 37 home runs and 94 RBIs, he is looking to be one of the best power hitters in the league. The Mets hope to make noise this coming offseason, such as hopefully resigning Javy Baez and locking in players to long-term deals, such as Noah Syndergaard and Marcus Stroman.