The MLB season is always filled with surprises, but did anyone expect the Mets to be one?
Of course, the answer is most likely no. Even the die-hard fans couldn’t expect a 10-1 start, sweeping the division favorite Nationals, and having the best record in the MLB.
And now the question is, will the Mets keep their success going all season?
Obviously they aren’t going to keep winning at the pace they are at right now and there will be bumps in the road, but this start is going to give the Mets a real chance of at least getting a Wildcard spot. Yes, it is only two weeks into April, but these games count. If the Mets started out 1-10 and missed the playoffs by a few games, the talk at the end of the season would be if only the Mets had a little better start in April.
During the Mets 2015 World Series run, they had an 11-game winning streak in April and that played a huge role. By mid-season, the Mets were losing a ton and it would be a success if they could score two runs a game. They were hovering around .500 at the trade deadline and if it wasn’t for that early winning streak, the Mets might have been closer to ten games under .500 and never made the move to trade for Yoenis Cespedes.
Now we can get into why the Mets are having so much success early this season.
The bullpen could be the main reason for their success. Mickey Callaway was the pitching coach for the Indians before becoming manager of the Mets and has created a similar setup to Cleveland. Instead of relievers having a specific role or inning, Callaway has decided to use some of the better relievers in high-leverage situations that could happen as early as the sixth inning. Robert Gsellman has taken full-advantage of his opportunity in the bullpen this year. He has taken on the Andrew Miller role for Callaway and the Mets. Gsellman can come in to get an out or two, or he can give two innings. It is clear that he is the biggest reason for the Mets success in the bullpen.
Now the offense has been pretty good too, but their best characteristic is that every time the Mets lose the lead, the team doesn’t quit and fights right back. There have been multiple times the Mets lost the lead and in their next at-bat, they tie the game or take the lead. A few examples are against the Marlins on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Tuesday, Justin Bour hit two home runs to give the Marlins a lead each time. The Mets came back after each home run and ultimately won 8-6. On Wednesday night, the Mets were getting no-hit for six innings and losing 1-0. They never got down and eventually strung a few hits together and took the lead to win 4-1.
Even with New York getting off to a 10-1 start, the most surprising part is that the starting pitching hasn’t been great. Zack Wheeler was the first pitcher to pitch into the seventh inning on Wednesday. Once the starting pitching gets going, this team has a chance to make some serious noise. You should expect the Mets to keep their success going all season and contending for at least a Wildcard spot as long as the injuries don’t pile up.