For an average Met fan, it seems like it’s been decades since they have seen their team play in October. They haven’t been to the postseason since 2006. The constant flow of jokes and harassment from Yankee fans seems to be never-ending. However, this could be the first time in a number of years that Met fans can honestly say: the Mets are better than the Yankees.
2014 was ultimately supposed to be the year for the Mets. That was the year that all of Sandy Alderson’s work was expected to pay off. Unfortunately, Matt Harvey had Tommy John surgery and missed the whole year, David Wright missed most of the year with a bad shoulder, Curtis Granderson had a down year, and top prospect Noah Syndergaard couldn’t make the leap to the majors. The Mets, however, did make strides in 2014. Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom came out of nowhere. Plus, Lucas Duda, Travis d’Arnaud, and Juan Lagares all had breakout seasons, proving that they can hold their own in the Majors.
There is optimism in the 2015 Mets. They have a surplus of young starting pitchers, which is how you build a sustainable team. They are going to live and die with their pitching. Signing Michael Cuddyer early in the offseason definitely bolstered a lineup which desperately needed a right-handed power bat. A healthy David Wright, a bounce back year from Granderson and Harvey, should push the Mets in contention for a wild card spot. Signing or trading for a legitimate shortstop would put them over that hump into serious contention.
As for their own division, the Nationals won 15 of the 19 games last season against the Mets. Yes, the Nationals are one of the best teams in the league, and yes, they just added 2013 Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer to an already monstrous rotation, so chances are slim the Mets can compete with them. The Braves and Phillies are both rebuilding to some capacity, and a dark horse to win the make a push for a playoff spot would be the young Marlins.
The Mets have been building up their farm system for years, creating hope that they could be a legit contender for the next few years. But there needs to come a time when they say that the rebuilding process is over. The atmosphere around the team is generally encouraging, with a number of players, coaches, and front office personnel saying they expect to be a playoff team. The fans have suffered throughout this long rebuild, and the time has come for the Mets to get back to the postseason in 2015, nine years after their last appearance.