By Adam Lancia
If someone were to say at the beginning of the 2015 season that the Mets would be leading the NL east in September, you’d think they were joking. The Mets have been the punch line of many a joke for the better part of the last decade. The team hasn’t made the post season at all since losing to St. Louis Cardinals in the 2006 NLCS. Experts pegged the 2015 roster to be bottom dwellers of their division. But here we are, early in September, and the Mets are division leaders. With a strong pitching staff, and new key new additions could this be the team that ends the playoff hiatus?
In August the Mets had a 20-8 record, the second best August record in MLB. It was the first time the metropolitans have won 20 games in a month since 2000. During the month they also broke the team record for homeruns hit, raising the apple 44 times. Shocking considering one of the team’s top long ball threats, Lucas Duda, was sidelined most of August with back problems. They even socked a team record eight home run in one game on August 25, against the rival Philadelphia Phillies. It was a timely turnaround for an offense that once struggled mightily to produce runs.
Despite recent offensive prowess, the key to the Mets successful campaign has been the consistent play of their starting pitching. Led by Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom, the Mets pitching staff has maintained one the lowest earned run averages in the NL in 2015. Rookie Pitcher Noah Syndergaard has turned a lot of heads around the league with his impressive first season. Closer Jeurys Famila has been another bright spot, getting tough outs in the ninth inning to secure victories.
However the club has been dealing with drama involving their star ace Matt Harvey. Coming off of Tommy John surgery and missing the entire 2014 season the coaching staff wants to limit the pitcher’s innings. Despite this, Harvey vows that if they do make the playoffs he will be available to throw.
With the season nearing its end, the Mets will have to fight off the Washington Nationals in the closing weeks. The race is close and the two ball clubs end the season with a pivotal three-game series at Citi field in early October. With just four weeks left in the season every Mets player and fan alike will be watching the standings-hoping this year will be one of fulfillment for their postseason aspirations.