Monday, May 13, 2019
The Real McNeil
The Mets are one of those teams that...pragmatically, you would think would be doing better.
You have the best pitcher in the NL, the best closer in baseball, two of the best outfielders in baseball, a shoo-in for Rookie of the Year votes, a Hall of Famer hitting relatively well, and Zach Wheeler. So many really impressive bits...and then the rest of the team, which is tanking them.
I feel like I was just talking about a team like this. The Royals, perhaps. Who coincidentally played the Mets in the 2015 World Series...which feels so much longer ago than four years.
The Mets are still...nominally...a good team, and have enough good lineup, rotation and bullpen elements to keep them in the conversation. But a majority of the team is mediocre-to-poor, and not even the guys doing well can fix that. It's not even a balance, and it's not even the kind of thing where unity can help it.
Jeff McNeil, though, is having an amazing year, especially considering that Jed Lowrie was supposed to block his spot on the starting lineup. McNeil is batting .360 so far, with 50 hits and 14 RBIs. He's also an impressive defender both in the outfielder and at third, and is working off of Michael Conforto for some great mid-lineup madness. Guys like him need to be more frequent in this lineup, and I wish they were.
The Phils are doing well at the top of the NL East, but it feels too simple. I feel like a team like the Mets needs to sneak in and challenge them, or else they'll just waltz to the end. Not that I don't WANT the Phils to waltz to the end, I just...don't want them to get too cocky. So I kind of want the Mets to improve, and for McNeil to keep his stuff at a high enough standard for the rest of the team to reach.
Coming Tomorrow- From the makers of Barry Foote and Bill Hands.