Saturday, June 8, 2024

The London Eyeroll


Damon Albarn of Blur once sang 'London Loves the way we just don't stand a chance'. I don't think he wrote that song about the Mets but he could have fooled me.

This weekend's London Series will be a test of two things. One, it will be a test of the Mets' ability to perform under pressure against the best team in the NL. Two, it will be the test of the average UK-based sports fan's patience. Now I know, there's a whole trope of british soccer fans putting up with miserable play for years because of a devotion to a club, and there's literally a whole film about it where Colin Firth plays an Arsenal fan [that got made into the Jimmy Fallon film that was supposed to be about how the Red Sox always lose filmed during the 2004 postseason so...heheheh..]. So I know they put up with a lot. But this is the Mets. Not only that, this is the 2024 Mets. AMERICAN sports fans are already done with them. This could be a new test of their patience. 

The Mets are actually coming off a 3 game winning streak. The last game before everybody got on the plane was a 9-1 rout of Washington, featuring two home runs by recent addition Luis Torrens, as well as the 10th home run from Francisco Lindor, who, despite some early struggles, is now beginning to finally pick things up. Lindor is only hitting .235, but his hitting stats, including his 35 RBIs, are the x-factor, and even if he's not hitting to the extent that he was last year, or even in his prime with Cleveland, he's still one of the best hitters on the Mets.

But it says a lot about this Mets team that a lower-key Lindor with only a 4 bWAR column, along with surprise contact weeks from Luis Torrens and Jose Iglesias, are the offensive highlights right now. Like, they're getting good seasons out of Harrison Bader, Brandon Nimmo, Pete Alonso and J.D. Martinez, but we all know they've done better. Alonso has 14 homers right now and it seems tame by his standards. The highest OPS on the team belongs to Mark Vientos, with a 1.013, along with a .333 average, 12 RBIs and 5 homers in 20 games. No matter how heavily Steve Cohen insisted on crafting a great roster, several of these guys just aren't showing up. The pitching's also just kind of a mess right now without Senga, or any of the homegrown legends. Manaea, Butto and Megill are fine, and David Peterson's looked good since coming up, but this isn't really a lineup that instills confidence. Or a bullpen, in that matter.

And there they are, this bastion of mediocrity, going up against a Phillies team that looks like they could eat these guys for breakfast. I expect at least one upset victory, but the Mets will need a lot of spontaneous energy to take this team down, in London or in the States.

Coming Tonight: A Tigers pitcher that's been excellent in every category except for run support.

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