M-E-T-S: Mess, Mess, Mess! Mets in Full-Blown Fade Mode

Thursday, May 10, 2018 1:37 PM UTC

Thursday, May. 10, 2018 1:37 PM UTC

The 2018 season got off to such a promising start for the New York Mets, but things are spiraling out of control. Will things stabilize?

That’s "so Met"!

It’s a saying only fans of New York’s “other” baseball team would understand. On Wednesday in Cincinnati, we saw something “so Met.”

In the first inning of an eventual 2-1 loss to the horrid Reds, the Mets batted out of order. Now, batting out of order happens occasionally, but in the top of the first inning!? It might have cost New York a needed win as well. In the inning, Brandon Nimmo struck out looking to open the game and then Wilmer Flores struck out too. The third batter, Asdrubal Cabrera, reached on a ground-rule double.

However, Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman immediately approached the home plate umpire with the lineup card that was given to Riggleman from the Mets. Therein lied the problem: In the lineup posted publicly and on the wall in the Mets' dugout, Flores was batting second, with Cabrera batting third. But in the handwritten lineup card presented to umpires, Cabrera was batting second, followed by Flores. So, the umpire ruled Jay Bruce, due up fourth, automatically out to end the inning.

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What a joke! https://t.co/Rms9ZrTD9a

An early look at Thursday's front... pic.twitter.com/m3uqvmgrDb

— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) May 10, 2018

It was an embarrassing episode for Mets first-year manager Mickey Callaway, the former Indians pitching coach. Callaway said his intended lineup was the one presented to the umpires -- an "administrative error" led to lineup being transcribed into the computer wrong -- and he took full responsibility. It was the first time a major-league team was caught batting out of turn since the Brewers did it in 2016. First time for Mets since 1977.

As recently as April 15, Callaway looked like the early NL Manager of the Year favorite as his Mets had the best record in the National League at 12-2 and led the NL East by three games. New York was the Intertops favorite to win the division.

The Mets are 6-15 since entering this weekend’s series in Philadelphia (while the Yankees are on a historic rampage). They have won a single series in that span, taking two of three at San Diego from April 27-29. To start this week, New York lost two of three at putrid Cincinnati. In losing eight of their past nine, the Mets have scored two runs or less in seven of them, including three shutouts.

Callaway was considered a pitching guru in Cleveland, but his staff has disappointed other than Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom – deGrom is currently on the DL but on track to return Sunday in Philadelphia. Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler both have been mediocre and free-agent addition Jason Vargas has been the worst pitcher in baseball at 0-3 with an absurd 13.86 ERA and WAR of -0.8. Matt Harvey was a bust again before being traded this week to the Reds for catcher Devin Mesoraco.

Offensively, only Cabrera is hitting much. Yoenis Cespedes, Amed Rosario, Adrian Gonzalez, Todd Frazier (now on DL), Jay Bruce, Flores and Michael Conforto are all hitting below .250, with Conforto below the Mendoza Line. Bruce, incidentally, won’t be with the club this weekend in Philly as he will be attending the birth of his second child.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised the Mets are imploding right around now as that has been a trend the past few years. The team was 16-16 last year and then lost seven in a row, never sniffing .500 again. The Mets also ruined a 15-7 start in 2016 and a 13-3 beginning in 2015 – although both those clubs reached the postseason. The Mets are currently +350 third-favorites at Intertops to win the NL East behind Washington (+100) and Atlanta (+325).

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