It’s a later than normal Q&A and prediction with New York Mets fan Eric McErlain (not pictured), long time guest prognosticator on this site. Is he still basking in the reflective glory of last year’s Mets NL Pennant? Can his Amazins catch my Washington Nationals? Let’s find out:
WFY: The Mets are 9 games back in the division, but I just saw the standings and saw they are 1.5 games back for the second Wild Card after a strong 8-2 over the last 10 games. Here in D.C. we know Matt Harvey’s gone for at least the season, but I understand other pitchers have been injured too. How have the Amazins been getting by? Does the schedule and current health of the team have you optimistic they can find a way into the postseason?
EMc: Yeah, Harvey was lost for the season early on after pitching horribly early on. The team has since struggled to find somebody, anybody to take his spot in the rotation. By this time, they had expected to have Zach Wheeler back, but he’s had a setback and is unlikely to return before next season. Steven Matz is currently out and Jacob deGrom has had to skip a turn after getting crushed in back-to-back starts. Jim Henderson has missed a lot of time, and Jonathon Niese headed straight to the DL more or less as soon as he returned from Pittsburgh. The recent surge has been keyed by Jose Reyes and Yoenis Cespedes. Without those two, these team would be totally dead in the water.
WFY: Flags fly forever! They won their first pennant in 15 years. For all the troubles this year and potentially to the longer term, is it worth the tradeoff to win one World Series game? Also, it seems the Mets win the pennant every 15 years or so which can’t be too bad.
EMc: Are you kidding? I went to 13 games last season in Port St. Lucie, Washington, Baltimore and Queens. The Mets won all 13, including Game 3 of the NLDS vs. the Dodgers and Game 1 of the NLCS vs. the Cubs. Losing the World Series stung as much as any of the other losses, but the memories were more than worth it. Even as good as Michael Fulmer is with the Tigers, I take the trade for Cespedes again without any hesitation.
WFY: How is the offense going? Is Jay Bruce the Yoenis Cespedes of 2016?
EMc: It’s one of the worst in baseball. In addition to the pitching injuries, David Wright and Lucas Duda have been lost for the season, and a passel of other players, including Cespedes, have missed time. It’s as bad as I’ve ever remembered it being. As for Bruce, he started slow, but has started to pick up of late.
WFY: How big is this series with the Nats being perceived by Mets fans? Also, some bad weather may headed up the East Coast, does this help the Mets get another some time off or are you hoping the Mets can keep play through?
EMc: Now that the team is in striking distance of the second wild card, every series is critical. Nobody thinks the Mets can catch the Nats, but the Nats could certainly hurt the Mets something awful. As for the rain, I don’t care. Play the games.
WFY: Jose Reyes is back – is it awkward to have him on the team given his offseason domestic violence allegations?
EMc: Just because I cheer for the team doesn’t mean I approve of the man.
WFY: As the late John McLaughlin would say: PREDICTIONS! How are things going the rest of the regular season for the Mets and Nats?
EMc: I’m not sure the pitching can stay healthy the rest of the way. I’m sure they’ll hang in there, but fall short.