Considering all that went wrong for the Mets in May, ranging from key injuries to slumps to Matt Harvey’s horrendous pitching, they were lucky finish the month at 14-15 and two games behind Washington.
The Mets ended the month by losing four series, but they enter June with the expected news third baseman David Wright will be placed on the disabled list for an extended period with a herniated disk in his neck.
June starts with a ten-game road trip, beginning with consecutive three-game series at Miami and Pittsburgh, places where they have struggled. It ends with four games in Milwaukee.
It has to go to the only batter who hit with any consistency, which would be Yoenis Cespedes, who hit .342 with eight homers and 14 RBI for the month. Making that more impressive is he’s entering the Miami series on a 1-for-22 (.045) slide. It should also be noted Michael Conforto, Lucas Duda and Wright didn’t offer much protection.
PITCHER OF THE MONTH
Despite spitting the bit in his last start, Steven Matz was named the NL Rookie of the Month by going 4-0 with a 1.83 ERA for the month. He leads all rookie pitchers with seven victories, a 2.60 ERA and 53 strikeouts.
KEY GAME OF THE MONTH
There were several notable games and moments, beginning with Colon’s homer in San Diego and Harvey’s hoped-for turnaround victory on Monday. However, there’s really only one game that ratcheted everybody’s emotions, and that was when Syndergaard threw out Mets’ nemesis Chase Utley. Syndergaard was ejected in the in the third inning which disrupted the Mets’ bullpen for a week and Utley responded with two homers, including a grand slam.
KEY MOVE OF THE MONTH
The Mets had several options as what to do with the frustrated and struggling Harvey, but opted to give him one more start. Harvey responded by pitching the Mets to a 1-0 victory over the White Sox.
RED FLAG ENDURED
After losing Travis d’Arnaud to the disabled list, but Mets brought up catcher Rene Rivera, who has been impressive with his defense and throwing.
KEY ISSUE RESOLVED
The Mets traded for James Loney to replace Duda, who went on the disabled list with a back issue.
Wright will be on the disabled list with a herniated disk for an indefinite length of time. … Duda and d’Arnaud are on the DL with no timetable for their return. … Hansel Robles has a sprained ankle.
SIX QUESTIONS RAISED
Will they generate any offense outside of hitting home runs?
How long will they be without Wright, Duda and d’Arnaud and can their replacements pick up the slack?
Will the new guys, Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera, keep hitting?
Was Harvey’s start Monday a fluke or a sign of things to come?
Can the bullpen pull itself out of its funk?
BY THE NUMBERS
1-4: Harvey’s record for May.
3-3: Record in May vs. Nationals.
5: Homers given up by Robles this season.
5: Third baseman used so far.
6: Extra-base hits by Conforto for May.
33: Strikeouts by Curtis Granderson in May.
.208: Mets’ average with RISP.
3.56: Bullpen ERA in May after it was 2.71 in April.
LOOKING AT JUNE’S SCHEDULE
It begins with ten games on the road, including three at Pittsburgh, where they have not played well. Perhaps Walker can catch a Penguins’ game.
They return home for three games each the Pirates and Braves, and two against World Series opponent Kansas City.
They end the month with four games in Atlanta and three more in Washington, before starting a four-game series at home against the Cubs that extends into July.