The New York Mets sure have a lot of fans this time around. Despite the bullpen blowing lead after lead, not counting with Yoenis Cespedes and Jed Lowrie due to injury, and having a subpar season from a couple of star players, they finished above .500 and had a very good second half. This season, the team looks even better despite not adding too much during the offseason.
Many folks and experts are projecting the Mets to have a good 2020. Even projection systems, like PECOTA, think they are going to make the playoffs. And, perhaps most importantly, the players are convinced that this is going to be THE season.
That’s what star pitcher and reigning two-time Cy Young award winner Jacob deGrom thinks. He said to Mets Hot Stove (quoted by SNY) that his team is at least as good as any other squad in the National League East.
“I think we’re right there at the top,” deGrom said. “Great rotation, a lot of depth, really good position players. You look at it, our plan is to win the East and win the World Series, so everybody in there Is pulling in that direction, and you got a good group of guys doing that. I think we’ve got a good shot.”
The Mets’ best starter by a mile
DeGrom himself has had quite the season two years in a row. He has pitched to a 2.05 ERA with 524 strikeouts over 421.0 innings in 64 starts. According to Fangraphs, he has accumulated an incredible 16.0 fWAR during 2018 and 2019.
The ace is seeking his third straight Cy Youn award. The last man to do that was none other than Randy Johnson. Known as the “Big Unit,” Randy won the trophy from 1999 to 2002.
“I constantly still feel like I’m trying to get better,” deGrom said. “I’m constantly learning from the people I’m around and trying to find ways to improve and ways to get batters out. So I feel like for me it’s still a work in progress. Each year is a new year, so you’ve got to go out there and continue to compete.
“Baseball’s a tough game. You’re going to have good ones, you’re going have bad ones. I think it’s just how you handle them and how you bounce back. I think the past couple years I’ve just tried to control what I can control, and that’s the pitch that I’m about to make. I always refer back to these three starts I had last year where I don’t think I did a good job doing that. I kind of let things spiral out of control for three games, and then kind of got back into that mindset of that pitch that I’m about to throw.”
The New York Mets are, indeed, candidates to take the NL East.