The New York Mets are currently in crisis mode. -- New York had been in first place since May 8 -- and they've lost nine of their last 11 games. They're 9-15 since the All-Star break. , at least for now.
"We've played very mediocre baseball for most of the year. This stretch has been ... unacceptably bad." Mets GM Zack Scott told reporters, including The Athletic's Tim Britton, prior to Tuesday's series opener with the Nationals at Citi Field (GameTracker).
The Mets are scoring only 3.75 runs per game, the second fewest in baseball, and there's plenty of blame to go around. Michael Conforto is having a disastrous free agent year, Francisco Lindor was merely good rather than great before getting hurt, and others like Dominic Smith and James McCann have underwhelmed.
Injuries have contributed to the team's slide as well. Most notably, Javier Báez at the deadline. Scott attributed the soft tissue injuries (some, not all) to players not complying with the club's training plan.. Lindor is sidelined with an oblique injury, prompting the team to trade for
"In some cases you can have the best plan, and if the plan's not followed, that's not necessarily going to yield a good result all the time," Scott said (video) "... On the soft tissue, we've talked through each one. There's nothing that stood out to me as some egregious mistake in our process, in our treatment, in our training that let to it. I think there's specific examples where it's clear how something could have been handled differently. Most of the time, to be honest with you, it's compliance issues."
What those "compliance issues" are is unclear (ignoring training, training improperly, etc.), but buy-in is necessary, and if the players aren't buying in, it's everyone's problem. Scott's too. He's running baseball operations and doesn't get to lay the blame at the feet of the players and absolve himself. He knows that. It's incumbent on everyone, including Scott, to figure this out.
In addition to deGrom and Lindor, Luis Guillorme (hamstring), David Peterson (foot, oblique), Robert Stock (hamstring), and Robert Gsellman (lat) are also on the shelf with soft tissue injuries. Earlier this year Conforto (hamstring), Jeff McNeil (hamstring), and Carlos Carrasco (hamstring) all missed time with soft tissue problems.
The Mets have lost 1,426 man-days to injury this season, third most in baseball behind the Padres (1,798) and Rays (1,504). Those two clubs have multiple players who are rehabbing from a 2020 Tommy John surgery, however. The Mets have just one such player (Noah Syndergaard). The vast majority of their injuries have occurred in-season.
At 56-55, the Mets are 2 1/2 games behind the Phillies in the NL East and a half-game behind the Braves for second place.