Can the surging Mets sustain their success for the rest of the season?

Mets new manager Mikey Callaway discussing his plans for the season during his first press conference with the team. Callaway's fresh mindset is a large reason why the team has found success early on.

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Mets new manager Mikey Callaway discussing his plans for the season during his first press conference with the team. Callaway's fresh mindset is a large reason why the team has found success early on.

Zach Gitlin, Staff Writer

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March 29— Major League Baseball’s Opening Day.  Fans around America rejoiced, excited to see their beloved teams take the field for the 2018 campaign. In New York, all eyes were on the Yankees, who have a roster filled with young talent ranging from Aaron Judge to Giancarlo Stanton.  For the other New York team, the Mets, the expectations for the 2018 season were not as high, as pitcher Noah Syndergaard took the hill for the first game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

For the Mets, the 2017 season was disappointing, to say the least.  Coming off a World Series defeat just two years prior, many expected the 2017 squad to win the Fall Classic.  However, injuries persisted and Sandy Alderson’s club limped to a mediocre 70-92.  Seeing extended absences from ace Noah Syndergaard, star outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, and pitcher Matt Harvey, the Mets struggled throughout the year.  They would go on to trade major pieces such as Neil Walker to the Brewers, Jay Bruce to the Indians, and Curtis Granderson to the World Series contending Dodgers. As if that weren’t enough, manager Terry Collins went on to announce his retirement at the end of the year, leaving the Mets in a position where fans would not be expecting much out of the next season.

Although expectations were low for the Mets at the start of 2018, the team was ready to prove all the doubters wrong.  With the hire of former Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway, the Mets appeared to be focusing their attention on young talent and preserving their arms.  

One of the most important moves Callaway made early on was hiring Jim Cavallini as the head of training staff. Cavallini went on to revamp the entire medical and training staff.  This would later prove to be one of Callaway’s most important moves, as the Mets wish to keep their star players healthy throughout the year.  The revamp of the roster continued when Callaway made moves in the offseason to re-add outfielder Jay Bruce on a $39 million contract over three years.  In addition, he was able to secure former Yankees infielder Todd Frazier to play the third base position, where the Mets had seen instability in over the past few years since captain David Wright took an injury.  They also added former Dodgers star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez on a low budget deal, as well as the addition of pitchers Jason Vargas and Anthony Swarzak who have yet to take the field, but will look to add to the Mets staff. 

Once the 2018 season kicked off, fans packed into Citi Field for the start of another year.  The Mets kicked off the season with a 9-4 victory over the Cardinals.  The team saw ace Noah Syndergaard have a great start to the year, going six innings, with four earned runs, and an impressive ten strikeouts to start of the year.  Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes also got off to a great start, tallying three RBI’s in the opener.  

Although the Mets would drop the series finale 5-1, what happened next was something no one in baseball could have predicted.  They would go on to win an astounding nine games in a row, including three game sweeps of both the Marlins and Nationals, a two game sweep of the Phillies, and a victory in the series opener versus the Brewers at Citi Field.  It was an incredible start for the Mets. 

One of the more impressive wins in the early streak was against the highly touted Washington Nationals.  The team boasts major firepower at all positions, including former MVP outfielder Bryce Harper, and former Cy Young winner Max Scherzer.  Even though the Nationals formed a solid team, the Mets looked passed the hype, and swept them in three games.  In the series opener, the Mets stuck it to the Nats early, with pitcher Jacob DeGrom going six innings, while just giving up one earned run with five strikeouts to add on.  Jay Bruce led the way on offense with an impressive four RBI’s, leading the Mets to an unexpected 8-2 win over the former division champs.  Despite the fact that the steak ended against the Brewers on Saturday night, the start for Mets fan has been unforgettable.

“The Mets are the best team in baseball right now,” said sophomore Nate Clateman. 

It will be very interesting to see where the Mets are headed down the line, but for now, it is an incredibly exciting time to be a Mets fan.

“For me, even though I am a Yankees fan, it is no doubt a very impressive start,” said sophomore Justin Tawil.  “I just question the long term success of a team that suffered so many injuries last season, but only time will tell.” 

 

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