Don’t sound the alarm.
The New York Mets have lost back-to-back games for just the second time all season and the first time since the fourth and fifth contests of the 2022 campaign on April 10 and 11. This snapped a historic streak of 14 straight wins coming off a loss.
But while there are still many reasons to stay calm about this first place team (7.5 game lead in National League East) that holds a 29-17 record, and appears to have a real chance to contend in the NL this year — they must take advantage of their upcoming six-game home stand with the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals, before the real challenge begins.
New York is 6-3 against the Phillies and 5-2 against the Nationals this season. It would be less than ideal timing to let up versus these weaker opponents in a prime opportunity to give themselves some more breathing room in the division.
The Mets have a brutal upcoming stretch starting on June 2, in which they begin a 10-game road trip on the west coast against three California powerhouses: Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Angels.
Given the way manager Buck Showalter’s group has performed this season, it’s fair to expect the Mets to match up well with these strong clubs out west. The Mets are a resilient bunch and hold the fifth-best offense in MLB. However, New York has gotten hit with the injury bug in their starting rotation as of late losing Max Scherzer (oblique strain) and Tylor Megill (biceps tendinitis) to the I.L., while Jacob deGrom (shoulder) hasn’t thrown a pitch yet this season. Without this unit at full strength it will make a tough stretch even tougher to begin the month of June. The good news is that Megill could return by early June, which would be a major boost to the rotation at some point on the west coast trip, or moving forward in a difficult stretch.
The month of June is rough overall for the Mets, who have to play two additional first place teams in the Milwaukee Brewers and Houston Astros a combined total of seven times, as well as the pesky Marlins six times to round out the schedule. Not an easy task.
The Mets currently hold a 7.5 game lead in a weak NL East, but as we learned a season ago, things can change in a hurry. Especially with the reigning World Series champion Atlanta Braves in the division, who have yet to recover from their title hangover. They should not be counted out 46 games into the season.
If the Mets really are who we thought they were, they will survive this brutal portion of the schedule, despite not being at full strength. In the meantime, they need to capitalize on this next home stand against softer opponents to create a larger cushion before the hard part begins.