Still, in a rematch of the 2016 National League wild-card game, the Mets rebounded, at least for one game, manhandling the equally underachieving Giants by 11-4. Indeed, the Giants this weekend and the Miami Marlins next week could offer the Mets at least a temporary reprieve from their mounting woes.
Starter Seth Lugo (2-1) allowed four runs over five and two-thirds innings against the Giants, and was staked to a large lead by the Mets’ offensive onslaught. Outfielders Michael Conforto and Yoenis Cespedes, and infielders Wilmer Flores and Lucas Duda had three hits each.
Cabrera looked unfazed in his return from a thumb injury and by the Mets’ decision to shift him to second base, which led him to request a trade before the game.
Nevertheless, there was concern that Cabrera’s trade request, coupled with the fact the Mets have many players in the final years of contracts, could create a team full of distracted players wondering if they might soon be dealt elsewhere.
“Right now, everybody needs to look in the mirror and do their jobs,” Mets Manager Terry Collins said.
Despite the Mets’ victory, they are still nine games under .500, a dubious mark they had not sunk to since September 2014, when they were concluding the last of six straight losing seasons before a franchise resurgence.
It would take an improbable climb in the division or wild-card standings for the Mets to turn things around this season, which was why Alderson was straightforward before Friday’s game in noting that the time may soon come to trade away veteran players nearing free agency and get prospects in return.
If the Mets do that route, opposing teams may be most interested in outfielder Jay Bruce, a consistent power hitter, and relievers Addison Reed and Jerry Blevins, who have performed capably this season.
Still, Alderson did say it was not yet time to be dealing players because the market had not taken shape in terms of which teams are buying or selling ahead of the July 31 trade deadline.
“We’re just going to have to wait and see,” Alderson said. “But in the meantime, the best things our players can do is play well.
“We have to be realistic about where we are, but that’s not to say we’re throwing in the towel by any means,” he added.