By Brad Carroll
The New York Mets magic number is 2015, as in next season. The team will end this season out of the playoff picture for the eighth straight year. They've made the playoffs just twice since the calendar turned to 2000, the last when they reached the NL Championship series in 2006.
The Mets will way short of general manager Sandy Alderson's predicted 90 victories, and likely won't even reach .500 by season's end. The Mets are 64-73 and would need to go 17-8 over the final 25 games to break even for the season.
But the rest of this season will be about seeing what the younger players, and those that are part of the Mets' future, can do on the field. Some of those players stood out this week, including rookie of the year candidate Jacob deGrom, while perhaps the two biggest players on the roster struggled yet again.
Here's a closer look at those players, with our 3 Up and 3 Down breakdown for a week that saw the Mets go 3-3 against Atlanta and Philadelphia.
Jacob deGrom: He worked his way back into the Rookie of the Year race with a victory over Philadelphia this week. He allowed no earned on four hits in seven innings of work. He walked two and struck out five. deGrom is 7-6 with a 2.94 ERA on the season. Cincinnati's Billy Hamilton is probably the front-runner for rookie of the year, with a .267 batting average, six home runs, 43 RBI and 54 steals.
Wilmer Flores: One of the young players the Mets hope can turn into something great, Flores went 6-for-18 (.333) over the last week with three runs scored, a double, home run and two RBI. He also had a stolen base. He went 5-for-10 in three games against the Phillies. He's batting .240 with two homers and 16 RBI in 56 games this season.
Dillon Gee: He's only 28 years old, so he still qualifies as a player the Mets can be built with. This week, he won both his starts, allowing two runs in a victory over Atlanta and three runs in a win over Philadelphia. Gee is 6-6 with a 3.81 ERA on the season.
Curtis Granderson: The Mets needed to sign a big bat in the offseason and they spent money on Granderson, the former Yankee. It was a good move back then, as it proved the Mets were actually willing to spend money for once on a free agent. But this decision has completely backfired. Granderson was actually booed, and rightfully so, on a day the team gave away his bobble head doll. He went 1-for-17 this week. Granderson is batting .213 this season with 16 homers and 49 RBI. The Mets are likely stuck with him for three more seasons.
David Wright: The face of the Mets franchise is having a bad season and an even worse last 10 games. He's 6-for-37 (.162) over his last 10 games with no extra base hits and one RBI. When the best player on your team hits like that, the losses will follow in bunches. He's hitting just .264 for the season.
Lucas Duda: He's not quite a future piece of the Mets puzzle, but he was terrible this week and deserves this spot. Duda went 2-for-23 (.087) in his last six games with no extra base hits nor RBI.