Consider the factors and some of the hurdles surrounding the Mets when they set off from Queens for a 10-game west-coast road trip.
They had played six games in six days — winning all six of them — and after their homestand finale on June 1 against the Washington Nationals, got on a plane and traveled across the country for a game the very next night in Los Angeles against the powerhouse Dodgers.
Their pitching rotation remained held together with duct tape with Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, and Tylor Megill on the shelf — and further injury issues arose when during the trip, Pete Alonso and Starling Marte faced the very real possibilities of time on the IL.
With some depleted ranks, they proceeded to play 10 games in 11 nights, bringing their whopping total to 22 games in 23 days dating back to May 21.
Yet against the Dodgers, San Diego Padres, and Los Angeles Angels, the Mets went 5-5 — a perfectly respectable result given the circumstances.
But you won’t hear manager Buck Showalter saying that — as he continues to keep the proverbial ship as even-keeled as his demeanor.
“Could have been better, could have been worse,” he said (h/t SNY). “I don’t know, it’s behind us now. That’s the way our club has been. Whatever happened good or bad yesterday, unless you have an off-day to dwell on it.
“People out there really don’t want to hear you complain about a tough west-coast trip. What was really tough about it as far as your mode of travel and your plane and your car and your hotel and food? I mean, come on. You just have to be disciplined with your sleep.”
The Mets, the first team in the National League to win 40 games this season, have a rare off-day on Monday to dwell as they prepare to host a Milwaukee Brewers team that is nipping at the heels of the St. Louis Cardinals for first place in the NL Central.
Not exactly a warm welcome-home gift, but it’s nothing new for a New York club that has had the second-toughest schedule in Major League Baseball so far this season.
The slate will ease up for the Mets shortly considering they face the Miami Marlins seven times in the next two weeks, though four matchups with the Houston Astros are sprinkled around it.
But that test is too far for Showalter and his squad to look at right now. He’s just trying to get them adjusted to being back on the east coast with a significantly smaller division lead at 5.5 games.
“A challenge for us [will be to get] back on our time zone,” Showalter admitted. “I was looking at some of the other schedules and everybody in the National League East has similar challenges.
“We’ll start moving toward a good club that’s coming in, one of the best teams in the league in Milwaukee.”