By Zach Gewelb
The end of the 2017 MLB season has finally arrived, and not a moment too soon for the Mets.
The team played to a dismal 70-92 record, which was the fourth-worst mark in the National League. A season that began with postseason — even World Series — aspirations ended in fitting fashion with an 11-0 loss to the 66-96 Philadelphia Phillies.
Not much went right for the Mets in 2017, but there were still a handful of positives to go along with a few surprises and several disappointments. Let’s take a look at some of the top story lines from the season.
Biggest surprise: Michael Conforto’s emergence
as an All-Star
It was no secret that outfielder Michael Conforto could hit, but the sweet-swinging lefty barely made the big-league roster out of spring training. Thanks to an injury to Juan Lagares, Conforto earned a spot on the roster and never looked back.
Confoto hit to a batting line of .279/.384/.555 with 27 home runs and 68 RBI in 2017. He was the Mets lone representative at the All-Star Game in Miami and even though he ended the season on the disabled list, he showed he can make it in “The Show” as an every-day player.
Biggest disappointment: Matt Harvey’s fall from grace
Matt Harvey entered the season with a lot of questions that needed to be answered, the biggest being how he would bounce back from surgery to fix thoracic outlet syndrome. That question was answered in a big way.
While Harvey had a solid spring training followed by a decent April, the pitcher formerly known as the Dark Knight proved to be a shell of himself. His numbers got worse each month and overall, he pitched to a 5-7 record with a 6.70 ERA.
The Mets say they will tender Harvey a contract for next season — which would be his last before he can become a free agent — but the real question is: should they?
Injured stars: What else is new?
Like seasons past, the Mets endured a season filled with injuries to some of their top players. David Wright never made it back to Citi Field. Yoenis Cespedes played in just 50 percent of the team’s games — 81, to be exact. Michael Conforto ended the season on the DL.
Noah Syndergaard went down with an injury at the end of April — after refusing to take an MRI as the team requested — and spent most of the season on the shelf, returning for just two late season cameos at the end of September.
The Mets did nothing to change their reputation as one of, if not the most injury-plagued clubs in the league this season. But next year could be different. The Mets parted ways with their head trainer in an effort to avoid another injury-plagued season in 2018.
Bye, bye, Terry: Collins out as manager
Terry Collins officially resigned as the Mets’ manager following Sunday’s season finale.
“It’s been a blast, but it’s time,” Collins told reporters after the game.
Collins will move into a front-office role heading into next season as a sepcial assistant to the general manager.
The veteran manager had an up-and-down tenure with the Mets, filled with peaks and valleys. He presided over two playoff teams, leading the Mets to the World Series in 2015 and into the Wild Card game the following year, but failed to finish over .500 in any of his other five seasons at the helm.
Ultimately, he finished with a 551-583 record (.486 winning percentage) and fell short of expectations far too often.
Reach reporter Zach Gewelb by e-mail at zgewe