The Mets ended the traditional first half of the season at 48 and 39, slightly worse than they did last year at this time, when they had a record of 53 and 36. It’s only a difference of five more wins and three more losses. But if you think about, considering all the injuries, the “iffy” pitching and defense, and the average offense they have been displaying, the Mets are in a fairly decent position going into the second half. The main thing that kept them afloat is that Philly and Atlanta haven’t played any better.
The Mets’ main focus for the second half is to avoid injury and get some quality pitching from their starters, which may involve acquiring another starter down the stretch. The bats continue to be consistently inconsistent – hot one night and cool the next! But we have gotten by and have won games that we were supposed to. So what’s in store for Round 2?
David Wright and Jose Reyes continue to be consistent and do what they are getting paid to do. And if they don’t, Willie Randolph will pull them out of the game as a wake-up call. (I hate to see anyone get in trouble, but, Willie, you made me proud!) Carlos Beltran has been striking out entirely too much this past week or so. I think he left his offense in Philly. But again, not to worry. You don’t just turn into a bad hitter from one season to the next. He will heat up again! And I wouldn’t give up on Carlos Delgado just yet. He is still too good of a ballplayer to just forget about and if history repeats, he will sizzle in the second half.
I would not keep three catchers on the roster until they go to the 40-man team in September. There’s simply no need for it. As long as Paul LoDuca can keep himself out of trouble, you have two quality game-callers, leaders, and lately, hitters. (Have you seen Ramon Castro’s numbers lately? Every time he plays, he hits!)
I have been saying this for a while – the Mets need an everyday second baseman. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jose Valentin. But last year was a fluke for him and, matter-of-factly, couldn’t come at a better time for him or the Mets. He makes for an excellent man off the bench, a utility player for those extra inning games or a pinch runner to get that run home from first on a double. I like Reuben Gotay as well, but again, same deal.
Pedro’s return looks promising for mid-August. Let’s just hope he has a better outing in his return than Dave Williams did yesterday in his. Tom Glavine has pitched better his last two starts, and 300 is just around the corner. El Duque and Oliver Perez should make it back after the break.
The bullpen did an outstanding job over the last week leading up to the All Star Break, with Aaron Sele, Pedro Feliciano, Guillermo Mota and Billy Wagner all doing their part.
Endy Chavez is about a three weeks away and will definitely be welcomed back with opened arms, especially since we also lost Carlos Gomez to injury. Moises Alou, well, who really cares? Shouldn’t even be having this problem because we should have never acquired him!
And so, with my fingers crossed and my hopes on high, I bid farewell…until we meet again in the second half…Let’s Go Mets!