For as bad as the Mets have looked at times this season (and I have advocated blowing up the team or just not paying attention to them anymore), it’s almost miraculous that they are not worse than three games under .500 and 6 ½ games out of first place. When you think about the lousy starting pitching we’ve endured at times, the mental mistakes that seem to multiply, the injuries to most of the key stars, and the consistent lack of timely hitting, you’d think the Mets would have a more parallel record to the Padres or Indians.
But they don’t. The Mets are 42-45, and there have been some encouraging peaks of sunshine through all this gloom and doom. Remember in early May when we won seven in a row, sweeping short series against Philly and Atlanta and then a three-game set against Pittsburgh? And remember some of those gems Johan pitched early in the season? And taking two out of three against Boston? And most recently, winning the last two games before the break as newcomer Jeff Francoeur ignited the team? Those are things to look back on and try to find a spark from.
Of course, there is so much negative to look back on, too. I remember writing about a critical stretch of games leading up to the break that had the Mets facing the Phillies, Yankees, Orioles, Rays, Cards, Yankees again, Brewers, Phillies again, Dodgers and Reds. Well, the Mets went 12-20 in that span, a .375 winning percentage in ten series with at least eight opponents that are playoff contenders. Very bleak indeed, but if you care to drink the Kool-aid being served by Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel, the team is due for a rebound once guys like Reyes and Delgado and Beltran and Putz (and Billy Wagner) return.
I’m not holding my breath, and I think this team is going to remain mired in mediocrity this season, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they made some noise in the division, either. After all, as we’ve seen from the other side, a 6.5 game lead is not insurmountable with even two weeks left to play—and we’ve got almost three months to play. Let’s go Mets!