Nobody could have predicted the first half that the Mets have just completed, after an off season that fueled such high expectations.
Sure there were some questions going into the season, but every team has questions, building a team is not an exact science.
The Mets’ biggest off-season priority was to revamp the bullpen, and that’s exactly what they did.
Anyway, the injuries to so many key players was too tough to overcome for the Mets, but luckily they are still in striking distance.
The Mets head into the All-Star break on a high note by winning two games in a row, something they haven’t done in an eternity it seems.
They are 6 1/2 games out of first in the NL East and under .500 at the break for the first time since 2003, when Art Howe was the manager.
We do have some bright spots and reason for hope.
They acquired Jeff Francoeur who so far has lifted the energy level on the field, and in two games he has collected four hits and driven in two runs since joining the Mets on Saturday.
Oliver Perez finally returned to the rotation after a long stint on the DL and he contributed to a Mets win.
They recently received some positive news on Jose Reyes and Carlos Delgado and their returns could come as soon as this month.
Mets catchers have combined for more RBIs than any other team in baseball. Omir Santos has worked his way into more playing time, hastened the trade of oft injured Ramon Castro, and has provided some key hits. Schneider has provided some power since returning from the disabled list and together with Omir, the Mets have a solid tandem.
Down on the farm, Jon Niese and Nelson Figueroa have been very effective and one or both of them could find their way into the Mets rotation when the season resumes.
That’s some of the good news.
On the other side of the coin, questions still linger about the health of Carlos Beltran and John Maine.
The Mets power outage has them last among all teams with 52 homeruns, and it doesn’t seem to be related to the new park as first suspected.
Mike Pelfrey continues to struggle with his command and you never know what kind of a start he will give you. You expect some level of consistency from your number two starter, and Pelfrey has failed to deliver on that front.
David Wright is striking out at an alarming rate and is on pace for over 150 strikeouts this season. He has just five homers and is batting .324 on the season. After four straight seasons of 100 or more RBI’s, Wright is now on pace for 80 ribbies.
Those are some of the lowlights and reasons to be concerned as we head into the second half.
On Wednesday, we will do a full recap of the first half, complete with report cards from our staff, as well as opinions and predictions for the rest of the season. We will also hand out a few first half awards and recognize some of the solid performances for the Mets so far, and a few of the surprises of the first half. Be sure to check it out!
I want to leave you all with a couple of questions for today.
With the Mets 6 1/2 games out of first place in the division, and 9 1/2 games back in the Wild Card, it’s pretty evident that the only way the Mets get into the post season is by winning the NL East.
Do you believe the Mets, as presently constructed and with all the players who are still on the DL, have what it takes to catch the Phillies and win the division?
Or do you firmly believe that if the Mets are to win this thing, they will need to make at least another trade?
What is your biggest area of concern?