The All-Star Break is over and the hunt for the playoffs is just starting to get exciting. The Mets sit at 45-50, but their last ten games (8-2) going into the break has injected confidence into an often pessimistic fan base.
In these ten games, Mets pitching has recorded a 2.74 ERA, while in the Mets eight wins, the ERA has been 2.43. In addition to the terrific pitching efforts, the offense may just be the biggest part of the successful stretch. New York is averaging 5.5 runs and four extra-base hits per game over this period.
There is no reason this hot streak shouldn’t continue, especially given the upcoming opponents. Starting tonight, the Mets are facing off against the San Diego Padres, who are 41-54 and have lost seven of their last 10. These teams met once before this year and New York took two-out-of-three from San Diego. Now, New York is on the road, but this shouldn’t mean they can’t take advantage of a weak team.
Next up is a three-game series in an American League ballpark against the Seattle Mariners, a tough test. The challenge for the Mets will be scoring runs and utilizing the designated hitter. New York has done well with that, going 6-6 in interleague play, including 3-2 while using the DH. It will be easier to do this since the Mets lucked out and will not face Felix Hernandez in this series. However, maybe easier is not the correct word. The M’s are 51-44 and have a team ERA of 3.16.
Following that is another challenging series, this one a four-game set against the first-place Brewers. Despite a 53-43 record, the Brew Crew went into the break losers of eight of their last 10. Prior to the Mets, they play two 51-win teams in the Nationals and Reds. It’s a tough road for Milwaukee coming out of the gates and the Mets may be lucky enough to catch them at a low point. The only other time these teams played, the Brewers took two-out-of-three in Citi Field from the Mets.
That is the end of a 10 game road trip. A 5-5 record is realistic for the road trip, but the Mets are shooting for more. A sweep is possible in San Diego and a split in four games would be a positive result against the Brewers.
To close out July, the Mets finally return home to battle the Phillies. Philadelphia has struggled this year and the Mets have taken advantage. In nine games, the Mets are 6-3, are averaging 5.1 runs per game and are allowing 3.2 runs per game.
In the remaining 13 July games, the Mets play seven games against teams above .500, 10 games on the road and three games against a division rival. In order to play baseball in October, the Mets are going to have to get to work.