The Timing Is Right For A Comeback

By August 12, a little less than one month from today, we’ll have a good idea whether the Mets will still be hunt for post season play, or if the 2009 Met season will end in disappointment (like the past three years).

Thursday the Mets begin their first road trip of the second half with four games down in Atlanta. The Braves and Mets are always a good match-up. This series we have the Jeff Francoeur storyline to watch. Will Francoeur, returning to Atlanta as the opposition ( a Met no less), try to show the Braves they were wrong to trade him? Will Francoeur single handily beat the Braves? Or will he flop? Oliver Perez is the game one starter for the Mets, and with Ollie all you can do is hope for the best and have Rolaids near by. Lets wish OP all the best on Thursday.

After the Braves series its three in D.C. against the Nationals. The Nats (26-61) have a new field manager with Jim Riggleman replacing Manny Acta. Will the Nats be new and improved? The Mets then conclude the road trip by going to Houston and playing the Astros for the first time this season. The Astros record right now is 44-44. So for the first ten games after the break, the Mets will be playing one team with a .500 record, and that is Houston at 44-44.

The Mets return to CitiField on July 27 to host the Rockies for four games. By this time we should have a pretty good idea on when some of the Big Guys are coming back (specifically Reyes and Delgado). The Rocks were off to a slow start. They fired manager Clint Hurdle and right now are six games above .500 at 47-41. After the Rockies leave, the Arizona Diamondbacks are in town for four games. The D’Backs also fired their manager earlier this season, but haven’t enjoyed the success the Rockies have. The D’Backs are 38-51. The Cardinals are back in town to finish up the home stand with a quick two game set.

On August 6, the Mets head west for four games with the Padres (36-52), and three with the D’Backs in Arizona.

According to my count that’s 27 games. With the exception of the Astros, Rockies and Cards, the remaining opponents all have under .500 records! If there was ever a time for the Mets to get hot, go on a tear and win 20 of 27 games, now would be the time.

I don’t want to say this is an easy schedule. Every game has to be played between the lines, and the great thing about baseball is you never know what will happen form day to day. For the Mets though, there is every reason to remain hopeful. Besides playing teams that are sub .500 we should soon be seeing the return of Jose Reyes. Carlos Delgado should be back soon also. The huge question mark will be Carlos Beltran (as an aside, if Beltran’s leg was bothering him, he should have told Jerry he wasn’t able to go). Hopefully John Maine will also return in August.

The time is now for a hot streak. The Mets cannot afford to play these next 27 games the way they played their last 27 games. The Phillies have been unable to put away the division. Its our turn now to come back. Hopefully the Met players and manager Jerry Manuel feel the same way. For me the season starts Thursday night in Atlanta.