With the Mets 7 1/2 games behind the wild card leading Atlanta Braves, but still having two months to go in the season, I’m not one to give up and give in concerning the Amazin’s playoff chances here in 2011. After the trade of closer Francisco Rodriguez the night of the All-Star game, and then just a few short weeks later with the trade of the resurgent Carlos Beltran many saw this as this team “waving of the white flag.”
Has it begun to slip people’s minds that the New York Mets, yes, the New York Mets have the most road wins in Major League Baseball at 33. Isn’t the formula for a playoff team to play .500 ball on the road, which the Mets have certainly done to this point compiling a road record of 33-27, and to win 50+ games at home? If that’s not the conventional formula for a team to make the playoffs, than I don’t know what is.
Now, I understand the Mets are a dismal 22-26 at home, they’ve had their share of struggles at Citi Field this season, don’t get me wrong. That being said, with the 4th place Florida Marlins coming to town, the 5th place San Diego Padres of the NL West coming in for a 4-game series, and the wild card leading Atlanta Braves coming to town to wrap up this 10-game home stand, this is the point in the season where the Mets have every opportunity to make up some serious ground in the wild card standings and remain a serious factor coming down the stretch if they can seize the opportunity.
That being said, the Mets are just 3-5 against the Marlins this year, but coming back home and playing at Citi Field for the first time in nearly two weeks, I strongly believe this team will hit the ground running and end their mini two-game skid tonight. While the Mets have not seen the San Diego Padres this year, they will see the Pads not only this home stand, but next road trip as well. As for the Amazin’s record against the Braves, all the Mets have done since dropping the first two contests against the Bravos this season, is go an impressive 5-2 versus the NL wild card leaders.
Let’s not forget this team is coming off a bitter sweet road trip that appeared like it was a soap opera in some ways. It was a 10 day swing which began with the Mets getting the face of the franchise back, David Wright. It was a trip which had the team answering question after question on when Carlos Beltran would be dealt, until that day finally came midway through the series with the Cincinnati Reds. It was a trip where the Mets completed their first 4-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds in Cincinnati for the first time in their 50 year history.
The Mets have done the hard part by winning on the road, if they can take advantage of two of the weaker teams in the league coming to town, and find a way to win the final series again the Braves, who’s to say this team is not a serious contender or factor in the wild card race? Until this team starts to serious fall out of the race, and by that I mean 10+ games than I’m not going to give up hope or faith in this pesky bunch.
This has been a team all season long that has refused to quit, has refused to throw in the towel, and has had that never say die attitude. Manager Terry Collins is one not to roll over and give in, I think we’ve all seen that with the Mets play on the field and it has to be a testament to both Collins, as well as GM Sandy Alderson.