These Mets Are Not Finished
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The Mets have been bouncing around between just good enough and mediocre for most of the season now. They’ve been unable to take that next step to great, but they’ve also never fallen off the cliff towards bad and it’d be foolish to read into their current state, again, as the beginning of the end unless you’re more concerned with your preseason predictions being correct than with how the Mets are actually doing.
There are plenty of times that if the season were to end the Mets would’ve been in the playoffs. Some as recent as four games ago. Losing three to a division rival is a rough way to start the second half, but it’s hardly the end of the world. The Mets are actually only 4 and 5 against the Braves this year. Those first three games are as important to the standings as these last three. The Mets will clearly need to made some adjustments, play better, and have some better luck to win more games. These are all things the Mets have proved able to do. R.A. Dickey and Johan Santana are human, apparently. Everyone slumps.
Everyone streaks too. Santana and Dickey will have other stretches of dominance. Other players will get hits, pitch well, catch the ball and beat the opposition. The Mets will win again.
If I were to judge this Mets team at this point, I’d say it might be a 50% chance they make the playoffs. If the season happens to end while they’re on a hot streak, they’ll likely be in. If not, they’ll likely miss out. The margin of error may be that small, which was also the case in the series in Atlanta. The Mets number one goal for the second half is to create situations where they have a margin for error. Multiple run leads when the bullpen is struggling. Less walks so that one error or poorly defended ball doesn’t lead to runs. Most importantly, getting into playoff position and building a lead so every loss isn’t a possible elimination event.