It’s hard not to Â be positive about a team that’s won eight of their last nine. Â They just swept the Orioles on the road, and are on their way to Cleveland where they face another bad team in the Indians. Â Reyes is hitting, Bay broke out of his slump, Wright blasted two home runs. Â The pitching has continued to be good, Beltran is healing, the Mets have a good farm system and could even trade for a starting pitcher should that be the route Omar looks to go. Â The Phillies are struggling and the Mets are only 1.5 games behind the division leading Braves. Â In an interesting twist, the Mets trailed the Braves by a game on this date 10 years ago. Â It was a season the Braves would end up winning the division, but the Mets would take the Wild Card and make it all the way to the World Series to play the Yankees. Â This train of thought is something that’s come up again recently, especially with the interleague matchup happening this coming weekend, but it’s just a wee bit premature right now. Â For one, I think the Mets willÂ persevereÂ and win the division and I don’t think the Yankees will make the World Series.
Obviously the Mets won’t continue at the winning rate they currently are on. Â Obviously I hope it continues through the Yankees series and they can come home conquering heroes to the park they play so well at and really start making some real strides in the division race. Â It’ll be interesting to see how the Mets respond to the next losing streak, how bad they let it get, and how quickly they can shake it off. Â Last time they lost they sunk all the way back below .500 from first place, but this time they’re further up. Â The Mets have the depth and talent to shake off a losing streak. Â They can win in many ways so that if they’re not quite hitting the long ball, they can still steal bases and scratch out runs. Â If their starters aren’t going deep into games, the bullpen is capable of stepping up and keeping the game within reach. Â If one player is struggling, the others are more than likely to get on a hot streak and be able to carry the slumping teammate.
There is still a lot of baseball to Â be played, but the Mets are in a good position right now. Â They’re in striking distance of the playoffs and also are starting to learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of the team. Â Omar will be able to assess what bullpen parts need an upgrade, and how big a starting pitcher they need. Â With Pelfrey emerging as a legitimate top of the rotation starter to compliment Santana, the Mets aren’t as desperate for a marquee Cliff Lee type starter, and can afford to not overpay in prospects and contracts for a pitcher. Â They’ve Â got flexibility with Dickey and Takahashi and the possibility of Maine and Perez both coming back and contributing. Â Niese has looked like a real pitcher, especially lately. Â So while the Mets still have problems, they don’t necessarily have any more problems than anyone else. Â The team is, and will remain, a contender for the post season and will continue to make 2010 an exciting year.