There is a perception among Mets fans that the baseball season ends on June 30th.
Even the Mayans–who are big baseball fans–waited until December to end their legendary calendar. There was no way they were going to miss the postseason.
The Mets chance of that? Far greater.
The Mets have a difficult schedule in the month of June. They will face the 2011 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals, the NL East-leading Washington Nationals, the New York Yankees, the Tampa Bay Rays (tied for first in the AL East), the NL Central-leading Reds, the Baltimore Orioles (tied for first in the AL East), the Yankees again, the Cubs (their one break) and the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.
This stretch is being treated by the media and the fans as a test to find out what kind of mettle this Met team has. Popular opinion is that by the end of this stretch, we'll know if the Mets are for real.
The truth: it means a lot more if they fail than if they succeed.
Here is an interesting tweet from MLB Network Researcher Moses Massena:
The Mets have been .500 or better on July 1st in 5 of the last 7 seasons. '08 & '09 only seasons they were not…only 1 playoff app. since '05
The bottom line is, the Mets are 51 games through the season. June represents only 28 more games, after which they will still have three full months of baseball and 83 games to play.
According to Baseball-Reference.com, the Mets Pythagorean Record (an estimate of a team's winning percentage given their runs scored and runs allowed) is 23-28. Bill James' statistic implies the Mets are overachieving.
But, because Omar Quintanilla doubled twice in his Mets debut; Jordany Valdespin popped a game-winning home run off Jonathan Papelbon; Jeremy Hefner proved he may be the best option when the rotation is down a man, and Rob Johnson pitched a one-two-three inning in Toronto...well, we already knew that.