The New York Mets are making a push for first place in the NL East, much to everyone's surprise.
Just four games back from the first place Washington Nationals, the Mets are doing better than what everyone expected.
Good fortune has finally hit the Mets, but don't expect it to be around all season.
Currently at 36-32, their record shows more danger than optimism. The Mets have holes on their team, but is helped by the fact of a subpar NL East, with every team less than 10 games back from first. Unlike some of the other teams in the NL East like the Atlanta Braves or Philadelphia Phillies, this club has little experience with chasing for the playoffs, something that can hurt them in September.
While the Mets are in second place, don't expect them to be playoff contenders in September because of these reasons.
R.A. Dickey has been the best pitcher in the league for the past month and is currently the team's best pitcher.
Not including his masterful one hit performance against the Baltimore Orioles, his past five starts have looked like this: 5-0, 0.23 ERA, 50 K's, and two complete games. Currently the hottest pitcher in the league, there is a slim chance that this hot streak can continue all season, as all hot streaks always come to an end.
The fact that Dickey is a knuckleball pitcher, the likelihood of his dominance continuing is slim, and once he hits that slump is when the Mets slump as well.
After returning from the disabled list on June 8, Bay remained in his slump on the Mets, batting .080 with only two hits in 25 at-bats.
Currently on the disabled list again after suffering his second concussion in less than two years, Bay won't be returning anytime soon.
He may, however, return when the Mets are still in the playoff hunt, but will his return help or hurt the team?
My assumption is the latter, as Bay has failed to become the hitter the Mets thought they signed a couple years back. Especially with another concussion, it may take longer for him to get a feel for hitting, just like David Wright when he suffered a concussion. The worst thing a team in a playoff hunt can have is a hitter that can't produce, and that's the potential possibility the Mets have once Bay returns from the disabled list.
While most of the Mets are experienced veterans, their success is mostly helped by their young players.
With young players such as Lucas Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and even Daniel Murphy and Ike Davis, the Mets rely on them to continue playing great baseball. None of them have been a part of a playoff chase, and the pressure may affect their performance. With young shortstop Ruben Tejada also returning this year, that adds another young, starting position player that will need to produce.
Only time will tell if the pressure makes or breaks this young squad, but five young starters does not help in September.
The Mets bullpen has been shaky all year, and that's putting it nicely.
Worst in the National League in ERA (5.40), BAA (.275), and blown saves (13), the bullpen is the Achilles' heel of this team. The bullpen is key to a team's success regardless of their offense, and if this bullpen keeps pitching the way they are, the Mets will be out of contention before September even starts.
All the Mets success will be relied on the bullpen, a scary thought for most fans.
The good news is that based off how bad the bullpen has been this year, the only way they can go is up, hopefully.